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Farmers Markets: A Classroom and a Playground

Hula hoops are an essential part of the Forsyth Farmers Market experience.

Hula hoops are an essential part of the Forsyth Farmers Market experience.

Has your child ever run up to you exclaiming “Mommy! Can we please go to the grocery store?! All my friends will be there!”

I didn’t think so.

But that is exactly what many of my mom friends are hearing from their kids when it comes to the farmers market. The market has become more than a place to get your food for the week—it’s a classroom disguised as a playground.

The best lessons are taught when a child doesn’t know they are learning. And at many markets around the state, kids are learning week after week.

At Community Farmers Markets, where I served as a marketing intern, generous volunteers from all over the city put together activities that teach the importance of sustainability, cooking, gardening, and so much more.

The Little Green Wagon at the Forsyth Farmers Market in Savannah gives children the chance to plant seeds and watch them grow.

The Little Green Wagon at the Forsyth Farmers Market in Savannah gives children the chance to plant seeds and watch them grow.

At the Forsyth Farmers Market in Savannah, the Little Green Wagon is a place for children to plant seeds and watch them grow over the course of several market visits.

Mainstreet Farmers Market in Statesboro often features bands from local schools on their main stage during the market, allowing kids to showcase their musical talent.

The farmers market is a true community gathering place. Kids flock to their activity tables while mom and dad get to grab some groceries and catch up with friends.

As a new mom, I am already trying to process all the options for my son. I am curious who he will be when he grows up. What will his priorities be? What will his passions be? Through watching the kids at the farmers markets, I realize that it is up to me as a parent to expose him to the things I want him to value. One day it will be up to our children to ensure good, clean food is available for everyone. During every trip to the market, children are learning more about where their food comes from and the importance of eating well

If you’ve ever been to a farmers market, you know that there are not a lot of places that match the sense of community and purpose found there. This is the place I want to be my child’s playground.

 

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