The Wayward Seed Farm and the Wexner Center for the Arts have joined forces to present The Market at 15th & High, an outdoor farmers’ market on the Wexner Center Plaza Thursdays from 4 to 7 pm, May 27 through October 28. The largest of its kind in the campus area, the market will feature fresh, locally grown produce from area farmers, as well as dairy products and bread. About 12 local farms are expected to participate.
Notes Jaime Moore, co-owner of the Marysville-based Wayward Seed, which is serving as the market manager and will be a vendor as well, “The farmers are excited about this new venue, which has the potential to draw students, faculty, staff, and residents in the university area throughout the summer and early fall. This initiative is going to give more people in the area access to fresh food from local farms on a weekly basis, and we’re delighted to be a part of this from the ground up.”
Wexner Center Director Sherri Geldin says, “We are so pleased to partner with Wayward Seed in creating this fantastic new opportunity for the university community. The Market at 15th & High represents a center-wide commitment to encouraging environmental awareness—whether through ongoing collaborations with the Ohio State’s Living Culture Initiative or such programs as our recent Field & Screen film series. Wex Education Director Shelly Casto, who also conceived the center’s pioneering Art & Environment program for teens, has spearheaded this project on our behalf, along with a host of staff members across the center who share her enthusiasm.”
The market will be held rain or shine, and 100% of the profits will go directly to local farmers. Food stamps and W.I.C. will be accepted by some vendors, and the market organizers will deliver produce and other donations to the food pantry at Neighborhood Services following each market. A few vendors will also be participating in CSAs—community-supported agriculture, in which farmers deliver shares of produce on a weekly basis to subscribers. Acoustic music and student and university neighborhood nonprofit outreach tables will also be part of the experience.
While visitors are at the Wexner Center, they can enjoy free gallery admission at the center while exhibitions are on view (free from 4 to 8 pm every Thursday). In addition, free outdoor Wex Drive-In films will be held on the plaza June 17, July 15, and August 19; although those films don’t start ’til dusk (9 pm or so), the market will likely stay open a bit later those nights to overlap with the pre-film festivities (free Jeni’s ice cream and more), all of which starts up around 8 pm. In addition, Michael Mercil’s Virtual Pasture, an “agri/cultural” project—featuring a small meadow, apple trees, and a video uplink to an actual farm with sheep—will continue through the summer outdoors on the College Road side of the Wexner Center.
A press conference to launch The Market at 15th & High will be held Thursday, May 27 at 3:30 pm on the plaza. The event will feature remarks and free samples. The Market officially begins at 4 pm that day. Visitors will also be welcome to tour the exhibition of art created by teens that will have just completed the Art & Environment program (the exhibition, which opens that day, will be on view in the Wexner Center Performance Space).
The market is in line with the university’s and the center’s focus on sustainability, “green” efforts, food quality and access issues, the local and slow food movements, and climate change issues, all of which befits a land-grant institution. Within that broader context, the Wexner Center has been offering up a thread of food-centered programming, including the popular Field & Screen series in February, which featured films about the food industry and food consumption; panel discussions and other talks; and a mini-CSA fair attended by several area farmers.
About Wayward Seed Farm
Founded in the spring of 2006, Wayward Seed Farm began as a farm-to-restaurant project on one acre in Sandusky County producing more than 100 different varietals of heirloom and heritage vegetables. In addition to serving restaurants, the farm established a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program with the intent to foster a direct connection between consumers searching for honestly grown produce and the farms that provide it. The Wayward Seed CSA program is now the anchor of the farming operation and one of the largest CSA offerings in Central Ohio. Wayward Seed Farm’s commitment to sustainability and education extends beyond the farm to include community outreach and donation, as well as the formation of new farmers’ markets throughout Central Ohio. For more information, visit waywardseed.com
About the Wexner Center for the Arts
The Wexner Center for the Arts is The Ohio State University's multidisciplinary, international laboratory for the exploration and advancement of contemporary art. Through exhibitions, screenings, performances, artist residencies, and educational programs, the Wexner Center acts as a forum where established and emerging artists can test ideas and where diverse audiences can participate in cultural experiences that enhance understanding of the art of our time. In its programs, the Wexner Center balances a commitment to experimentation with a commitment to traditions of innovation and affirms the university's mission of education, research, and community service. For more information, visit wexarts.org