Pick-Up Produce To Go at Mobile Market

Faculty and staff can sign up now for the spring session of deliveries

Peppers are just one item that can be found at the Duke Mobile Farmers Market. Photo by Duke Photography.
Peppers are just one item that can be found at the Duke Mobile Farmers Market. Photo by Duke Photography.

Eric Lipp wasn't used to finding collard greens when he grew up in New Jersey. Now he doesn't mind seeing the formerly foreign vegetable on his plate.

Eating collards was a welcome change brought upon by the Duke Mobile Farmers Market, a weekly market that brings farm-fresh produce and other goods to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens for convenient pick up. It's a form of "community supported agriculture" (CSA) that works when a customer buys a weekly "share" of items from a farm.

"Coon Rock Farms' CSA is similar to receiving a present each Tuesday," said Lipp, a clinical trials information specialist at Duke's Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center. "My wife, kids, and I look forward to it each week and opening the healthy treasures in the box. Receiving the CSA during the fall and winter allows my family to eat healthy, fresh vegetables all year long."

Aside from providing tasty food, the year-round market offers affordable options with costs for pre-ordered fresh produce starting as low as $12 per week. Registration is underway for seven farms for the spring Duke Mobile Market that starts in April. Pick-up takes place between 4 and 6 p.m. each Tuesday at Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Employees can also stop by any Tuesday to purchase produce from Britt or Brinkley farms without ordering a CSA box, although supplies may be limited. See this flier for complete information.

Lipp said receiving his box of produce encourages him to try new recipes and ways of preparing foods. He recently brought home carrots that were a hit with his family.

"I cut up the carrots, my 5-year old daughter ate one and said 'daddy, it tastes just like candy,'" Lipp said. "So I took the cut-off tops and cooked them with other vegetables as a stir fry side dish."

In addition to the mobile market, faculty and staff can also sign up with Bella Bean Organics or Lee's Produce, which deliver CSA boxes directly to a customer's home or workplace. Costs start at $18 for a custom-made box of produce.

"As more employees focus on eating a healthy diet, we're making sure it's also easier than ever to find the fruits and vegetables faculty and staff want," said Lauren Updyke, health education manager with LIVE FOR LIFE, which manages the mobile market. "It only takes a few minutes at the mobile market to get a week's share of food."

That's convenience Marc Jeuland has enjoyed for about two years. Since signing up for a CSA with Brinkley Farms, Jeuland said he's happy he gets to eat local foods while they're at the peak of freshness.

"A key advantage to subscribing with Brinkley Farms is the ability to choose from their menu of seasonal vegetables and other local farm products," said Jeuland, an assistant professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy. "That way, we get the benefits of knowing and working with what is in season while still maintaining the right to choose according to our specific tastes and preferences."