Ashlee Barnette and Brittany Streat each took a sweet bite of the red strawberries they bought at the Durham Farmers’ Market Saturday morning.
They were there to help North Carolina Central University Green Team’s efforts to promote healthy local foods, sustainability and environmentalism by encouraging college students to shop at the market.
While volunteering to do the work as a public service for NCCU, they became converts. They bought a big basket of strawberries and began eating them right away.
“Right now we’re just going around talking to vendors and actually seeing how products are grown and learning about farming and agriculture,” Streat said.
Wearing their gray and maroon NCCU T-shirts, they and other students infiltrated the market, talking to people and passing out cards promoting College Day at the Durham Farmers’ Market. Some of the vendors offered a 10 percent discount to students with college IDs.
Ebony Flowers and Jeremiah Lashley, both freshmen at NCCU, are members of the Green Team, and they wandered through the market distributing cards.
“We’re basically trying to get our organization out there so everybody can know about our university and know about NCCU,” he said.
Many students at NCCU aren’t tuned in to the local foods and sustainability movement, so they wanted to introduce those students to the farmers’ market.
“There’s not many in our culture who come to this market, so we’re trying to bring them in because it’s a great opportunity to have fresh vegetables and fresh fruits,” Lashley said.
Before coming to the market, they asked students on campus if they knew about the farmers’ market, and most said no, Flowers said.
“It’s just to get people at our school to try something new,” she said.
Along with talking to people, the Green Team also brought a dance team and a DJ to the market, and they performed on a stage at the north end of the market.
Durham City Councilman Don Moffitt and his daughter stopped by the Green Team’s table and said he was impressed.
“Generally, it’s great to see so many people here at the farmers’ market, and it’s great to see all the folks from Central here today,” he said.
Naquasha Hill, a sophomore at NCCU, was another volunteer promoter, but she said she’ll come back on her own.
“This is my first time coming to the Durham Farmers’ Market, and I’m excited and I’m kind of shocked because it’s so much cheaper than the grocery store,” Hill said. “The vegetables look a whole lot different in color and shape.”
Hill always wanted to come to the market but didn’t even know where it was, she said.
“School can get busy sometimes, but this year I’m going to start taking time to come here sometimes on Saturdays,” she said. “I also want to support the farmers.”
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