Kids learn Power of Produce at Farmington farmers market

A program that brings the Power of Produce to local kids gets underway July 14 at the Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market in downtown Farmington.

Farmington Farmers Market POP

Market volunteer Peggy Castine said the program is open to children ages 4-12 who are accompanied by an adult. After taking on three challenges – like eating some fresh produce or solving a puzzle – participants will collect “POP bucks,” a $3 voucher that can be used to purchase fruits and veggies from market vendors.

Kids will also receive recipes created by a market volunteer who is also a nutritionist, so that they have a “shopping list” to create delicious, healthful treats. Castine said that market vendors seem excited about the project, which will also give kids a chance to interact with growers.

“It teaches kids about where their food comes from in a fun way and encourages healthy food choices,” Castine said.

POP will be headquartered near the Little Spouts children’s activity tent. The program will be offered on second Saturdays of the month, starting July 14. The October 13 wrap up party will include a kids’ chef demo, prizes, and more.

Castine said the program originated with a farmers market in Oregon. Several Michigan markets, including some in metro Detroit, are also using it. Sponsors make it all possible, she added. Locally, POP got a kickstart from the Farmington & Farmington Hills Foundation for Youth & Families, with matching support from Beaumont Hospital Farmington Hills, Judge Asset Management, Peterlin’s Restaurant & Bar, and Skrabut Realty.

While there’s the benefit of grooming future farmers market shoppers, POP is really all about kids.

“The main thing is to get kids to make the best choices for their own nutrition,” Chastain said.

Learn more about the Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market at farmingtonfarmersmarket.com.