Groceries Draw B.U. Women

Sep 10, 2008 6:04 PM. All work by , ,

BOSTON—Local produce got "picked up" and taken home by campus women for a second week in a row at today's B.U. Farmer's Market. The event, hosted by B.U. Dining Services, takes place in front of the GSU every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. until mid-October.

Although the setup is more like a roadside stand and less like the bustling bazaar of Government Center, the little shop does a good job representing a handful of local farms from Maine to New Jersey. The casual yet classy white tents and covered tables were an attractive detour for customers, like Rebecca Shanker (SAR '09), who curiously wandered in.

"I'm not a big organic person," said Shanker, "but I always like locally grown food." The cheerful senior was on her way to a PDP class and simply stopped by to investigate. She was in and out in roughly 10-15 minutes and walked off with some tomatoes, green beans and an eggplant big enough to prop a fire door.

"I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this, but we'll see!" added Shanker as she boldly approached the register, eggplant in hand.

Strangely, eggplant is one of the more popular items B.U. is selling. Other shopper favorites include ears of corn from Rehobeth, MA ($0.50 ea.), bundled green beans from Hope, RI ($1.50 ea.) and an assortment of peaches, nectarines and apples from South Dartmouth, MA ($0.50 ea.). And perhaps for the fun of contradiction, the "farmer's market" even sells a variety of breads, cookies, cakes and honey to top it off with.

The entire event is something that CAS senior Colleen Ryan sees as a resource for students that B.U. has failed to publicize.

"I don't know if B.U. advertised before," said Ryan, "because this is just something I randomly saw."

For off-campus residents like Ryan, buying groceries is a routine task. And with a college student's budget, buying freshly grown produce from small farms can be an expensive but necessary habit, at least for this Pennslyvannia native.

"It's not a question of if I would want to pay more, because I certainly would if it meant supporting a local cause," explained Ryan.

Despite the poor media attention, the little produce stand is attracting a lot of attention. The little shop, the size of a Warren corner-double, had 9-12 people lined up for the register and enough browsing around to qualify for a housing violation.

And while passerbys were hounded near the area: "free stuff [from SAO] without selling your soul!" a promotion for yo-yos and popsicles; two girls shouting "Wanna get a job supporting Obama?" and then the usual pitch from Bank of America and Citizen's Bank closer to the GSU; right in the crossfire was the B.U. Farmer's Market -- passively offering no shouting; no commitment; no yo-yos.

Unfortunately, B.U. Dining Services has yet to respond to questions regarding the event. Even event coordinator Amy Goodrich, outside in her pink sun-dress and winning grin, could not be swayed to comment on the unanimous success of the grass roots farmer's market.

edit post