UCSB Farmers Market: Bringing Local Sustainable Healthy food to Our Students, Staff, and Faculty.
By Jewel Snavely
Bringing local and sustainable healthy food to our students, staff, and faculty, the new Gaucho Certified Farmers Market is shaping up to be a great resource for the campus.
The first University of California, Santa Barbara Gaucho Certified Farmers Market was held on Wednesday, Oct. 23, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Parking Lot 23. Going forward, the Gaucho Certified Farmers Market will not only bring out local farmers including Ellwood Canyon Farms, Pepper Creek Family Farms, Underwood Family Farms, Tamai Family Farm, Rodriguez Brothers and flowers from Westland Floral, but also local artisans sharing honey, jams, fresh bread, and popcorn! And as the Farmers Market gains more interest there are plans to get even more farmers and artisans involved.
Some of the current seasonal fall fruits and vegetables that can be found at the market include pumpkins, apples, cranberries, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, beets, turnips, and leeks.
Each Farmers Market also features a campus or local workshop on related sustainable ideas which helps to engage and educate the campus community about sustainable practices. The Gaucho Farmers Market is providing students better access to local farmers and healthy food at affordable prices. Besides connecting the campus community to its local food sources, when students head to the farmers market they get to interact with farmers and get a better understanding of locally produced seasonal fruits and vegetables and what sustainability really means.
We definitely owe a big thanks to the staff and students who worked so hard to get this farmers market up and running. The Gaucho U Farmers Market emerged out of a Gaucho U professional development class group project. After the project ended, staff continued to work on the project and received a TGIF grant for the initial funding for a one-year pilot project.
The farmers market started as a simple class project and blossomed into something special through the efforts of dedicated staff members and student interns. It has become a perfect example of how important it is to engage and educate our campus staff.