FARM FRESH College of Agriculture and Kaiser Permanente Offer Farmer's Market


FARM FRESH  College of Agriculture and Kaiser Permanente Offer Farmer's Market
Kaiser Permanente employees pick fresh produce at the biweekly farmer's market in Baldwin Park.
Horticulture professor Dan Hostetler prepares sweet corn for shoppers during the farmer's market.

Nearly 135 million Americans — or 74 percent of the national population — do not eat the recommended five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day, according to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As part of a campaign to encourage healthy eating, the College of

Agriculture and Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Baldwin Park have teamed up to offer the community fresh produce at biweekly farmer's markets.

“Putting homegrown produce on the table is the beginning to leading a healthy

life,” says Wayne Bidlack, dean of the College of Agriculture. “These

markets are good for the Farm Store and the community.”

The markets feature fresh vegetables, fruit, honey and nuts, the majority of which

is grown and harvested at Cal Poly Pomona by students and faculty.

On a typical market day, the Farm Store sells more than 250 flats of strawberries,

3,000 pounds of oranges and 1,500 pounds of avocados.

At the March kick-off event, nearly 1,000 patients, medical employees and

community members stood in line to fill up bags of produce. The demand was so high that Cal Poly Pomona students went back to campus to pick up more produce after many items sold out midway through the event.

The markets, which are open to the public, are held every other Friday from 8 a.m.

to 2 p.m. in the patio area of the medical center. All proceeds go toward the College

of Agriculture's Farm Store at Kellogg Ranch for harvesting crops and buying new

agriculture equipment.

Kaiser Permanente officials are excited about the partnership with Cal Poly Pomona.

“As health-care professionals, we know that eating healthy and staying physically

active is important for all of us,” says Rick Rosoff, a medical group administrator for

Kaiser. “These markets give all of us an opportunity to make healthier food choices.”

During the Summer, the Farm Store looks forward to adding cantaloupe and

watermelon to its market inventory, according to Dan Hostetler, chair and professor of the Horticulture, Plant & Soil Science department and manager of the Farm

Store. During the holidays, pumpkins and gift packs will also be available for purchase.

Customers like Jana Harmon look forward to the biweekly markets.

“I love it because it's convenient and fresh,” she says.

For more information, contact the Farm Store at Kellogg Ranch at (909) 869-4906 or visit www.cpp.edu/farmstore.