Students invest in local produce
Students who buy a box share for the fall season are purchasing “shares in the bounty of the farm,” said Sherry Dudas, one of the owners of Honey Brook Organic farm, which grows herbs and vegetables and is one of the suppliers for the Farmers’ Market.
She explained that because the box share entitles the purchaser to part of the season’s harvest, the customer “assumes some of the risk of farming,” noting that the contents of each week’s box will vary depending on the harvest. She added that the risk that the customer will receive no food at all is very low.
Because there are a limited number of local farms, there are a fixed number of box shares available each season, Dudas added.
Ruthie Schwab ’09, one of the co-founders of the Farmers’ Market, noted that 20 box shares have been ordered for the fall, and that there is already a waiting list.
Customers can choose between two types of box shares: basic and deluxe.
“The basic box share costs $192 and includes six weekly deliveries of vegetables and herbs from Honey Brook Organic Farm and handmade cheeses from Cherry Grove Farm,” Schwab said, adding that “the box is meant for two to three people and obviously [represents] a great price per student.”
“The deluxe box share costs $369 and includes everything from the basic box share plus Farmer Steve’s popcorn from Whole Earth, three types of ketchup — regular, spicy and roasted pepper — from Griggstown Farm and blueberry tea from a farm affiliated with Rutgers,” Schwab said.
Dudas explained that her desire to sell box shares to Princeton students stemmed in part from Schwab and co-founder Katy Andersen ’08’s enthusiasm for organic and local food, adding that “we also want to become more visible in the community.”
Dudas explained that the student boxes are tailored to college life and have “vegetables and herbs that do not have to be refrigerated and that can be eaten fresh.” Boxes from Tuesday’s market have salad ingredients, she said.
“I’m a little biased [since] I am one of the managers of the Farmers’ Market, but I do live in independent housing and am particularly excited to have fresh produce delivered to campus for the next six weeks,” Stephanie Hill ’10 said.
“I support community-supported agriculture because they are environmentally sustainable, because of the wonderful quality of the produce, and because I find the price reasonable for the product,” Hill said.
Hill noted that she “enjoys the convenience, and the fun of getting a range of veggies every week is definitely appealing to me.”
Dudas said she hopes that by bringing organic food to campus, she can help move it into the mainstream, explaining that her farm has been referred to as part of a “niche market.” She said she wants to “make the case that you can run a sustainable farm business and still make a living at it.”
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