Grace Carney, Contributing Writer
In the midst of running around the dining halls in search of something fresh, nutritious, and sanitary to consume, one may find that there is a limited number of inviting produce options, depending on the given day. Whether it’s a Granny Smith apple doused in a shiny clear coating of pesticides or a genetically modified banana whose skin is covered with dozens of brown spots, it’s not always easy to find produce at its peak because not all types of produce are naturally fresh all year round. Luckily, SUNY Oneonta students have the option to obtain fresh, optimal, locally grown produce every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Netzer Quad.
Not only does the weekly farmer’s market offer fresh fruits and vegetables, but also an assorted bunch of jams in multiple flavors, fruity pastries, and delightful blooms. Best of all, the vendors keep prices affordable without sacrificing the quality of the goods. The SUNY Oneonta farmer’s market offers a wide variety of produce including berries, apples, peaches, watermelons, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, onions, squash, potatoes, cauliflower, cucumbers, and basil, among others. The produce is planted and fertilized seasonally. Everything is grown locally at either Middle Field Orchard or along the Finger Lakes.
The growing process begins in May or June depending on the particular seed being planted. The crops that are produced annually also depend on several factors which vary, such as cost, soil, the weather during that particular year, and maintenance difficulty. While the fruit is sprayed with a substance to protect it from insects and harsh rains or winds, the spray is low in pesticides and derived from organic materials.
Sustainability is exemplified at its peak at the farmer’s market because everything is locally grown, fresh, and real. The products are wholesome and complete, wonderfully authentic, and sold in their natural state. You can trust that the produce found at the farmer’s market is both genuinely pure, and also fantastically delectable. “The best part of farming,” as stated by a local vendor himself, “is the outcome, once the carefully cultivated produce finally hits a perfectly ripened state, when the final products can be sold.”
Next time, before heading into a dining hall and worrying that you won’t be able to find appealing fresh fruits or vegetables, consider stopping by the farmer’s market on Tuesdays and stocking up on 100% fresh, local, pure, simple, tasty produce!