Howdy! We hope everyone is excited!

Howdy!

We hope that everyone is as excited as we are about the market starting again! As
we are approaching our fifth year in the Tuscaloosa community, we wanted to find out
what connects people to our market. We want to hear the stories of people growing corn
with their grandparents in their backyards and shelling peas on their porches as the sun
starts to set. That is the basis of our 2012 campaign entitled “#ImHomegrown.”

The idea for this campaign is to spark a dialogue with friends and family on social media
sites or sitting at a bench on campus about what connects them to fresh, locally-grown
food. We love creating a strong sense of community with Homegrown Alabama and
wanted to spread that feeling beyond our market. One of the most exciting parts of this
campaign is the #ImHomegrown poster series. The first three posters for spring
feature faculty and students who felt strong connections with the market, locally-
grown produce and the UA community.

Poster one features Brian Taylor, a standout educator with a knack for baking.
Brian is an instructor in the clothing, textile and interior design department of the
College of Human Environmental Sciences. He visits the market regularly and loves
fresh tomatoes. Brian shared with us that his father has his own tomato garden,
saying, “My Dad grew tomatoes when I was growing up, so we always had tomatoes
in the house. We had tomatoes almost everyday for lunch in the summer.” Brian
says that investing in his community is something that he finds pertinent and enjoys
the market because it allows him to help stimulate the local economy by supporting
local farmers.

Poster two features Annie LaChance, a senior majoring in Restaurant and
Hospitality Management. Annie is a down-to-earth, Toms-wearing chick from
Virginia Beach. She enjoys fresh strawberries and going to the market reminds of
her of her hometown of Virginia Beach. “Being from Virginia, we grow strawberries
there in a place Pungo and we have a strawberry festival, and I grew up five minutes
from where they grow them.” Annie likes being able to see all the different vendors
that we have and loves that the market accepts Bama Cash.

Poster three features UA’s popular Mami “Saxophone Girl” Shimada. Mami is
originally from Tokyo, Japan and has become well known on the UA campus for
her frequent appearances on the Quad, playing her saxophone expertly for all to
enjoy. She told us she loves how friendly everyone is here and that the sweet tea is
so sweet. We love it too Mami! Our big surprise for everyone is that Mami will be
playing at our first market of the year tomorrow, April 12. Come join us for fresh
veggies and fresh air as Mami plays the sun down on her saxophone. You can check
out a snippet of her talent here: http://cw.ua.edu/2011/10/19/talented-ua-mami-
shimada/

We’re excited to see all of you as our 2012 market begins. You can tweet
@HomegrownAL and join the #ImHomegrown conversation as your peruse our
produce. As always, we are located at the front lawn of Canterbury Episcopal Chapel
on Hackberry Lane from 3-6 p.m.

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About homegrownalabama

Homegrown Alabama is a student organization at The University of Alabama. Our goal is to bring local produce onto the University campus and to form partnerships between the University and local producers. We organize the farmers' market that runs form May till September every Thursday from 3-6 p.m. at Canterbury Episcopal Chapel.
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