Interns sell self-grown organic produce
Storm clouds hovered over south campus on Friday, as six student-interns stood under white tents, preparing for the looming rain.
But the threat of storms did not hinder the interns’ tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and okra from lining milk crates next to a sign listing their prices.
The summer interns sold this self-grown produce Friday at their certified organic food stand, Fresh to You.
The interns managed the entire process from sowing the seeds, to cultivating the plants and harvesting the crops, to eventually selling them at their stand.
“UD Fresh to You is experiential learning at its finest,” Michael Popovich, a manager of the Newark farm said. “When [the interns] leave this position, they could go out and do this [as a career] if they had to.”
In its fourth year of business, Fresh to You also donates produce to food insecurity projects.
Popovich said Fresh to You donates at least 100 pounds of produce weekly to Newark’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center and Research Institute as part of one such project. The Center then distributes the food to its cancer patients, 80 percent of whom Popovich said have low incomes.
Popovich also said Fresh to You sells its organic produce to Home Grown Café on Main Street and The House of William and Merry in Hockessin.
“I don’t think people should have to pay an arm and a leg for organic produce,” Popovich said.
Fresh to You earned its organic certification in January through Quality Certification Services and worked to expand its accreditation in March to cover all its produce.
Madeline Hannah, a 2018 graduate who is finishing her third year as an intern with Fresh to You, said she appreciates the certification, which took a five-year review to earn. She added that the produce’s localness is even more important to her.
“To me, the biggest thing is the local aspect [of the produce] because everything is grown right here,” Hannah said. “Then, we can get it out to people in Newark … cutting transportation costs, cutting packaging.”
Camryn McGrath, a Fresh to You intern and senior Environmental Science major, said she valued observing the produce’s growth.
“Seeing the whole process of growing something from seed to actual food is really cool,” McGrath said.
Fresh to You will continue selling its produce every Friday until October 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on South Campus’s Farm Lane.