Imagine a school vegetable stand in a low income community that lacks access to fresh food . . . an after-school farmers’ market where students share in the profits from selling their homegrown goods. In schools and communities across the country (and beyond) students are using their campus gardens and local farm produce as fodder for business ventures. As they plant, plan, calculate, design, and promote their produce, they grow socially, academically, and personally. Their communities, too, reap rewards. The following resources will help you explore this engaging learning tool:
Michigan Youth Farm Stands Project Tool Kit – This excellent resource is designed to guide a group to plan and put a youth farm stand into action. It is based on three years of experience and feedback from 16 participating programs. The free publication features how-to information, a host of lessons for engaging youngsters, and related handouts and worksheets.
How to Start a Healthy Food Market – This free downloadable teacher’s guide details how to set up a project in which students create, own, and operate fresh fruit and vegetable stands for the community.
All About Farmers’ Markets – A useful book for educators to help children in pre-K to second grade classrooms make the connection between the land, the food we eat, and our health and well-being. It features original games, songs, and activities, and ideas for field trips and parent involvement.
Local Harvest – If you’d like to visit a farmers’ market or supplement your garden-grown goods with locally raised produce, check out this Web site. You can click on a map or put in your zip code to find markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area.
Farmers’ Market Recipes and Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program – These sites feature a host of recipes you can pass out to farm stand customers or use for cooking and tasting sessions in classrooms or at markets.
Youth Farm and Market Project – This Minneapolis-based organization provides year-round, youth development programming for youths ages 9 – 18, utilizing experiential education and training, urban agriculture, gardens and greenhouses.