Farmers Market

Farmers Market Project

Brooklyn Borough Hall Greenmarket is open on plaza at Court St and Montague St, Brooklyn. In XXX, we will meet at the farmer’s market and learn about this public space by observing interactions between customers and vendors and talking with them. Before the field trip, there are three things that you need to complete.

    1. Do some research about the farmers market by visiting their website
    2. Learn more about locally grown foods, local farmers, food miles, food ethnics, and sustainability.
    3. Read some articles with a critical perspective on the farmers’ market.

We will spend about an hour in this trip. You’re required to take some photos and write your fieldnote. If you are writing it on your notebook, take a photo of it. If you write it on your phone, I need a screenshot.

While doing observations, focus on the following questions.

    • How does the farmers’ market look? What kind of social space is it?
    • Who is selling the produce? Who is buying?
    • Who shops there? Who’s attracted to the farmers’ market? (Class, race and ethnicity, and gender)
    • Where are the farmers coming from? Do quick research about how long they have traveled. For example, if you see a vendor from an Upstate town, you can quickly see the miles on Google Map. Did you see any farmers who have traveled far?
    • How is the farmers’ market promoted and advertised?
    • What is the biggest difference between the local grocery store and the farmers’ market?
    • Are they inclusive? Who’s excluded in that space?

After this field trip, each student is required to write a reflection paper on their observations.

The farmer’s market is operated in downtown Clinton from June to October every Thursdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. On September 20, instead of meeting during our regular class hours on 19th, we will meet at the farmer’s market, and learn about it by observing interactions with local customers and farmers, and talking with them. I will be available to meet at 10 am and 12 pm (you choose which time-slot works for you) to spend 40 minutes to an hour there. Bring some cash to purchase things from vendors. If this fieldtrip conflicts with your schedule, please arrange an alternative time to go with me in advance.

You must include.

Write a 2-3 page-long paper to describe the farmers’ market. Before starting a draft, please carefully read this.

Part I. A Thick Description 

  • Start your essay with a thick description of the landscape of the farmer’s market or a vignette. Include when you visited and some basic information about the farmers’ market in Downtown Brooklyn.  But remember that this think description must be directly related to your topic(s).

Part II. Sociological Analysis

  • Analyze the farmer’s market as a social space where different individuals and groups interact.
  • Choose and focus on 1-2 topics, such as food miles and sustainability, class and accessibility, and the dark side of locavore.
  • Once you choose 1-2 topics, do some academic research about the topic(s). You must include two academic articles or/and book chapters. Again, carefully read this page.

Appendix. Photos and fieldnotes

  • Include three photos that you took during your own fieldwork.
  • Include your filed notes. Include photos of your notes or screenshots of notes on your phone.


  • Typed, 12 point font, Times New Roman, 1-inch margins
  • How to submit short writing assignments?
    • Go to Blackboard→ SOC 1101 → Writing Assignments → Farmers’ Market Project.

Deadlines and more

  • Write a 3 page-long paper after finishing your field trip to your local grocery store.
  • Due: XXX
  • Please incorporate all the questions above in your assignment.
  • You are welcome to use your phone, when you do your fieldwork. Yet, I suggest you to avoid using your phone when you actually write, because it causes lots of grammatical mistakes that you can easily avoid. Please avoid it, unless a phone is the only device available.

How will this assignment be graded? 

Part I: A Thick Description

  • A thick desperation of the landscape of the farmers’ market is well-captured (20 pts)
  • Some basic information about the market is included (10 pts)

Part II: Sociological Writing

  • Research results and sociological analysis about the farmers’ market are properly presented (20 pts).
  • Items and place of produce are properly explained in words (5 pts).
  • Topic(s) are well presented with sociological analysis (15 pts)
  • Information is integrated from 2 academic articles or book chapters(10 pts).


  • If photos are included (3 pts).
  • If fieldnotes are included (4 pts).


  • If 2-3 page criteria is adhered (8 pts).
  • If font, spacing, and APA format are correct (2 pts).
  • Appropriate grammar and punctuation for the project and demonstrate extensive proofreading (3 pts).