This Saturday morning, my family and I stopped at our local farmers market on our way home from eating breakfast together. Breakfast is by far our favorite meal to eat out, but I digress. In the effort to provide full disclosure, the main reason that we stopped was due to the fact that I had seen a popsicle vendor that I have been wanting to try!
We took part in a watermelon judging/voting event, where each visitor of the farmers market was asked to taste 10 varieties of watermelons and vote for their favorite one.
Then, we stumbled upon the next piece of information that totally changed my feelings towards the farmers market.
We were directed towards a tent that was giving away vouchers worth $5 each to the kids that were in attendance. The stipulation was that the vouchers had to be used for ‘real food’, so the popsicles that I wanted when we arrived wouldn’t count for purchase with that voucher. But, the kids had free range to pick from the bountiful veggies, fruits, farm fresh eggs, meat and honey.
Here is where the shocker came in for me. The vouchers were funded by Chipotle. In fact, in addition to the vouchers, activity books ( with stickers, recipe cards and tomato seeds) and a scavenger hunt were also provided.
Earlier in the year, we stopped at the same farmers market and got tomato seed packets, again given by Chipotle, but I didn’t think much of it. I thought they were extras from an event that a store had recently hosted.
I have to be honest with you, I will chose just about any other Mexican restaurant over Chipotle. It has to do with the fact that they don’t have queso. I have a love for queso that runs deep, but the fact that they are participating in the community in such a amazing program, just might persuade me to step away from the melted cheese.
Farmers Market Coalition
Upon talking to the woman handing out vouchers I learned more about the program. The particular farmers market that we had visited was a member of Farmers Market Coalition. An off shoot of the FMC is the Power of Produce. A group of 30 Farmers Markets where chosen to take part in this amazing program.
Here is a list of the farmers markets participating in Power of Produce:
Orange Home Grown Farmers and Artisans Market, CA
Boulder County Farmers Markets, CO
CitySeed Farmers’ Markets – New Haven, CT
Roswell Farmers & Artisans Market, GA
Forsyth Farmers’ Market, GA
Capital City Public Market, ID
Aurora’s Farmers Market, IL
Bardstown Road Farmers’ Market, KY
Overland Park Farmers’ Market, KS
City of Bloomington Farmers Market, MN
Eagan Market Fest, MN
Linden Hills Farmers’ Market, MN
Mill City Farmers Market, MN
City Market, MO
Tower Grove Farmers’ Market, MO
Midtown Farmer’s Market, NC
The Chapel Hill Farmers Market, NC
Carrboro Farmers’ Market, NC
fresh52 Farmers & Artisan Market, NV
Countryside Farmers’ Market, OH
Montavilla Farmers Market, OR
Market Square Farmers’ Market, TN
Fondy Farmers Market, WI
Did you know about this program? Do you have a location that participates near you?