Students no longer need to weave through a crowded Higuera Street to enjoy fresh, local produce.
Campus Health & Wellbeing held the grand opening of the Cal Poly Farmer’s Market Tuesday, May 7 on Mustang Way. The market will be held on the first and third Tuesday of each month, from 3:30-5:30 p.m., according to organizers.
Five vendors lined Mustang Way at the inaugural market, selling fresh products like bread, fruit, meat, cheese and an assortment of vegetables.
“We just wanted to provide readily available products and fresh goods to students,” Campus Health & Wellbeing educator Christine Nelson said.
The farmers market is made possible through a $130,000 donation from the Cal State University. The funding includes $30,000 for The Sustainable Food Hub Project, which provides accessible services, support and resources such as the Cal Poly Farmer’s Market, the Community Garden and the Cal Poly Food Pantry.
“I like how chilled out it is,” animal science freshman Mack Croxdale said. “It’s definitely better that it’s not so crowded and that it’s like just a few of them, so I don’t have so many choices to choose from.”
Products for the market are sold by both Cal Poly and local vendors, including the Cal Poly Dairy and the Cal Poly Organic Farm.
“We’re defining local farms within [San Luis Obispo] County only,” Nelson said. “From Los Osos [and] Arroyo Grande to Shandon — all over [San Luis Obispo] County they’re participating.”
Business senior Gianna Prainito works on the Cal Poly Organic Farm on campus.
“It’s changed a lot,” Prainito said. “It’s more kind of student-oriented, and we make most of the decisions. I want to know where my food comes from, and I want to know how much work it takes.”
The products from the Cal Poly Organic Farm are sold at the Cal Poly Farmers Market, at the downtown market on Thursdays and at the Madonna Inn on Saturdays.
“We’re really excited just to see this thrive and how the farmer’s market is really going to infuse a culture of health and wellbeing on our campus,” Nelson said. “We’re just excited to see it build[ing] momentum and getting staff, faculty and students all coming together around food.”