“Those are carrots. Reindeers eat carrots.” —A 4 year-old talking to her friend at the Head Start market
“The market is an opportunity to see all the colors, all the vegetables. Kids feel important when they shop.” —Teacher at Head Start in Lowell
“We’ve tried new vegetables, and I’m learning how to cook.” and “This market helps a lot, so as a family we ate more nutritious meals. Please come back!” —Parents from Head Start
The 2017 market season is over, and we are so happy for the opportunity to serve 25 to 40 families each week at our Head Start market sites in Lowell. Our Food for Families market served another 30 to 40 families from Concord and Carlisle weekly, with Lucy and Brian Rosborough continuing to offer home delivery to those who otherwise would not be able to visit the market.
Over the 16-week season, families at the market this year tried new veggies and ate beans, fennel fronds, and cherry tomatoes out of hand. Each week we talk about the beautiful produce we bring, and friendly nudging might encourage folks to try something new. We offer recipes, a cooking tip of the week, and samples to taste. At the schools, we talk about insect life cycles and good bug/bad bugs, about maple sugaring and how sugaring happens, what organic means, how compost works, and easy tips on storing cooked tomatoes and cooked greens for the winter. At the Phoenix Avenue Head Start site, two teachers brought their classes out weekly to shop. The children would tell me, veggie by veggie, what they liked. At the last market, the kids sat together on a playground bench, bags and pumpkins in hand—a photo worth a thousand words!
Big thanks to the teachers at both sites, all the helpers at Food for Families, and our wonderful market assistant, Macayla Cote.