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SLU Sells Bread in Clayton to Help ‘Inner-City’ Kids

June 26, 2007 Farmers' Markets, Midtown, SLU, St. Louis County 9 Comments

Something about a university located within the City of St. Louis selling items in neighboring Clayton just struck me as a bit off. Here is the press release from SLU:

SLU Offers Breads, Vegetables at Farmer’s Market
Event Details: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., June 30
Check out the department of nutrition and dietetics booths 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. every Saturday at the Clayton Farmer’s Market, 8282 Forsyth Blvd., just west of Straub’s grocers in Clayton.

In addition to the seasonal organic produce and fresh-made artisan breads, bagels and muffins, the group serves omelets with fresh ingredients from their organic gardens.

Inner-city children help grow the produce while learning about healthy eating. Proceeds from the department’s sales help the University’s many projects with city children and fund scholarships.

To get involved with the nutrition and dietetics project, call (314) 977-8523.

Maybe they tried working with local markets in St. Louis but no space was to be found? Of course SLU is good at looking to western suburbs for money.

Wouldn’t it be more interesting if SLU helped start a midtown farmers’ market?


Currently there are "9 comments" on this Article:

  1. Must have been a large demographic shift in Clayton. You know SLU could donate food to a local pantry instead. But given their campus is a fort, I am guessing they are not really concerned about the surrounding community.

  2. Maurice says:

    This issue was discussed on this site prior….the question would be how many farmer markets can a city or area have in order for them to be profitable and return week after week?

    Then there is the issue of space availability, and cost, since some of these markets charge a stall rental fee.

    Odd? Perhaps. But without knowing if they approached markets such as CWE or Tower Grove, I won’t judge except to say I think it is a very resourceful use of raising funds.

  3. Bridgett says:

    Frankly, I think it’s a great idea. It does seem peculiar to raise vegetables in the city and then sell them out west. Perhaps they approached more local markets and couldn’t make a deal? Could Clayton have offered them free space? Or perhaps they weren’t thinking, which is just as likely.

    I must say that as someone who helps out at her parish food pantry just a few miles south of the Frost campus, SLU does a great deal with food pantries already.

  4. barbara_on_19th says:

    New Roots & ONSLRG just started a small farmer’s market on the 14th St Mall, within 2 miles of the SLU campus. The market is modest but now in week 3, well attended by the neighbors. I have bought my very local, organically farmed vegetables there each weekend, plus snacks from some neighbor kids who have started “The Alien Coffeeshop”. Our local greenspace committee also sells cut flowers to raise funds. SLU is welcome to look a little closer to home!

  5. Becker says:

    Careful Brigett, Steve doesn’t like it when someone portray SLU as anything other than cold and heartless.

    In all seriousness, there are probably only one or two people at SLU who are in charge of the program and deciding just where to peddle their products. So if one were interested in suggesting to them that they have a booth at city markets they could contact them here: http://www.slu.edu/x2270.xml
    veggie@slu.edu — great email for a nutrition program

    Of course it is simpler to just grumble at the university as a whole.

    [SLP — I entertained the idea that perhaps they could not get in at other markets.  I also gave them great exposure on my blog by mentioning them, without really ragging on them! And yes, excellent email address.]

  6. GMichaud says:

    Markets are great places, Soulard Market is a great place, and so was the old Union Market. To answer Maurice, yes how many grocery stores do you need? In the old city there was one every block or so, especially in the days of bakeries, small specialty purveyors and milkmen. This leads to the design of markets and their relation to the environment around them. The whole way a market, as a gathering place relates to its surrounding can make it successful or not. So it may be the location and its accessibility that determines success. Then you begin to evolve into questions of mass transit, density and other urban actions that could help a market succeed or fail. Marketplaces, especially permanent ones are public spaces and in the public domain and should be part of the urban fabric. So I don’t think it is a question of plopping a market down somewhere and hoping for the best.

    Admittedly if SLU would throw their weight behind either the Tower Grove Market or the 14th Street Mall Farmers Market, it could help create a mass of use that could encourage greater public involvement. (What size market is optimum?)

    And yes SLU could use an outdoor market in midtown to relate to the community. If they wanted to get really radical they could let the people that grow the vegetables sell them.

    There are some good aspects to making people more aware of the city. But SLU cannot afford to miss an opportunity to connect with the people of St. Louis, they are far too isolated.

  7. Scott says:

    A market in the City wouldn’t be glamorous enough would it? (Apply sarcasm while reading.)

  8. Maurice says:

    The problem I have with larger farmer markets such as Soulard is that they really aren’t local farmers that are there. They are usually stocked with produce that is grown and shipped in and then picked up at produce row just like all the grocery stores, etc.

    Then I have a problem with the word organic. Just because one doesn’t use pesticide or fertilizer doesn’t mean it is organic…the soil must be stripped of all prior contaminants, kept separate from the run off of nearby polutants, etc. It is very difficult to actually grown true organics. It is not as simple as puting a tomato plant in your backyard and calling it organic.

  9. GMichaud says:

    Maurice There are some farmers at the market, you have to identify them. Some of the ones that have been there awhile often supplement their produce from Produce Row, so you can’t necessarily rely on looking for local in season crops only. In any case small scale purveyors of vegetables is not a bad thing. Nor are they just like the supermarkets, they do have their own character.
    The market is also an urban environment. I would suspect the people who shop regularly at Soulard Market eat more vegetables and cook at home more often, thus social and health issues become part of the urban plan.
    The word organic is overused, and there is no question the soil and its condition affects the organic nature of a plant. However not spraying the greens, fruit or veggies directly is a big help. Plants absorb toxins to varying degrees. While I’m not sure, I think to be certified organic requires soils to be free of contaminants for 5 to 7 years, still any soil is likely to be relatively clean, unless totally enveloped in contaminants such as might occur in an old industrial site.
    With farmers markets, unlike big grocery chains, you have a chance to get to know farmers and talk to them about their growing techniques.


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