Pick up your trowels, grab your gardening gloves, and don an apron because UTSA may soon be growing a farmer’s market.
Perhaps you have heard of the local farmer’s markets in San Antonio at either the Botanical Gardens (located off of Broadway on 555 Funston Place) or at the Pearl Brewery, but what about a farmer’s market centered here at UTSA?
According to the San Antonio Farmer’s Market Association, “Eating seasonally and purchasing locally is important for local agriculture and it’s good for your health. Produce that is picked when ripe contains more vitamins and minerals than food that is picked green.”
Imagine being able to add shitake mushrooms the size of a fist and heirloom tomatoes so ripe and red to your organic pizza. Yum!
“It would be cool, I would go to get something for breakfast, and it would be a different change of pace from fast food,” said Alyssa Bunting, public relations major and public relations officer of the French Club.
“The way it started was in Go-Green,” President of the Green Society, chair of the go-Green Committee and current organizer of the establishment of UTSA Farmer’s Market, Merced Jezreel Carbajal said.
“Students would say that they wanted healthier food options. It started becoming common for students to ask us about the possibility of having a farmer’s market because they wanted to buy local and fresh food.”
“In Go-Green, we started talking about if it is something we could take on; however, in order for UTSA to bring in vendors of fresh produce onto campus, Business Affairs would want to first see a student poll or petition to show that students are interested and willing to support,” Carbajal said.
The members of Go-Green and the Green Society took down the names of students who would be interested in a UTSA farmer’s market during the Involvement Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 7. Currently, Go-Green and Green Society have a goal of 1,000 student signatures.
The UTSA Farmer’s Market would allow the attendance of not only students but also local community members. Assuming the market is built, will they come? Carbajal and the members of Go-Green think so.
A current issue of establishing the market is where to locate the market and who will be the vendors. Carbajal said, “A lot of schools that we have looked at already actually have a food market that comes to their school once a week and they have their vendors set up in their track field; they created a little farmer’s market on the field which could be one option for us. Another idea is to maybe, on the weekend, close a parking lot and have it there.”
Selling produce on campus will not be problematic with Aramark because Carbajal assures that “there will not be any complications; Aramark told us that there wouldn’t be a problem with the current vendors on campus, but we want to make sure that when our vendors do come, they have licenses and permits to sell.”
There is certainly a time to harvest, and UTSA may soon be reaping the benefits of an on-campus market stocked with the freshest produce.
For more information and to show an interest in bringing a farmer’s market to UTSA, like the Facebook page: “Bring a Farmer’s Market to UTSA.” Also, for information on local farmer’s markets in San Antonio, contact: Penny Gonzalez at [email protected]