Farmers market a fresh addition to GCU life

September 16, 2016 / by / 0 Comment
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It was a bounty of fresh food, $8 for all you can fit in a bag, at GCU's farmer's market Thursday.

It was a bounty of fresh food, $8 for all you can fit in a bag, at GCU’s farmers market Thursday.

Photos and Story by Mark Heller 
GCU News Bureau

Turns out nothing attracts a crowd like inexpensive, fresh produce.

Many who wandered past Fresh Fusion inside the Grand Canyon University Student Union between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday saw tables full of fruits and vegetables.

A burgeoning farmers market.

Oranges, peaches and pears, oh my! Fruit and veggies aplenty overflowed from tables.

Oranges, peaches and pears, oh my! Fruit and veggies aplenty overflowed from tables.

For $8, customers were given a brown paper lunch bag. Whatever you could fit in the bag was yours to keep (plastic bags were also provided after the bag was filled for easy carry).

At 10:45 a.m. the line stretched from Fresh Fusion to Einstein Bagels. By 1 p.m. the produce pickings remaining were slim, as an estimated 200 students came and went with a bag full of healthy foods. A few split open from students trying to cram one more peach, apple, banana or bag of carrots.

“I’d say that’s success,” said Zach Casavant, marketing and communications director for Sodexo & GCU Dining.

The second farmers market of the year — the first occurred during Welcome Week — offered nearly 20 different varieties of produce. According to GCU’s dining services, the produce came from various farms around Arizona and California: Apples, avocados, bananas, beans, carrots, figs, grapes, kale, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, spinach, tomatoes and more.

Casavant said certain selections will vary for future farmers markets based on availability, climate and season.

Danaysha Smith braved the early lines to get her pick of the produce, as these types of markets fit in nicely with the sophomore’s lifestyle and, more importantly, her budget.

“I’ll definitely be taking advantage of these,” she said. “Eight dollars for all you can fit is the best.”

What to get at the farmer's market? The line snaked out the door.

What to get at the farmers market? The line snaked out the door.

The next farmers market is scheduled for Oct. 7 outside Chaparral Hall, at which point Casavant hopes to conduct these markets on a weekly basis — rotating between Thursdays and Fridays — either outside Chaparral or another outdoor location TBD when the weather cools.

“It’s taken off,” Casavant said as he monitored the line of students waiting to buy.

GCU dining is also planning cooking and chef demonstrations — the first is scheduled for Sept. 26 — that could feature sushi, steak or other cuisines. Casavant said students and employees should follow @GCUDining on Twitter for the most updated information and events.

“I hope it stays and gets bigger and better,” Smith said. “I stood in line for awhile but it was worth it.”

Contact Mark Heller at (602) 639-7516 or mark.heller@gcu.edu


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