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The Orion

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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Local produce benefits community and your health

Shopping local produce reduces your carbon footprint significantly in many ways, promoting sustainability in your community’s environment and economy
Freshly+harvested+bok+choi%2C+baby+spinach%2C+cabbages+and+broccoli+at+a+Wednesday+Farmers+Market+from+Lor%E2%80%99s+Produce.+Taken+by+Alina+Babajko+on+March+13.
Freshly harvested bok choi, baby spinach, cabbages and broccoli at a Wednesday Farmers Market from Lor’s Produce. Taken by Alina Babajko on March 13.

Chico’s Farmer’s Markets have large varieties of locally grown, in season produce and other goods made from local farm products. Supporting these vendors will improve your health with cheaper alternatives while simultaneously contributing to Chico’s economy. 

When and where

The Chico Certified Farmer’s Market meets twice weekly year round:

  • Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot of Second Street and Wall Street in Downtown Chico 
  • Wednesday 7:30 a.m to noon off Pillsbury Road in the Tinseltown parking lot. 

On their website, Chico Farmer’s Market said it provides “an unlimited selection of fresh picked, locally grown fruit, vegetables, nuts, honey, olive oil, rice, grass fed beef, lamb, ham, chicken, pork, eggs, herbs, flowers, plants, fresh baked artisan breads, handcrafts and prepared foods.” 

Both locations accept cash, EBT, WIC and most vendors support tap to pay methods.

Why you should buy local

Shopping local produce reduces your carbon footprint significantly in many ways, promoting sustainability in your community’s environment and economy. Shorter transportation distances support lower fuel admissions. 

Local businesses operate on small scales, meaning less energy is required during production than of major corporations selling non locally produced items. Small farms promote the conservation of resources while maintaining their ecosystems, unlike large-scale farms. 

Avoiding supermarkets helps support your local economy directly.

Vendors

Debbie’s Farm is run by Debbie Ariza and she has been selling her produce at the farmers market since 1983. Her farm is located in Capay off of Cutting Avenue. She sells oranges, kiwi, lemons, peaches, pomegranates and other fruits every Wednesday and Saturday.

Bruce Balgooyen and assistant are pictured at Wednesday market setting up their freshly harvested produce. Bruce has been working with the farmers market since 1990. Taken by Alina Babajko on March 13.

Farmelot sells fresh lettuce varieties, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash and peppers. Their farm is located in Vina and they sell at both Wednesday and Saturday markets.

Taste of Freedom sells certified organic, pasture-raised eggs from Princeton. They also sell non-GMO regular eggs and walnuts and pasture-raised pork. This vendor can be found at both Wednesday and Saturday markets. 

Gordon Giesbrecht works for Taste of Freedom and is setting up his booth for Wednesday market. Taken by Alina Babajko on March 13.

Live Life Juice Company sells freshly pressed juices and health shots using locally sourced produce when possible. They are exclusively at the Saturday market but have two locations, one downtown on Broadway and one in Merriam Park. 

Keith and Brody of Live Life Juice Co. working their booth selling 100% organic juices and shots. Taken by Alina Babajko on March 16.

You can find more information about farmers market vendors on the Chico Farmers Market website.

Recommendations

My favorite things to make with locally sourced vegetables are stir fries and salads. Chopping up fruit to use for fruit salads and smoothies are great compliments for spring picnics. 

Fruits and vegetables in season currently from February through March include squash, spinach, potatoes, lettuce, greens, garlic, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, oranges, mandarins, kiwi, carrots and beets. 

Locally sourced produce and other goods like honey and bread are more natural and have less preservatives/ additives than store bought brands. Their quality is greater because of this, and healthier, as well as more affordable!

Alina Babajko can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Alina Babajko, Reporter
Alina Babajko is an agricultural communications and leadership major. Her goals in life include helping with food insecurity and improving resource depletion as well as environmental degradation. In her free time she enjoys nature walks, fresh and salt water swimming, and cooking for friends and family. After college, she plans to join the Peace Corps to learn about international culture and assist poor countries with sustainability.  

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