By Robin March
As the the seasons shift, chilly weather is coming into effect and students, staff, and locals are are ready for another Humboldt County winter. Arcata’s weekly Saturday Farmer’s market offers a variety of fresh produce to all students, and now that the weather is colder the fall crop has stocked the tables.
Many HSU students take advantage of and enjoy what the market has to offer, but many students are unaware of are the new varieties of seasonal fruits and vegetables that flood the market as the seasons change.
Out with sun-ripened peaches and tomatoes and in with beans and new varieties of squash, the market offers multiple new flavors and recipe options to students, many who are not aware of the additional benefits from the new produce and seasonal buying selections.
“I don’t (shop seasonally), I just go to the farmer’s market and whatever is there is there,” Ashley Villavicencio, 20, a journalism major, said regarding the seasonal shopping options that are now in abundance. Before moving to Arcata, Villavicencio had never went to farmer’s markets, but since checking out the one in town she has continued to go. She enjoys the fresh produce as well as giving back to the community by supporting the local growers, and she likes the atmosphere as well.
“I really don’t know anything about anything seasonal, but I love the live music, it just adds so much to the vibe of the market, it makes it a lot more community friendly,” Villavicencio said.
Having crops that adjusts to the seasons is beneficial in many ways-less distance to travel which means less emissions put out, riper and fully flavored crops that grow in their ideal conditions, directly supporting the community by purchasing from local farmer’s, as well as saving a buck or two when stocking up on groceries because of the abundance of them- summer squash is currently sold at around three pounds- winter squash can be snagged at $1.
“I buy seasonal produce on a regular basis, as a matter of fact all of the fruit I buy are from Humboldt County itself,” Earl Dippre, 22, a religious studies major. Dippre has lived in Arcata his entire life and said that he only buys from Humboldt county because he doesn’t like buying fruit that travels from far away.
One of the benefits from buying local and seasonal produce is the lack of distance the food needs to travel in order to make it to markets, which normally offer produce that was freshly picked in the morning. Produce that doesn’t need to travel far gets to ripen the longest, leading to better overall taste and nutrition for shoppers.
“You can always get some really healthy food, it’s always really fresh,” Zachary Lathouris, 22, journalism and media studies major, said during a break on campus Wednesday afternoon. Living in the campus apartments, Lathouris said that the market offers reasonably priced food that coincides well with his limited meal plan, as well as a wide variety of food that always offers something new and that tastes good.
The market features local farms, many with a variety of organic options to choose from with menus that change at different times throughout the year, and face to face connections with the farmer’s that make the variety of fresh produce and goods possible.
Lauren Ballard of I & I Farm was busy at work Saturday while assisting shoppers, but said over an email she enjoys being able to offer students who are new to the area fresh produce they may have never tried before. Many students are interested in the varieties of food the market offers and in supporting the farmer’s themselves.
“I like to support organic farmer’s because I think shopping locally supports a strong, sustainable community,” Dippre said. He also enjoys the vibe and friendly atmosphere that the market offers shoppers as they shop, from many different food stands to live music and art.
The market will continue until the last Saturday in November.