Adams County Farmers Market (ACFM) brings community involvement and fun for kids of all ages during its annual Kids’ Day Saturday.
Exploring the market with five market dollars of their very own, kids were encouraged to pick out their own products, play fun games, and meet the local vendors firsthand.
An annual tradition, Kids’ Day is a collaboration between Healthy Adams County and ACFM to engage entire families and introduce youngsters to community organizations and all the aspects that make up their local farmers market, according to ACFM board chair Kathleen Glahn.
“It brings kids out to the market to learn about the market and the local community,” she said.
Because Adams County has such a strong agricultural presence, it is important from a young age for kids to, “connect with local growers in a fun environment,” she said.
Executive director of Healthy Adams County, Kathy Gaskin, always looks forward to Kids’ Day as a fun way to promote healthy, sustainable eating.
“Kids’ Day is a nice venue to introduce the agriculture theme in Adams County,” she said.
Families also get to see the various outreach programs available that help make this fresh food accessible, including the Gleaning Project, Children’s Aid Society, and Adams County Head Start.
Kids’ Day can help expand a child’s palette with cooking demonstrations and samples, introducing them to new foods prepared in ways never tried before, according to Gaskin.
The day saw numerous community organizations visit including WellSpan Health Herr’s Ridge Rehab, Pathstone, NextStep Martial Arts, Scouts, Adams County Library, and Gettysburg Fire Department.
Activities to keep the whole family engaged included airbrush tattoos with Adventure in Fun, build-your-own flower bouquet with LocaFlora Design, and checking out the inside of a Gettysburg Fire Department fire engine.
Among the organizations set up for Kids’ Day, Adams County Arts Council (ACAC) was present to promote its Kids Dinner Club Zoom cooking class.
The Kids Dinner Club goes one step beyond the market and offers kids unique opportunities to learn about food and healthy recipes in fun, engaging ways, according to J’Amy Graham Thomas, ACAC instructor.
“The focus of the arts council is reaching out and enriching the lives of the community,” she said.
It is important to get children started young about healthy eating and the empowerment that comes with knowing how to cook, according to Thomas.
Often if a child doesn’t like a particular food, it can be a textural aspect and healthy eating classes open conversation about different recipes to get the whole family involved, she said.
More information about ACAC can be found at https://www.adamsarts.org/.
Kids’ Day establishes the market as a local gathering place as well as a local resource center and whether climbing aboard a neighborhood fire engine, or just seeing the many types of local apples up close, Kids’ Day fosters a strong sense of community.
Through the collaboration of the farmers market, Healthy Adams County, ACAC, and other participating organizations, discussion is opened about healthy eating and community resources.
“It’s about the food, the families, the kids, and the activities,” Glahn said.
Kids punch cards, good for three market bucks after six visits, are also available at the market every session.
Thankful for a beautiful day at the height of the market season, and despite canceling Kids’ Day in 2020 due to the pandemic, this year’s Kids’ Day was “the most successful yet,” market manager Reza Djalal said.
ACFM runs through the end of October, for more market information visit https://www.acfarmersmarkets.org/.
More information about Healthy Adams can be found at https://www.adamsfoodpolicy.org/.
A.L. Grabenstein, reporter, is a graduate of Philadelphia's La Salle University with a B.A in Communication and has been a journalist since 2016. She has reported for the Gettysburg Times and the Times Herald in Norristown, PA. Grabenstein moved to Gettysburg from Montgomery County in 2019. She was born in San Antonio, TX., and previously lived in Virginia, and North Carolina. Grabenstein is actively involved in the borough of Gettysburg and loves giving voices to the local community.