Bring your kids to the Monticello Market.  Between July 9 and September 24, all kids ages 4-12 will be able to participate in the Power of Produce Kids Club. (POP Kids Club)

When kids come to the market, they register with the farmers’ market desk. Each child receives a token worth $2 and a reusable shopping bag.  Kids can then wander the market and pick their favorite fruits or vegetables and purchase them with their own money.  Each week families return during the POP Club weeks, kids will receive another token!

This is a win-win-win for families, farmers and our communities.

The Crow River Food Council, the Monticello Farmers Market and LiveWright are partnering to bring this great program to the market.

We are thankful to the Wright County Area United Way and Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electrical Association for financial sponsorship support along with funds provided by the Statewide Health Improvement Program of the MN Department of Health.

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Success in 2015 for the Power of Produce Program

BoyPoP_webGirlsPoP_webAfter much preparation and planning, the first season of the PoP at the Monticello Farmers’ Market was a fantastic success. In total, over 400 kids signed up to participate in the program in Monticello. Using their $2 tokens, participants carefully selected everything from raspberries and cucumbers to squash and eggplant. At summer’s end, 1012 tokens were redeemed.

With a successful launch at the Monticello Farmers’ Market, the PoP expanded to the Saturday Market in Delano through the second half of the summer season. At this smaller market, 71 kids signed up and redeemed 185 tokens.

Positive feedback from kid participants, in addition to survey results from both parents and market vendors indicate the need to continue the program in 2016. In doing so, Food Council members will work to secure funding through sponsorships and grants and explore the potential of expanding the program to new markets in the region.

If you are interested in providing funding for the 2016 Power of Produce Program, would like to be involved with the program or have questions for the Food Council, please contact us at connect@crowriverfoodcouncil.org. Be sure to find us on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Long-time organic farmers Greg and Mary Reynolds of Riverbend Farm in Delano, Minn., are the 2015 MOSES Organic Farmers of the Year. This prestigious award recognizes organic farmers who practice outstanding land stewardship, innovation and outreach. The Reynolds received their award at the 2015 MOSES Organic Farming Conference last week.

Dedicated to experimenting with new systems to improve biodiversity and fertility on 30 acres of diversified organic vegetable and small grains production, the Reynolds are well known for their generosity in sharing their knowledge with both other farmers and consumers. Read more.

Nick and Amelia Neaton
Published in MinnPost, February 20, 2015

NEW GERMANY, Minn. — Sometime this spring, on 10 acres of farmland now lying fallow in the February cold, Nick and Amelia Neaton will once again plant vegetables for the people living in the small towns and villages of northwest Carver County.

Eighty “shareholders” will pay the Neatons $560 for a full share (or $330 for a half) of sweet peppers, red slicing tomatoes, Brussels sprouts and an assortment of other produce. A grocery store/restaurant in Minneapolis and a suburban school district are among the other customers that will look to this small plot of land for some of their food. Read more…