Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

A fresh taste of Tuscaloosa


For the last four years, Homegrown Alabama has held a weekly market where members of the community can come and buy items directly from the people that grow them.


Homegrown Alabama is a farmers’ market run by a student-led group at The University of Alabama that is held every Thursday from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. The market features fresh vegetables, fruit, flowers, meats, and other items produced by local farmers and members of the community.

Held at the Canterbury Episcopal Chapel, white tents cover the lawn while merchants busily work under them to provide fresh goods to their customers. Visitors get the feeling of really knowing their sellers and are able to build a relationship with them.

The market offers activities for children such as coloring, as well as live music while you shop. Farmers and merchants are more than willing to answer questions about their products, such as where they come from and how they are grown or made. The market boasts visitors of all ages, from University of Alabama students to newlyweds to senior citizens.

“It’s good to see local produce and local people coming out and supporting each other,” said Lauryn Alyworth, a student at The University of Alabama.

Missy Burgess, the owner of Cheeky Maiden Soap Co., is one of the vendors who sells at the market. She makes her product completely from scratch, using the old-fashioned cold process. She offers 100 percent natural bath and body products. One of the values of her company is introducing the surrounding communities to healthy, natural products. She believes that the farmers’ market helps stimulate the local economy and also cuts down on packaging and shipping, which in turn helps the environment.

Gary Smith, a local farmer, was contacted by the state to get involved with the market when it was first started. Under his tent, you can find fresh vegetables such as collard greens, peas and tomatoes.

“It brings fresh vegetables and fresh fruits to everybody, some a lot better than what you get in the stores,” said Smith.

Andrea Mabry, a graduate of The University of Alabama, founded the market in 2007. At the first market, vendors were sold out of products within the first hour. The number of vendors has nearly doubled since it started, with the market expecting more than 20 venders at the peak of the season.

“[Customers] meet their farmer, talk to them, and gain the tangible appreciation for the people that are growing their food,” Mabry said. “It also helps people question where their food comes from, who is growing it, and what kind of practices they are using.”

The market also allows the use of Alabama EBT, and will award $5 extra for every $10 in EBT that a customer uses.

If you go:

What: Farmers’ Market

Where: Canterbury Episcopal Chapel

When: Every Thursday, 3 p.m. until 6 p.m.

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