Last year the Blacksburg Farmers Market hosted the first annual MarketKids program. The MarketKids project provided children (ages 6 – 12) with a free and unique experience of what it takes to bring food to the market, from seeds to sales, taking them beyond basic gardening to a broader appreciation of the planning, skill-development, and discipline that go into having a market business. This project enlisted 25 children who attended monthly workshops, field trips, and market selling days, in the months from April - October. At the workshops, each child received seeds, seedlings, gardening tools, and soil enhancements, as well as lessons and instructional materials. They were encouraged to plant container or backyard gardens, with parental assistance, designed to meet their own individual capacity. All participating children were invited to attend designated MarketKids events at the Saturday Farmers Market, where they were permitted to sell the produce from their gardens.
As we transition into the second season of MarketKids, the program will develop in the following ways:
-MarketKids will expand its cohort capacity from 25 children to 40 children.
-MarketKids will seek to enlist children from lower-income families, by advertising to market shoppers using SNAP/EBT, advertising with Micah's Backpack (http://micahsbackpack.org/), and with children participating in the Coalition for Refugee Resettlement (http://www.crr.org.vt.edu/index.html).
-MarketKids will partner with The Price House Nature Center/SEEDS (http://www.seedskids.org/) to establish a MarketKids demonstration garden. SEEDS has provided us with a 12'x30' plot, along with access to a toolshed and rain barrel for irrigation. This garden will serve to increase the educational capacity of the program, while simultaneously serving as a garden space for children that do not have room for one at home.
We hope that these changes to the MarketKids program will break down any barriers to engagement that we encountered during last years season.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
Join our mailing list:
Connect with us:
Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA