Video: What’s Cool About Farmers Markets? Just Ask a Kid

August 13, 2021

If you’re a Ferry Plaza Farmers Market regular, you probably already think farmers markets are pretty cool. But what do kids think, especially when visiting the market for the first time?

From its inception, CUESA’s Foodwise Kids, a free field trip and cooking class program for SFUSD elementary school students, has welcomed and empowered kids to explore the farmers market, talk to the farmers, taste fresh fruit fruits and veggies, and discover what’s cool for themselves.

With schools closed during the pandemic, we had to rethink how to bring the joy and lessons of the farmers market to kids at home. Last spring, CUESA’s Education Manager Tiffany Chung worked with our farmers market community to create a series of videos for the virtual classroom—with farmers and kids as the stars. Through these videos, kids are able to visit the farmers market, meet farmers and see food growing on the farm, use their five sense to taste, and more.

CUESA collaborated with SFUSD teachers to distribute the videos to hundreds of students and families, where they could watch along and share the experience with classmates and educators online—and even taste fresh produce from the farmers market, too. Read more about the team effort to adapt this program during the pandemic here.

In the first video in the series, “What’s Cool About Farmers Markets?” kids can learn about some of the unique values and features of the farmers market—such as local, fresh, and seasonal—as well as ways families can make the most of their food budget through programs like CalFresh. 

We hear from community members of all ages, including farmers from our California food shed, who share what they grow and what makes farmers markets so important to them.

For farmer Sonia Rojas of Rojas Family Farms, “It brings me a lot of joy knowing that you can give people something that will be very good for their health, mainly children, who are the future of tomorrow. If the children are healthy, they will make positive contribution to the future.”

“It’s the connection between the people that we make. It’s a community thing,” says Rebecca Torosian of Tory Farms. Tory, her husband, adds, “We know people’s kids, and now their kids, and maybe their grandkids. That’s what makes it cool.”

So what’s cool about the farmers market for kids?

“There’s a lot of fruits and vegetables,” young Ashley shares. Her friend Aja chimes in, “And there’s cookies back there!”

According to Ellie, “It’s special to me because I’ve been coming here since I was a baby. I think it’s cool to have all these amazing fruits and vegetables coming from all of California, and come back to the kitchen and make something really delicious.”

“We like to support the farmers, we like to eat local,” says shopper Yazmin. Her son Raymundo adds, “I want to be healthy.”

With this new offering of a video curriculum for Foodwise Kids, CUESA deepens its commitment to expanding access to farmers markets as a place of learning, connection, and delicious, healthy food for eaters of all ages. As SFUSD returns to in-person learning this fall, we’re preparing to welcome kids back to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market for field trips and outdoor classes again. This series of videos enriches and extends the program, so that kids and families can meet farmers and learn about fresh fruits and vegetables wherever they are.

What makes the farmers market cool to you? Watch the Foodwise Kids video series with a young person in your life, and hear what kids and farmers think. Even if you’re all grown up, we hope these videos make you feel like a kid again, experiencing the wonder and joy of the farmers market with fresh eyes.

Help CUESA bring back experiential food education for kids this fall. Donate now to our Back to School, Back to the Farmers Market campaign.

Online Resources for Kids, Families & Schools

Now students and families can experience Foodwise Kids wherever they are! We developed these video resources to supplement our in-person field trips and classes, while extending the experience to students, families, and educators who are not able to visit in person.

Thanks to our videographer, Fox Nakai.

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