Anyone who showed up past the first hour of California State University, Stanislaus’ first Farmers Market “Stan Fresh” on Thursday would only have to take one look at the almost-empty booth to attest that the inaugural event was no doubt a success.
According to Rebekah Shrader, whose Ag Markets and Pricing class spearheaded the event, within the first hour of the market, her students had sold out of nearly everything.
“It was bit chaotic at first and we were extremely busy for the first hour, however it was still really fun,” said Shrader. “My only regret was not having enough food for everyone, but we can only give what the garden provides us.”
All of the produce was harvested from the CSU Stanislaus Sustainability Garden on campus and on the day of the market, tables were stocked with a variety of fresh-from-the-garden produce, including kale, mint, rosemary, beets, carrots, potatoes, onions, lemons, cilantro, and radishes.
Shrader also reported that a last minute collaboration with the University’s Biology Department provided customers with a variety of purchasable cacti, succulents, and peppers.
Agricultural Studies Department Chair Oluwarotimi Odeh explained that this market served as a trial run for students, since the department is aiming to begin a routine farmers market as soon as next academic year.
Not only that, but Odeh also noted that the market helped take the learning opportunity for students in Agricultural Studies one step further by challenging them to grow, market, and sell produce.
“This allowed them to learn more about agribusiness and the different skills that students need to know in the agricultural industry,” said Odeh. “They handled everything from production to marketing to consumer.”
Agricultural Economics major Dervin Garcia was just one of the students working the farmers market on Thursday and noted that the project had helped him develop a better understanding of his Ag Markets and Pricing class.
“We had to figure out how much to sell the veggies and plants, how to put the booth together and where, and we had to find out the best way to let other students know about the market,” said Garcia.
Garcia reported that the project began mid-semester and that everyone was responsible for at least one aspect, including harvesting the produce that would be sold.
“Each student had to work about one hour to one and a half hours to wash and prepare the produce and bring it here,” said Garcia. “As a class, everyone was willing to work together for this project and it really brought students together.