Buying fresh food doesn't have to be a hike for students.
Held every Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the UT Gardens by the UT Veterinary College of Medicine, the UT Farmers Market features a wide variety of local businesses and farms who are dedicated to bringing the freshest and most wholesome products possible to the UT community.
Fiona McAnally, the market's manager, said there is always a wide variety of food depending on whatever produce is in season at the time.
"The things available here are healthy options that students can pick up and bring back to their dorms to eat," she said.
Items that are currently in season include squash, tomato and watermelons, while pumpkins are soon to follow.
Students can find most products found in a grocery store, with almost all of the products locally and organically grown or made, said McAnally.
One company, Greater Growth Aquaponics, sells leafy salad greens that have been watered with filtered water previously used to raise tilapia at the market. Mountain Meadows Farm boasted 11 different types of tomatoes, each with a different name such as "Orange Blossom" and "Rocky Top" to symbolize the varying colors.
Moondog Medicinals, a traditional herbal remedies vendor, provides natural healing products and special blended teas. Holly Hayworth, the company owner, said she utilizes medicinal properties of plants to make her remedies.
"People have been healing themselves naturally for thousands of years and it's a skill I want to bring back and share with others," Hayworth said.
Sevier Blumen, a florist vendor from Sevierville, offers beautiful just-cut-this-morning bouquets of zinnias, sunflowers, comphrena and tuberose, to name a few. Robin Yeary, UT alumni and business owner, said even his flowers have a sustainable component.
"A lot of flowers are grown in South America or other parts of the world, but it's more sustainable to buy local flowers, since they don't have to be shipped at all," Yeary said.
Other regular vendors at the Market include VG's bakery, Sherie's Garden Style Salsa, JEM Farm, Granola Naturals, Grassy Creek Soap, Hammer Produce, Viet Grill, Lakeview Farm, Clear Springs Farm, UT Beef, UT Honey and Cruze Dairy Farms.
In addition to local businesses, different information booths are present each week to give out free items and information. This week's featured UT's Outdoor Program, who handed out info about activities and rentals, and UT Medical Center's Preston Medical Library, who had people on hand to ask questions and talk about their resources.
Students can also participate in weekly drawings. Prizes are three $25 gift cards to the Three Rivers Market Food Co-op, located in North Knoxville.
Amy Schweig, senior in political science, and her dog Cooper left as two very satisfied customers.
"This is my very first time coming to the market and I am very impressed," Schweig said. "My friend Ian told me about it and I'm excited to come next week!"