Losing market value

The farmers market was back at Pierce College last week after it’s month long hiatus in July, as the farmers market took a break from it’s regularly scheduled Thursday time.

When speaking with Sarah Seelinger, the market manager of the farmers market, she said that due to the high temperatures in July, the market decided to wait until the fall to re-open.

Seelinger mentioned that the vendors at the market pay a surcharge to Pierce College which will support the Financial Aid program. Seelinger let us know that the market is not only for students and faculty of the school, but rather they want the market to be a community event that everyone can enjoy.

According to Seelinger, the market advertises all over the surrounding area in the hopes that it will attract more of the local residents in the Woodland Hills area.

“It is all about bringing local farms to this area and, supporting small farms as well as artisan prepared foods,” Seelinger said.

The main focus at the market is sheer quality. Seelinger expressed a heightened interest in making sure that the quality of the food and produce sold at this market was top tier.

Seelinger explained that the quality of produce at the farmers market would surpass that of a regular supermarket because of how fresh and locally grown it is. There are no pesticides used in the growing process of the produce. They are also sustainably grown as well as nutritious. She states that all of the artisan prepared foods are small batch and made with just as high quality ingredients.

Marisol Ramirez, who is a financial aid technician at Pierce College, reflected on her time at the market that day with a plethora fresh produce in hand. She mentioned that she had been coming since the farmers market opened this past July.

Ramirez heard about the farmers market from co-workers in her offices at Pierce. She told us about how excited she and her co- workers were when they found out that the farmers market would be returning to campus in the fall.

“The community, I think that this is a place that can bring us together, I think that is what we are lacking at Pierce College,” Ramirez said.

Her hope is that with the start of the farmers market back on campus, that students and faculty alike will attend and enjoy all that it has to offer. She hopes to see many more faculty and students in attendance to help the market grow.

One of the more popular vendors at the market was Hilda Llerenas. Llerenas was representing Flor De Lima, a local fruit juice business based in San Fernando. She explained that her juice was “made with no sugar and no water. Made fresh every morning.” Llerenas also explained that her booth is at the farmers market every Thursday selling her pressed juices.

According to an email from Seelinger, the farmers market is looking for a new location due to low profits from this past week. They are currently exploring options within the college administration in hopes they can persuade them of the benefits of having a farmers market on campus.