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Farmers Market Tour

Ann DeVogel,   Cherryland Middle School
Access to Healthy Foods, Community Involvement,  Physical Activity Participation
The entire 8th grade took a walk to downtown Elk Rapids in September. We had several activities that spanned through all of their subject areas. Physical Education was covered by walking a couple of miles to our location. Writing and art were covered with a poetry and water color painting station. History had a local historian present discussing the history of our town. All students had the opportunity to try paddle boarding in the river and view the remains of a sunken ship. At my station, the local farmers market was taking place. Due to the cold and rainy weather we were experiencing, the market did not have many customers. This was perfect because students were able to get one on one time with the farmers where they learned so much! They sampled a lot of local produce and learned about the bees and coffee. Many students had never been to a farmers market. Lastly, science was covered by using weighted ropes and calculating wave frequency.

How did you accomplish your goals?

We exposed all students to our locally grown food. Several students have the opportunity to work on cherry farms in the summer and we have several neighboring farms here in Elk Rapids.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

The weather two days prior to our trip was sunny and in the 70s. The day we went was a cold, rainy and very windy day. The wind caused some of the paddle boards to flip up and students fall off. We had a lifeguard on duty and all students wore life jackets. The water was really pretty shallow, but this was a problem. The kids were pretty resilient and overall had great attitudes.

How did students and adults work together as a team?

Students had to work with the adults in terms of interacting with the Farmers Market farmers. They also had to communicate effectively in the paddle boarding station. Safety was key.