Farmers Markets Grow Healthy Students

Cheyenne Johnson
AS Beat Reporter

Photo By: Cheyenne Johnson

Welcome to college, freshmen of University of California Santa Barbara. Welcome to the midterms, finals and papers that will determine your grades, late nights at the library working on last-minute assignments, the ceaseless mayhem of Isla Vista (IV for short) and, for those of you taking up residence in the cozy UCSB dorms, meal plans. Ortega, De La Guerra (DLG), Carrillo and Portola will soon become your stops for food and universal meeting places for all your friends.

But once the initial thrill of eating as much pre-made food as you can stomach wears of (and trust me, it will), your belly will start craving an alternate fare. There will come a time when you’ll have to cook—and by starting small during freshman year, you could become the ultimate roomie in IV later on.

The best place to begin your foodie escapades are the local farmers markets that set up shop in Goleta and downtown Santa Barbara. These venues offer fresh fruits and vegetables, even cheeses and nuts, that all come from local farmers in the Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Farmers markets offer students the rare opportunity to meet the farmers who grow and make their food with freshness and healthiness that cannot be found in the produce of supermarkets.

Prices are generally comparable to places like Ralphs and Vons, and are sometimes even cheaper. Three containers of strawberries will cost you $5, or you can mix and match strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries for $10. Zucchini costs $1.50 a pound and fresh, ripe peaches average $2.50 a pound. Prices change with the seasons and a variety of nutrients can be added to your diet if you keep up with the newer, cheaper produce.

Farmers markets offer a welcome break from studying and the IV scene. Fresh air mingled with some fresh fruits and vegetables could be just the stress relief you need, so stop by one of these markets when you have a bit of free time. The farmers will thank you for it.

Goleta Market @ Camino Real Marketplace
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Thursday: 3 – 6 p.m.

Downtown Santa Barbara Market @ Santa Barbara and Cota Streets
Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Downtown Santa Barbara Market @ State Street
Tuesday: 3 – 6:30 p.m.