Farmers market squashed for the season

Photo by Ali Miller

By McKenna Streed

The Clackamas Print

On Wednesday, Oct. 25, Clackamas Community College had its final farmers market of the season. The market is every Wednesday. Located in front of the community center, it starts during the summer and runs through the beginning of fall up till the end of October.

The produce is lush and green with splashes of color from some vegetables that are offered such as the beets, carrots and different lettuces.

Christopher Konieczka, horticulture instructor here at CCC, has been a part of the market for five years. He has played a large role in its continuation since the market has only been around for the past seven years.

“It’s not really a farmers market,” said Konieczka. “It’s more of a farm stand … this is specifically from the organic farming program and the horticulture department.”

This food is grown right in CCC’s backyard as part of the horticulture classes offered. “This is stuff we grew on campus, students harvested, washed, brought over here and sold,” said Konieczka.

The food is not free but is offered at incredibly low prices and is sold to anyone, not just students. The market tries to benefit the struggling college students and help them stay healthy and fed in every way they can.

The profits for all organic food sold goes back into the general student scholarship fund so that the money circulates back to those who need it. So buying
from the school both feeds you but can also help pay for your schooling depending on if you have applied for scholarships through the school.

This student-run stand is part of their class grade and classmates take turns working as a participation aspect of their grade. Each term students have to spend a selected number of hours working at the stand and assisting in selling the goods to pass the course.

Student Reiden Gustafson was working her shift when she pointed out that students only work a third of the time the market is open. “Each of the Horticulture classes is offered once a term … this is my second year and it’s my last term here at CCC,” said Gustafson.

Each student wants to be there and learn how to grow organic and easily sustainable food for their community. With the food so closely monitored by our future farmers, it ensures fresh and organic vegetables in their peak of ripeness.

Many students reap the benefits of the cheaper, fresh, organic food. Fresh vegetables are important to students and where they were grown.

“I love the diversity of the vegetables, and how fresh they seem, and that you know where they came from,” said Sara Cone, a student that was shopping around.

The market is a great way to talk to students about the ways they grow the vegetables and different techniques that are organic and easy for anyone to use.

It also is a great place to find new recipes that students who buy the vegetables have found and how they have used this local produce. This market not only gives you recipes but can get you out of your shell with how friendly the sellers are and how knowledgeable they are about agricultural production and the vegetables themselves.

The market runs from 11 a.m. till 1 p.m. The market has become very popular and if you don’t get there early someone else might take what you want. They don’t have an endless supply but the food goes quick.

The market is done for the year but starts back up again in the summer where you can find their newest crops. Keep an eye out for next year’s announcements for CCC’s farmers market.