The first Reconnect Farmers Market of Fall 2013 was a success, despite the fact that a scheduling conflict prevented a few of the normal vendors from attending.
“It still managed to work out even though there were a couple of hiccups,” Reconnect student president Erin Uzee said of Monday’s market.
The vendors and presenters in the War Memorial Student Union included the Hammond Farmers Market, a group from Covey Rise selling fresh produce, Lolly Marie’s Chocolates and Chef Troy Deano from 18 Steaks in Baton Rouge.
Deano prepared fresh duck confit and collard green poboys, which he then sliced into quarters and handed out to students passing by his table. Deano said he stews the duck in its own fat, prepares the collard greens in a similar fashion then adds some vinegar and other seasonings so it creates a wide, but pleasant, range of tastes.
Students were not only excited about the prospect of free food, but they were also very pleased with the taste of the sandwich. Anthony DeGioia, a freshman majoring in sociology, said he thought the sandwich tasted pretty good and brought back some good memories.
“I like duck. My favorite memories involve duck,” DeGioia said. “It makes me think of when my mom would take me for Christmas dinner.”
Deano, who has cooked at the market previously, said he enjoys coming to promote eating fresh, farm-to-table foods.
“I’m passionate about it, so when I got the opportunity to do it, I was in,” he said, noting he buys his produce from Covey Rise.
Alumnus Pam Mouton said she also enjoys selling her chocolate goodies at the Reconnect Market.
“The students have some very positive feedback. It’s a good, positive experience,” Mouton said.
On Monday, Mouton was selling salted chocolate coated caramels as well as chocolate apples dipped in candy or nuts. All of her Belgian chocolate is homemade, she said, and she sells it regularly at the Covington Farmers Market on Saturdays.
Southeastern students have been very open and welcoming of the Reconnect Market, Uzee said. As Reconnect members set up tables Monday morning, students were asking when the fresh produce would arrive and were quite eager to pick out their veggies.
“Once the produce guy got here he kind of got mobbed a little bit,” she said. “So I think the students really appreciate it.”
Normally, two fresh produce co-ops attend the market, she said. They were simply unable to attend this one event and have promised to be back for the next market, which will be on Thursday, Nov. 21.
“That will be a good opportunity for everyone to come and get their Thanksgiving veggies,” Uzee said. The Reconnect Markets are held in the War Memorial Student Union.