By Emily Meagher
School’s out for summer! That means a few months of family fun, relaxing, and, well… boredom. The Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s Power of Produce (POP) Club is here to keep local kids active and learning all summer long with educational activities, interactions with their local farmers, and challenges to try fresh market produce to get even the pickiest eaters to try new fruits and veggies.
This year’s POP Club, now in its 6th season, will run June 30 through September 1, every Wednesday at the High Rock Park market. Children may show up any time between 3-6 pm to participate in a fun, educational activity. Every week’s activity will be hosted by a community guest, including the Saratoga Springs Public Library, Cornell Cooperative Extension Food & Nutrition, Caffe Lena Music School, The Children’s Museum of Saratoga, Northern Rivers, and C.R.E.A.T.E. Community Studios. Children may participate in cooking demonstrations, scavenger hunts, crafts, gardening, and farmer meet and greet that provide nutrition and education.
Children who participate are given a $2 POP coin to spend on fresh fruit and vegetables at the market, and they will earn a stamp in their POP Passport – four stamps earn them a prize.
Buying produce with a POP coin gives kids the opportunity to meet farmers, learn money skills, and make smart food choices. “It’s great to see kids as young as kindergarteners come up to our stand, excited to shop for themselves. Especially when that week’s POP tasting has been a fruit or vegetable they hadn’t tried before but realize they like, and then spend their token to get more,” says Mark Bascom, owner of Owl Wood Farm and the market association’s president.
POP Club is open to all local children but is especially geared toward those aged 5-12. It is a free program, made possible through the generous support of the Christopher Dailey Foundation and the Adirondack Trust Company.
On Wednesday, July 7, 3-6 pm, don’t miss POP Club at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s ‘End of School Celebration’. This free family event will offer activities for children of all ages and a concert by Jack and Steve Zucchini (formerly of The Zucchini Brothers)!
This week’s recipe: Popsicles for All
Find more information and get updates on this season’s POP Club on our Facebook event page!