Despite all of the media attention on eating right, not everyone gets the message. Especially those who don’t get their information from “mainstream” sources.
A 2011 survey conducted by Oregon State University and published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that both male and female college students’ nutritional intake was less than ideal.
In an effort to ensure that UC Davis students are getting their recommended allotment of fruits and vegetables, the Davis Farmers Market has revamped, rebranded and relocated the UC Davis Farmers Market to the Silo Union.
“Our primary goal is to get our students to eat more fruits and vegetables,” said Jason Lorgan, associate director of UC Davis Stores, which is a sponsor of the UCD Farmers Market. “This will be a festive atmosphere. It will be more fun than walking a produce aisle.”
Linda Adams, a registered dietitian and UCD Dining Services’ director of sustainability and nutrition, added: “This definitely improves access to fresh, local produce. … It does benefit the campus student body as well as the faculty and staff.”
The kickoff for the updated market is Wednesday, April 4. The UCD Farmers Market will run from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each Wednesday for 10 weeks, weather permitting. Special for the kickoff only, there will be face painting and cooking demonstrations, along with an early release of “The Davis Farmers Market Cookbook” ($26.88 including tax).
“We chose the Silo area because it’s a food hub,” said Randii MacNear, manager of the Davis Farmers Market. “People are out and about for lunch. It’s a great time to be out on campus. Plus, the farmers at UC Davis will pack up and move over to the Farmers Market in the park.”
Growers who will be on the campus are the Cabral Family Orchards, Mt. Moriah Farms, Toledo Farms, Bullfrog Farms, Fruit Factory, UC Davis Student Farm, Stenel Farms, Williamson Farms, Shoup Farms, and — as soon as the cherries ripen — Gotelli Cherries.
“These are the same farmers who’ve been with us,” said MacNear, referring to when the market was found on the East Quad. “We lost some foot traffic (on the Quad) and just wanted to go where there were more people.”
The Silo Union has several eateries and two food trucks — Shah’s Halal and Star Ginger — to bring in customers. The Gunrock Pub and Harvest Bakery are also there providing soups, salads and baked goods. UCD Dining Services will highlight different growers and produce with samples.
While the market is not just for students, there are special services for students.
“Students on meal plans can use their meal cards at the Farmers Market,” said Danielle Lee, sustainability manager for UCD Dining Services. “They just visit the red cart where they exchange meal (credits) for vouchers.”
In addition to a new location, the UCD Farmers Market now has a new logo. It is the same watermelon slice as the Davis Farmers Market but has UC Davis in place of Davis.
“We had several people tell us they didn’t want to buy anything at the (East Quad) because they didn’t want to buy anything that was in competition with their hometown market,” MacNear said. “Sharing the same logo will let them know we’re together. We’ve also done the same thing with the market at Sutter (Davis Hospital).”
The Thursday morning market at the hospital, 2000 Sutter Place in West Davis, will open for its second season later this spring, MacNear said.
The UCD Farmers Market is also eco-friendly. In keeping with a zero-waste initiative, guests are encouraged to bring reusable bags. Also, there will be a full-scale compost site.
“It definitely ties into sustainability and supporting the community,” Lee said. “We can increase (the students’) fruit and vegetable intake, and they can learn why it’s important to support regional growers.”
— Reach Kim Orendor at firstname.lastname@example.org