Students will be without homemade honey, tamales, cupcakes and more, as the farmers market that brought local businesses to sell their unique items at Cal State Long Beach for over four years has been temporarily discontinued after the original contract with So Cal Farmer’s Market expired.
The event on Friendship Walk that took place Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the past few semesters has been halted, with the promise to return to campus soon, according to Associated Students Inc.
“I feel like the farmers market promoted more sustainable practices, and it just brought me such joy to see it on campus,” Diana Sanchez, junior environmental science and policy major said. “I miss the goodies, like the popsicles. I would like to see more vegan options and baked goods when they bring it back.”
Student organizers are in search of a new vendor after allowing their contract with So Cal Farmer’s Market to end for the first time, without a new vendor lined up to fill its place. They are now looking for an umbrella company that works with a variety of individual farms and businesses to fulfil their objective of finding a new time slot for the market.
ASI is communicating with farmers markets throughout Long Beach to find a vendor that has an availability in the afternoon. They are hoping to find a time between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., or 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., to better accommodate students who are leaving campus.
“One of the conversations our student leaders had was to look for a [vendor who will host a] later time in the afternoon so that when students purchase large amounts of fruits and vegetables, they can take them home, rather than having to lug them to class,” said Taylor Buhler-Scott, ASI program manager.
Students who get out of class late and are unable to attend the farmers market have requested future events run later in the day, according to ASI. It is now up to ASI to find a company that has an availability for these students.
“I think it’s convenient that the farmers market is held on campus, so if we need to pick something up between classes, we can,” Amber Ceja, junior environmental science and policy major said. “I really like the idea of the farmers market being later in the day, because I would be able to benefit from that since I get out of class late.”
ASI hopes to have the freshly baked goods and locally grown produce return by next semester or the fall of next year, although no official plans have been made yet, according to Buhler-Scott.
The goal for the new program is to expand from not only selling items to students, according to ASI, but to also make it a more wholesome teaching opportunity for students. ASI plans to teach students about nutrition and healthy lifestyles to bring a new element that will elevate the farmers market when it returns.
“I miss it. I definitely appreciated the farmers market when it was here,” said Adeline Morley, senior environmental science and policy major. “I feel like whatever office was in charge kind of let us down in letting it go away and stay away for as long as it will be. That being said, I understand that policies change so hopefully they’ll be able to bring it back soon, and it’ll be here to stay.”