By Jaclyn Turner

Every Wednesday, the Farmer’s Market at Maryland sets up in front of Cole Field House, ready for eager students to purchase a variety of produce, pastries and meats.  Students can buy items from local farms, which helps support small businesses. Despite the market’s popularity, kosher options are hard to find.

Samantha Medney/The Mitzpeh
Samantha Medney/The Mitzpeh

McCleaf’s Orchard sells produce to students and is known for its variety of apples.  For kosher keeping students, McCleaf’s value items are marked kosher. This includes the honeycrisp applesauce, apple butter, honey, and Fuji apple juice. The cider, unfortunately, is not kosher.

Sophomore behavioral and community health major Miriam Mosbacher regularly purchases apples, sweet potatoes, kale, and herbs from the market. Last week, she discovered Jerusalem artichoke. “I like supporting local farmers,” she said.

For those searching for the perfect pickles, the Fresh Pickles stand sells kosher pickles.

Emily Robins from Goldilocks Goodies never uses meat products in her gluten-free delights, but it costs over $10,000 to get her kitchen kosher certified. If you eat hot dairy outside, her pies and quiches might be a safe choice.

In 2010, Angela Winters relocated her boutique bakery, Sweet Teensy, to Bethesda. She specializes in cupcakes and pumpkin bread.  No meat has been prepared in her bakery kitchen.

Bonaparte breads specializes in traditional 17th century French breads, desserts and pastries. Sophomore hearing and speech major Jane Rose enjoys the stand’s chocolate croissants, but she acknowledges that the owner Pierre Lefilliatr uses meat in some of his pastries. However, journalism major Elana Dure said. “I would not buy bread that is not marked as Kosher because I have strict observance of Kashrut laws, and I only trust what has been rabbinically certified.”

Chastity Hare from Country Vittles farm in Critter Hill does not serve kosher meats.  “Where we are in Pennsylvania, it is hard to a find a kosher butcher shop. It’s unfortunate because there is a large market for kosher food in College Park,” she said.

Sophomore chemical engineering major Allan Miller said he would buy the meat from the market “in a heartbeat” if kosher meat was offered at the market.

As for the university’s new food truck, Green Tidings, it does not serve kosher items at this point. Yet, Jewish students still regularly order from the truck. “I’ll order a vegetarian dish, like the roasted pumpkin salad, at Green Tidings,” said senior environmental science and policy major Benjamin Eichberg said. “It would be great if there was a kosher food truck.”  Eichberg is an active participant with JFarm and visits the farmer’s market weekly.

The produce always remains a safe kosher choice, and students seem to enjoy the accessibility of being able to buy fresh produce on campus, especially for those living in apartments.  The Farmer’s Market is a great way for students to buy local, sustainable, and seasonal produce on campus. Not only has the farmer’s market become a place to buy apples and tomatoes, it has become a place of social gathering. Rose could not walk five feet without running into a friend from Birthright or Hillel’s Campus Entrepreneur Initiative fellowship.

At the moment, the supply of kosher options does not meet the demand. Kosher keeping students would love more options, and are eager to support if more options come about.

The last market of the season is November 20.  Enjoy the last few weeks of fall, and spend the afternoon at the farmer’s market.  Produce has never been fresher.


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