Campus Farmers’ Markets Draw Foodies Into Street Fair Atmosphere

September 27, 2012 / by / 0 Comment

By Cooper Nelson
GCU News Bureau

The enticing lunchtime smells of homemade tamales, meat pies and desserts will be wafting around campus with the return of GCU’s farmers’ market.

Visitors will again have the chance to purchase fresh, locally produced food and handmade crafts in an atmosphere that creates a place for students and co-workers to mingle and munch together in the soothing fall weather.

The farmers’ market is scheduled for Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Quad outside GCU Arena. Ten Valley food vendors already have signed up for the event, with more expected to set up tables to sell everything from hummus to flavored popcorn and pulled pork, according to event organizers with Associated Students of GCU student government.

Handmade meat pies from AZ Food Crafters and other fresh, locally produced lunchtime fare is just a quick walk away from GCU's classrooms and offices during Tuesday's farmers' market.

Last year’s campus farmers’ markets evolved into popular GCU social gatherings.

“Something cool about the farmers’ market is that you get to see our academic or finance counselors, professors and deans come out of their office and be out and about,” said junior Samy Carlon, who helped organize the event as ASGCU multicultural director.

Vendors scheduled for Tuesday’s event include Dr. Hummus, which makes everything from zero trans-fat red pepper hummus to vegan dips to homemade pita chips — all ideal for stashing away in the office for an afternoon snack. Other vendors include Torched Goodness, known for its crème brûlée food truck and organic free-range meats.

Amber Christenberry, a senior and member of ASGCU, said she enjoyed setting up farmers’ markets on campus last year because it brought high-quality local food vendors to campus in a street-fair atmosphere.

GCU Farmers’ Markets  
When/Where: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday on the quad outside GCU Arena. More info available on the farmers’ market Facebook page.

Vendors Include: AZ Food Crafters, which makes hand pies filled with local meats and veggies.

Pork on a Fork. Hungry for some BBQ? The pulled pork and brisket are perfect for sandwiches, or just eating with a fork.

Offbeat Boutique, run by GCU accounting employees Bethany Trapp and Hilary Forrester, sells handmade decorative items. Half of their proceeds will help purchase artwork for GCU’s Thunderground. 


“It was a really fun, well-organized, different event for (GCU’s) campus because you only get to see that stuff
if you go to places like Glendale Glitters
or the State Fair,” Christenberry said.

GCU introduced the farmers’ market on campus last March to promote healthier, locally produced food. Former ASGCU multicultural director Matt Muchna, who graduated from GCU in May, put on the original event. A second market on April 3 attracted a dozen vendors and nearly 500 students, faculty, staff and visitors from the surrounding community.

With the growing campus population, ASGCU hopes to double its farmers’ market attendance.

Vendors such as Eddie Castillo of AZ Food Crafters
said lunch fare like their handcrafted baked meat pies, soups and salads did well with the college crowd.

“We are passionate about our food and passionate about providing healthy, clean food,” Castillo said. “We want to bring our food to a community that wants it: a community like GCU.”

Contact Cooper Nelson at 639.7511 or

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