EDITORIAL: Commend new farmers’ markets
On Oct. 2, the Brandeis Rooftop Community Farm will host its second farmer’s market. The market will feature the newest harvest from the Rooftop Farm, located atop Gerstenzang, along with products from Waltham farmers’ market vendors. In an email to the Justice, Steven Canario, the new Sodexo general manager, expressed that the company is interested in working with the Rooftop Farm to provide produce for dining services.
This editorial board applauds the Rooftop Farm for using a previously unused space to serve multiple functions. It now serves to bring communities together, serves as a medium through which students can garner real-world experience in farming and management and fosters a culture of healthy and local eating on campus.
We would like to recommend that the executive board of the rooftop farming initiative pursue means of advertising the market to the Waltham public so as to foster more of a connection between Brandeis and the outside community.
Because they have most of their needs met on campus through classes, services and extracurriculars, students often only interact with the Waltham community through community service initiatives, if at all.
Opening up the market will provide students with a new venue to interact with the community and foster dialogue from campus, all while both Brandeisians and Waltham residents enjoy the product of students’ hard work. Such an effort reflects strongly on the University community, and displays the best elements of our student body’s character.
Likewise, although this editorial board recognizes the challenges of forming a relationship between Sodexo and the Rooftop Community Farm, we would like to encourage both parties to seriously work toward achieving that goal.
In order to sell produce to Sodexo, Jay Feinsten ’17, the president of the Rooftop Community Farm said that the farm produce must be covered under the University’s liability policy. Ideally, Sodexo would also purchase the produce through the Community Supported Agricultural Program in order for the company to purchase the goods at wholesale prices and the BSC to still benefit financially. A collaboration, even as it would take work and time, would be a great achievement in improving both the quality of food on campus and the sometimes fragmented relations between Sodexo and the student body.
For creating a campus garden that will provide fresh produce to the Brandeis community and also generates a medium through which Brandeis students can interact with the greater Waltham community, this board applauds the Rooftop Community Farm.
We would like to see the Waltham community become more deeply integrated at the two farmers’ markets this year and urge Sodexo and BSC to work toward a collaborative relationship. We wish the Brandeis Rooftop Community Farm luck with their market and hope to see it expand in the future.