The Trojan Farmers’ Market, a weekly event beginning this year, debuted on McCarthy Quad Wednesday.
The farmers’ market, which took place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., welcomed vendors from produce to artisan soaps.
The market is a joint undertaking by USC Hospitality and Undergraduate Student Government. They hope that it will become a convenient place for Trojans to shop for groceries.
“The intention of the Trojan Farmers’ Market at USC is to make a unique meeting place for students and faculty around a healthy lifestyle that everyone can enjoy,” the Facebook event page reads.
Much of the produce at the farmers’ market was local and organic. According to Damien Joyner, a vendor for Smit Orchards, all of the company’s fruits, nuts and oils are certified organic and grown in San Diego. Smit does not ship its products farther than two hours away to guarantee freshness.
Though health might have been a main motivation for USC Hospitality to start the farmers’ market, students have noticed other benefits.
“They gave us a lot of samples, and the price was pretty good,” Emily Jiang, a freshman majoring in accounting, said.
Students also seemed impressed by the amount of options offered.
“[The farmers’ market] had an amazing selection of fruits and vegetables. All of my friends and I bought strawberries and blueberries,” Aaron Rifkind, a sophomore majoring in international relations, said. “There was tons of ethnic cuisine, too, which I really enjoyed.”
The Trojan Farmers’ Market is not limited to fruits and vegetables. Stands sold hummus, kettle corn and boba tea. Kettle corn appeared to be an especially popular item for sale.
“It’s so good that I could probably bathe in this all day, but I’d be super sticky afterwards,” Brian Ramirez, a fifth-year architecture student, said of the treat.
USG is looking to cater the market to students’ interests. They even asked students what kinds of vendors they would like to see at the market using Twitter.
Creating a farmers’ market on Trousdale Parkway was one of the campaign platforms of USG President Christian Kurth and Vice President Ryan Park.
“In my USG experience before, I had always worked really closely with [USC] Hospitality,” said Kurth. “We wanted to get started on this right away so we approached them last year and worked on it over the summer.”
According to Kurth, USC Hospitality is responsible for the business side of the farmers’ market, while USG is in charge of the student aspect, including selecting a club to join the vendors on the quad each week.
“We wanted to make sure students were given the opportunity and would have the chance to get some face time,” Kurth said.
Interested clubs can apply online to be part of the farmers’ market and will mainly be selected on a first-come, first-served basis.
Though Kurth said he was happy with the turnout for the market today, he expects more traffic in the future.
“Obviously today was the involvement fair, which was huge. We kind of expected less traffic today, in addition, because the sorority girls are not allowed to go to McCarthy Quad,” said Kurth. “However, everyone I talked to had really great feedback.”
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