There is more than just produce at Utah County’s farmers markets
Utah County’s Farmers Markets have been filled with students, families, and other members of the community since the summer of 2021. Since they last until the end of October, the reasons why people shop or just visit the markets vary. (Brittany Allen)
OREM – At the Orem Sunset Farmers Market, fairy lights twinkle between the stalls displaying handmade art, jewelry, food, clothing, and other merchandise. The sun colors the sky as it plunges further behind the mountains. A man sings acoustic songs while playing his guitar while a crowd gathers around him.
Utah County’s Farmers Markets have been filled with students, families, and other members of the community since the summer of 2021.
Since they last until the end of October, the reasons why people shop or just visit the markets vary.
Vineyard’s Breanna Fox recently graduated from UVU, visiting Orem Sunset Market on Wednesdays and Provo Farmers Market on Saturdays. She likes to buy food from the vendors’ trucks and unique works of art when she goes to the markets.
“I think my favorite part is mostly the art. I just like to come over to see art by small business owners I don’t know, and that’s how I find it out in the markets,” said Fox.
Many sellers are original artists who sell their handcrafted pieces in the markets. One of them is Paola Bidinelli from Italy. She creates unique art from materials that others would consider trash.
Bidinelli has a project called “Eco Art Life” which, as she explained, means “cleaning the planet with art”. She collects discarded items like dying flowers from local shops and uses them to make fine art. She said she wanted to do her part for the planet by being an eco-friendly artist.
Bidinelli also has another mission for her art. “I want to keep the identity of everything alive,” she said.
Since people throw things away after using them for a while, Bidinelli said she wanted to reuse them under a different vision. “Maybe people can think about the life of the thing just to be more considerate [it]. “
While Bidinelli moved to the US from Italy five years ago and was just starting to sell in the markets, she has been making art for 30 years. She also runs a stall at the Springville Sunset Farmers Market and Provo Market on Mondays.
Vendors sell handmade jewelry at Utah County’s farmers markets. (Brittany Allen)
People come to markets to get more than just original art. They’re also looking for handmade jewelry.
Provo’s Kylie Newell gave her first taste of the market after thinking it would just be full of products. “I was excited when we stopped and saw every ring shop because they’re the kind of rings I would actually buy,” she said.
While many vendors sell handmade rings, Kate Anderson, a 15-year-old from Riverton, also sells brightly colored earrings, necklaces, bracelets, key chains, and embroidered tote bags. She started her handmade jewelry business two years ago and is now a seller in the Orem Market.
In the markets, vendors sell authentic cultural food like Mexican tacos and burritos, Indian curry, New Zealand burgers, Korean ice cream, German baked goods, and more.
Sydney Short, a recent American Fork UVU graduate, said she was coming to markets hungry. “I’m usually a food person,” she said. She likes to try new foods that she has never eaten before, like pastries filled with Nutella and fruits.
Eric Huber, a BYU senior, hits the market not just to buy the delicious tacos that are sold there. “I love that there are people and things that they are passionate about,” he said. “I love the feeling of supporting that.”
Even the sellers enjoy getting to know people through what they are selling. Scott Davis, a Springville chocolatier, sells handmade bars of dark chocolate.
Although he said the markets are a great incubator for new sellers, what he thinks is the coolest thing about them is that you see things that you normally wouldn’t see, like handcrafted products. “They can tell you how they did it [them]so it’s really kind of an experience, ”said Davis.
BYU student Heidi Bradshaw from Salt Lake City also enjoys seeing what people create, what they love to do, and what they sell. While she often buys the fresh peaches that are sold in the markets, she enjoys people-watching.
The farmers markets in Orem, Provo, and Springville are great fun for community visitors. Sellers will be selling their handcrafted products in the markets until October.