By Julia Howard
As Saratoga-area children anticipate their last day of school, the first question on many parents’ minds is, “what are we going to do all summer?” The Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s Power of Produce Club offers children and families a free and easy answer to that question.
Power of Produce Club (also known as POP Club) is a 10-week program that begins next Wednesday, June 29, and runs through the end of August. It takes place each Wednesday, 3-6 p.m. at the farmers’ market, and gives both children and their parents a chance to learn about local foods and farming in a hands-on way.
POP Club is open to children of all ages and abilities. Each time participants visit the Wednesday market, they will receive a $2 POP coin that kids can use to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from a farmer of their choice. The coins are geared toward children between the ages of 5 and 12. In addition, children will receive a stamp on a POP passport. After receiving four stamps, children will be eligible for a prize.
The project aims to help children see how food and farming are intrinsically connected to strengthening community ties. By buying produce from our vendors, children form what might turn into lifelong relationships with local farmers. At the same time, children gain basic money skills and participate in weekly activities that offer a sense of how to enjoy local produce when it is at its finest.
Power of Produce Club is made possible by support from The Christopher Dailey Foundation. In addition, educational activities are being organized by numerous community partners like The Children’s Museum of Saratoga, Pitney Meadows Community Farm, Little Wings Farm School, Saratoga Springs Public Library, and more.
The first event takes place next Wednesday and will feature a free concert by Jack & Steve Zucchini and free face painting, activities, and food tastings. Nutrition educator Jodie Fitz will have copies of her book Fidget Grows a Pizza Garden. At POP Club, children will have an opportunity to plant a pizza garden to take home.
Look for the POP Club tent at the Wednesday market, across from the market information booth.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at High Rock Park in downtown Saratoga Springs. Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.