Farmington Farmers Market brings back kids produce program

A program that teaches the Power of Produce returns Saturday to the Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market.

The nationwide “POP” program launched locally in 2018. Hands-on activities help kids ages 6-12 get to know local farmers, where food comes from, when locally grown food is available in season, and more.

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Power of Produce
Power of Produce coordinator Peggy Castine works with a youngster during a 2019 club meeting. While produce-themed art projects won’t return this year, other safe activities will. 

Organizers put POP on hold last year, because of the pandemic. This year, they took a “wait and see” approach.

“Out biggest concern was the safety of the kids,” said market volunteer Peggy Castine. “I have grandkids, my two other coordinators have kids, so that was foremost in our minds. We wanted to make sure everything was going on the right path.”

Because vaccines aren’t yet available for younger kids, Castine said, POP will look a little different:

  • The footprint in Riley Park will grow from one 10-foot tent to two, with tables positioned so that everyone can spread out.
  • Kids must wear masks, which will be available at no charge. Staff will be masked and encourage parents and guardians to mask up as well.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetable tasting continues, but in a socially distanced area.

Castine said the scavenger hunt also returns, with kids looking for specific produce at farmers’ booths. It’s a safe activity, because they only have to report where they saw the item.

“The most fun is hands-on related to produce,” she said. “We had a POP meeting where the tasting was peas right out of the pod. We even had them shuck the peas.”

Follow the market on Facebook or check the market website, farmingtonfarmersmarket.com for more information and future POP dates. Castine said four meetings are planned this sesason, and hopefully one for the final market on October 30, with a Halloween theme.

Beaumont Health and the Farmington & Farmington Hills Foundation for Youth & Families sponsor the Power of Produce program.

The Farmington Farmers Market is open 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays through October, rain or shine, at the Walter Sundquist Farmington Pavilion and Riley Park in downtown Farmington.

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