By Kara Blomquist
Ripe produce, freshly made food and eco-friendly organizations. The Waco Downtown Farmers Market is coming to campus.
The farmers market will bring some of its vendors to campus from 3 to 6 p.m. today. The vendors will be in Traditions Plaza between the Bill Daniel Student Center and Carroll Science Hall. Environmentally-conscious organizations from both Baylor and the Waco community will also have booths on campus at this time.
“The whole point of it is to celebrate God’s creation,” said Smith Getterman, sustainability coordinator. “What better way is there than to bring local farmers on campus and show kind of the bountiful harvest that we’re able to get just here locally?”
This is the Creation Day event. In past years, Creation Week was celebrated. It consisted of many small activities spread throughout the week. The Sustainability Student Advisory Board and the Office of Sustainability created one event this year in the hopes that this bigger event will be more successful, Getterman said.
Vendors who will be on campus include Artisan Oven, Seeder Shak, Vanderpool Gourmet Gardens, The Home Grown Farm, Co-Town Crepes, Happy Stuff, Richardson Farms and Dairy Meadows Soap.
Getterman said he hopes this event will increase awareness of the weekly farmers market.
“This is just kind of a taste of what they do on Saturday,” he said. “It’s really to get people excited here on campus but also to make people aware of what’s happening literally just across the highway.”
From 9 a.m.to 1 p.m. every Saturday, local agricultural producers and artisan vendors sell goods at 400 South University Parks Drive. The farmers market was created in November 2011.
Fort Worth sophomore Claire Allen, member of the Sustainability Student Advisory Board, said students can get involved in the Waco community by visiting the market.
“I think that sometimes we’re so isolated on campus, but going to the farmers market is an easy way that we go out into the community and kind of feel like a Wacoan, not just a Baylor student,” she said.
Allen said she wants students to realize shopping at the local market makes a positive impact on the community.
“While it might not be possible for all students, doing it when we can or just enjoying it makes a difference,” she said. “Going and showing support for the community makes a difference, saying that we care about Waco, saying that we care about wanting farmers to succeed locally.”
Terry Vanderpool, president of the Waco Downtown Farmers Market, said he hopes students will speak with the farmers.
“We ought to know where our food comes from, who grows it and how they grow it,” he said. “So it’s very important for students to talk to the farmers and ask them, you know, ‘Where do you grow your crops, and how do you grow them?’”
Allen said students should also listen to what the representatives of the organizations have to say.
“Each person that will be there has a different reason why they’re sustainable, and I hope that students will be open-minded, learn a lot from them and just be ready to kind of challenge the way we’re living,” she said.
Other organizations that will be at the event include The Wells Project, Campus Kitchen at Baylor University, Passport to Waco, Heart of Texas Urban Garden Coalition, Greater Waco Chamber, the ONE Campaign, Homestead Heritage, Straw to Bread and World Hunger Relief Inc.
Getterman said he wants the event to show students that sustainability impacts them in many ways.
“It’s so much more than just recycling and turning the lights off,” he said. “It’s poverty and education. It’s farming.”
Getterman said he hopes the different organizations coming to campus will help students understand this idea.
“It’s going to be a great opportunity for people to really get a comprehensive look at all the ways sustainability affects their lives,” he said.