AMESing serenades Ben Notterman  from Snug Valley Farm on a market day last fall. Snug  Valley sells beef and pork cuts at the market on a weekly basis.

SB Farmers Market Returns – with More Buying Power for Kids

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Thursday May 29, 2014

The South Burlington Farmers Market will be held every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., from June 1 through October 12.  With questions or for more information please email the manager at

On Sunday, June 1 the weekly South Burlington Farmers market arrives for its third season in the Community Library / Middle School green on Dorset Street.  There will be lots of familiar vendor faces with a few new ones including live Maine Lobster, ethnic lunch foods, jewelry vendors and dog biscuits!  The Community Library’s colorful “Rita Book” bookmobile will be open for business again, this year for  all hours of the market, 10am-2pm, on a weekly basis. Music, juggling and slack-line lessons, and much more can also be found every Sunday at the market!  

This season ushers in a new wave of patrons along with the returners, and for the second year in a row, some of the shoppers perusing the produce will look quite a bit younger. 

The POP (Power of Produce) Club is back for its second season--open to all South Burlington kids ages 5 through 12--with the intention of “engaging kids in their food system by putting the buying power directly in their hands,” explains Farmers Market Manager Kindle Loomis. The club gives kids the equivalent of “a little money of their own” to spend each time they visit the market, she explained, helping connect kids –and their families—with fresh, local food. 

Kids who sign up at the Market’s POP Club tent and become members for their first time, receive a reusable canvas shopping bag, while returning club members from the ’13 season will receive a plant.  In addition to their sign-up treat, club members will receive their $3 token to spend at any produce vendor at the market. At subsequent market visits, Club members check in at the tent to receive another $3 token to spend—potentially obtaining up to $60 in local produce by the end of the 20 week market season.   

Kids can also participate in fun, educational activities at the POP club tent such as food tastings, crafts and games—all with a focus on wellness, Loomis added.  “It really complements the food education Common Roots has been doing in SB classrooms throughout the school year.” 

Why focus on kids?  Studies show that children have a powerful influence on how their families eat, since parents generally buy what their kids want to eat.  “That’s why the fast food industry targets so much of its advertising to kids,” declares Loomis. Putting fresh produce in children’s hands can help foster a lifelong love of healthy foods, she adds.  “We’ve found that children are far more willing to try something if they picked it out.  The ‘try’ rate increases the more involved the child is with the food; if they pick it out its tremendous, if they help prepare it the percentage again jumps.  We have kids eating things that their parents say, ‘I’ve tried to get them to eat that for years and they won’t!’”

Membership in the POP club is on a sliding scale based on household income, ranging from zero to $25 for the full 20-week season. Any child, SB resident or other, aged 5 through 12 is eligible for membership, says Loomis, “and all the farmers are excited to meet them!”