Best of: pita and hummus is the favorite at farmer’s market

farmers market
Jonathan Briseno, commonly known as “The Hummus Guy” said his artichoke hummus is one of the best sellers at the Mom’s Specialty Hummus stand. Photo by Kali Hoffman, photo editor

Searching for the perfect hummus, peanut butter or pickles can be a tough task, but it gets a whole lot easier when we have a farmer’s market along East Palm Avenue, between the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts and the Becket office building.

“I love the farmer’s market because of all the healthy fresh food. It’s a really great way to spend your weekend outside and also see other Chapman students,” said Nicole Zedeck, a junior broadcast journalism and documentary major.

There are many options when it comes to farmer’s markets around the Orange County area, but the Orange Home Grown (OHG) Farmer’s Market is steps away from campus for students to enjoy every Saturday. According to the market’s website, the mission is to “cultivate a healthy community through enhanced awareness, advocacy and education.”

Not only does OHG provide a plethora of produce and treats to locals during weekends, they also partner with many non-profits and work on community projects such as Food for Neighbors – which gives donations to local food pantries – and the Youth Food Literacy Program – which educates local high school students about learning to create a healthier, more sustainable food system.

If that’s not enough, OHG also runs a scholarship program supporting students with an interest in agricultural, culinary or environmental studies. The community seed library run by OHG is also important to the community in preserving plant varieties by borrowing, planting and returning more seeds back to the library. These seeds are free to the community.

It keeps getting better. While you stroll the market, you can enjoy live music from local musicians, take advantage of the free dog-sitting at the Park Your Paws booth while you shop, and attend yoga classes, food trucks and cooking demos. But let’s talk about the food. Mom’s Specialty Foods stand seems to be a big hit at the market based on Chapman students’ opinions. Commonly referred to by students as “the hummus guy,” Jonathan Briceno runs the stand selling a variety of hummus, pita bread and chips, as well tabbouleh salad and grape leaves.

“We just bought some hummus and pita. It’s nice to have local variety,” said Alison Taylor, a freshman dance major. “We live in a dorm room, so we don’t get a ton of fresh food. Having access to this, it’s really refreshing.”

Another fan favorite is Crema Artisan Bakers. With fresh and mouth-watering pastries like the almond creme croissants, a variety of muffins and guava cream cheese danishes, it’s a fan favorite. The produce is fresh and samples of unique fruits are available. Zedeck added that the white peaches sold right now are “unreal.”

“This is my first time here. I’m just really impressed with everything, especially the produce section and how nice everyone is,” said Arianna Paine, a junior screenwriting major. “Crema Bakery especially hit the spot and I had the best croissant of my life.” If you end up missing one farmer’s market day, fear not: The OHG Farmer’s Market takes place weekly from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“I’m not from here, so it’s cool to take part in a community that I’m not necessarily a part of, but that I get to interact with,” Taylor said.