“I’m going to go home and make a spinach salad!” remarked Xander, a student at Evergreen Community Charter School, after attending the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) Sprout Market.
The Sprout Market is a product of ASAP’s Growing Minds program, a transformative farm-to-school program supported by Dogwood that enriches the educational environment in 13 WNC public school districts and instills in children the skills and behaviors that will set them on the path to a lifetime of healthier living. For this event, farmers and market staff from Olivette Farm and East Asheville Tailgate Market created a mini farmers market experience on the school campus. Xander and his classmates visited a farmstand, learned about local food from the market manager, conducted a spinach smoothie taste test and more.
At the Olivette farmstand students “purchased” vegetables using faux money. Each child received a $5 coupon that allowed them to buy two products, including radishes, beets, and kale. Xander and the other children asked the farmers questions as they shopped: “What music do you listen to while you farm?” “What’s your favorite fruit or vegetable to grow?” “Why did you choose farming?” In the weeks after, several children attended the East Asheville Tailgate Market with their families and recognized, engaged, and shopped with Olivette because of the relationship they formed at the Sprout Market.