GCU farmers’ market designed around local flavor, community conversation
By Rachelle Reeves
GCU News Bureau
The sights, smells and sounds are familiar to many students after the “E-Z Ups” tents go up on the Quad.
The fresh homemade salsa, hummus and tamales. The multicultural music. The conversation about organic, local food.
The first GCU Farmers’ Market of the fall takes place Wednesday on the Quad from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For students who have yet to experience the event, it’s more of a street fair vibe than an actual farmers’ market — with a range of local vendors selling homemade food and handmade crafts.
This year’s vendors include Valley businesses like Doctor Hummus, Mi Salsa, Jamburritos Cajun Chicken Grille Express, Lulu’s Italian Ice, and The Tamale Store.
Cristi Parker, who helped organize Farmers’ Market in her role as ASGCU multicultural director, said the event is designed to ignite students’ senses and generate community conversation.
Parker invited local businesses that, she said, would encourage students to ask questions about healthy eating and local ingredients. The atmosphere of lunch-time conversation amongst students and vendors has become a tradition on GCU’s campus.
“This event welcomes students to get involved in campus life as well as the Phoenix life,” Parker said. “It’s where vendors care to have a conversation.”
For The Tamale Store, the interaction with students is a refreshing change from the usual crowd at local farmers’ markets in the Valley.
Pauline Pimienta, daughter and part-owner of the Phoenix tamale-makers, said that GCU’s Farmers’ Market stood out from other Universities.
“We love going to GCU,” Pimienta said. “Everyone is so friendly and have a different perspective on food and sustainability. The younger generation is more willing to hear about organic food, going vegan, and why we need to recycle.”
Contact Rachelle Reeves at [email protected].