Fresh is Best
"Freshness, variety, and local economics" are what sets Northampton Community College's (NCC) Garden Market apart, says Gary Warren, East 40 garden manager.
The organic produce sold in the Quad on NCC's Bethlehem campus on Wednesdays from 10:00 until 1:00 is freshly picked within an hour and a half of opening. Myra Saturen, a member of the college staff who frequently shops at the Garden Market, says, "I like to go [to the Garden Market] because...you can't buy anything fresher than that!" She also adds, "The students [and staff] who are selling the produce are very knowledgeable and take the time to talk to you" about the different items.
Some customers may be unfamiliar with the "wild food" that NCC's Garden Market offers. "We had students from East Hills Middle School volunteer in the garden with us, and we introduced them to sorrel," Warren remembers. "They asked where they could get it from. But the truth is, you can't, you can't get this [in many large grocery stores]."
One can, however, find sorrel at NCC's Garden Market, among many other varieties of produce. The East 40 Community Garden - the source of the market's produce - contains ten varieties of tomatoes, six varieties of cucumber, four varieties of squash, and several varieties of onions, turnips, greens, herbs, and much more. East 40 is also the home of five bee hives which produce honey sold at the Garden Market.
"We donate anything we don't sell to Easton's Veggie Van," Warren explains. The Veggie Van then distributes the produce to the West Ward of Easton, a neighborhood void of a full-service grocer with residents who often don't have cars. Warren, as well as the other many other contributors to NCC's community garden and market, pride themselves on their dedication in the local community and economy. "We try to directly contribute to overall community health," Warren says.
The market is open to the public.