Suffolk hosts first ever Farmers’ Market during the SUSC Green Week

Students and faculty alike had the chance to buy fresh, local produce on Tuesday at Suffolk University’s first-ever farmers’ market.

As part of Suffolk’s Earth Week event series, the Suffolk University Sustainability Committee (SUSC) partnered with Sodexo to set up a stand where passersby could choose from a variety of locally sourced organic fruits and vegetables.

These included pea greens, fava beans, rhubarb, wild leeks and Yankee Macintosh apples, many of which nearly sold out over the course of just a couple of hours.

“This was very successful,” said Sodexo General Manager and farmers’ market Manager Bob Cirame in an interview with The Suffolk Journal. “We easily sold 100 apples, almost 25 pounds of rhubarb, two pounds of pea greens and a lot more of everything else.”

Kyle Crozier

Cirame estimated that more than 30 faculty purchased produce during the few hours the market was active, and several dozen students.

This second event in the Earth Week series is part of a larger effort of the SUSC to empower, educate and enable students to be more sustainable citizens. Other events still to come this week include a sustainability fair hosted by the Suffolk Environmental Club, and a sustainability movie screening.

The farm that the market’s fruits and vegetables were sourced from was Eva’s Garden, a local three-acre organic farm located in Dartmouth, MA. According to their website, the farm specializes in culinary herbs, greens, flowers and wild foraged goods, all of which are most often sold to local grocery stores or chefs.

“We are trying to show the community what’s local, where you can get these things locally,” said Cirame. “It’s always better when you have an option to buy something fresh and straight from the farm. It also works well for Earth Week, because it’s local. The food doesn’t have to travel as far, and then doesn’t have to go through the same transportation process as most foods do.”

Helping plan several of these events has been Director of Facilities and Administrator of the SUSC, Ashley Lindsey.

“We want people to feel like they are taking something away from these events, something th

ey can use in their own lives,” said Lindsey in an interview with The Journal.

A primary goal for Lindsey with the committee has been for Suffolk to act as educators to students, using new programs like the farmers’ market, or the green tour through Suffolk’s most sustainable building areas.

“With the success from these events, we will be able to see how they will all be able to be repeated on their own, like with the farmers’ market, it would be easy to run that on an ongoing basis,” said Lindsey. “[Earth Week] will be a really powerful tool in deciding where to go next.”

As an incentive for students to live more sustainably, several Earth Week events are providing students with reusable daily-carry objects, like Suffolk sustainability-themed YETI thermoses, reusable straws, Suffolk recycling-themed reusable bags, a raffled bike and succulents.

Kyle Crozier

The farmers’ market proved to be an example of successful student education and interaction, as Cirame felt that students and faculty were highly responsive. “I really didn’t think I was going to find something like this in the 73 Tremont lobby,” said freshman marketing major Jeffrey Adams in an interview with The Journal after spending time at the market. “If Suffolk is still doing this kind of stuff when I have a kitchen, I know I would stock up on all kinds of vegetables and fruits. It means something that Suffolk is trying  to do this for us.”

For on-campus students, a market like this would likely be the closest possible venue by which they could purchase fresh produce, and it would be available through their meal-plans.

“The Sodexo food is fine,” said Adams. “But imagine if we were actually encouraged to make food on our own. To have that encouraged and that opportunity granted would be really meaningful for student life on campus.”

Cirame predicted that with the success of the event, it is likely that the farmers market is something that the Suffolk community will be seeing again soon.

“We said, ‘hey let’s try this and see how this goes,’”Cirame said. “I knew, and still know, that this is going to be something that happens every year now. It is always going to be Earth Week and not just Earth Day.”