Living in the heart of North Philadelphia without a supermarket in sight, most Temple students struggle to find fresh produce and groceries.
On Sept. 16, however, that will change.
Students for Environmental Action has taken the initiative to bring a farmers market to Temple.
Organic farming is on its way to surpassing the traditional ways of buying groceries, and Temple is here to help. According to the Yelm Earthworm and Castings Farm, located in Yelm, Wash., “the sales of organic products are currently the fastest growing sector of agriculture.” Organic produce has increased in production by 20 percent each year.
The United States is a worldwide leader in organic farming, in addition to Japan and Europe. Organic farming actually saves farmers money because it gives them better returns on land and resource utilization compared to conventional farming.
Temple students will be able to enjoy the benefits of fresh produce next Tuesday, Sept. 16, when Pennsylvania farmers line Liacouras Walk selling various organic foods.
Junior geography and urban studies major Korin Tangtrakul has worked closely with the university to get the farmers market to become a regular vendor at Temple.
“It is important to provide college students with the groceries they can’t buy at 7-Eleven or CVS,” Tangtrakul said.
As a part of Temple’s “green”campaign and the establishing of the Office of Sustainability, SEA hopes to promote organic farming and healthy eating.
“Now that the Office of Sustainability is around, SEA will have many more opportunities to let the campus know just how important it is to live an environmentally friendly and sustainable lifestyle in order to combat climate change,” said Danny Dougherty, a junior education major and SEA member.
Unlike before, Temple will now participate in the “green” campaign to its highest potential.
“The environmentally friendly voices within Temple only consisted of a few dedicated students,” Dougherty said. “The Office of Sustainability will be able to voice the concerns many of us have about Temple’s recycling program, energy usage, and overall environmental concerns about the school directly to President Hart and her administration.”
Jessica Gruber, president of SEA, said the event will help make long-term environmental innovations because of the locality of the food being sold.
“The farmers market is a very important project that will help give local farmers venues to sell their goods [because] local foods are environmentally friendly,” Gruber said. “[The food] doesn’t travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to reach our plates.This is a very important issue because buying locally can ultimately minimize the amount of emissions that are put into the air.”
This and many other projects planned for the year will help achieve the goals set by the Office of Sustainability.
The effort to cut carbon emissions is important to Temple, just as the action to do so is becoming more and more popular with each passing week.
The farmers market is a continuation of the green movement and will be visible to all passing students. With the support of Temple students, staff and faculty, along with local residents, SEA members said they hope the Liacouras farmers market will not only be a success, but also help make Temple one of the “greenest” universities.
Monica Sellecchia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.