The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

 
 

Young green thumbs

 

Cortney Ofstad/Daily Globe

BROOKE OFSTAD, Sam DeCarlo and Jackie Vinopal organize lettuce at the Iron County Farmers Market in Hurley Wednesday. The group sold crops at the market for the first time from the garden at the Hurley K-12 School.

HURLEY — Students in the Youth Farm to Market program participated in their first farmers market Wednesday in Hurley.

According to group leader Joy Schelble, nutrition education program coordinator in the Iron County University of Wisconsin-Extension office, the event was a success.

“It went really well,” Schelble said. “The kids did a phenomenal job.”

The students sold crops at the Iron County Farmers Market. The market had its first sale of the season on Wednesday and, according to Schelble, the experienced sellers were helpful with the youth.

“Each vendor came up to the table and was providing guidance on packaging produce, displaying it and caring for the plants,” Schelble said. “It was incredible, the generosity and how helpful everyone was.”

Produce included lettuce, sugar snap peas, beets, zucchini and garlic, all from the garden at the Hurley K-12 School.

“We have 10 core kids involved with the farmers market, but we also do educational outreach with over 60 kids through the Stars Program on Wednesday in the garden,” Schelble said. “It’s quite thrilling to have the kids experience learning opportunities through nutrition and opportunities in agriculture, as well.”

The program is a collaboration between the Hurley School District, Iron County Human Services Department and the UW-Extension.

“Local organizations and greenhouses donated supplies for the garden and market, so we are so thankful for that,” Schelble said. “There is a lot of community support around this.”

Schelble plans to expand the program to include more kids and bring in more technology.

“With issues in hunger and poverty in the area, it’s exciting to be finding ways to add healthy food to the community,” Schelble said. “Our goal is to find a way to have (Electronic Benefit Transfer) technology installed here to allow people to use their cards to purchase fresh veggies.”

The goal is to continue selling produce at the market through the summer and fall.

“We’ll be here every Wednesday, but our supply size might vary each week,” she said. “Also, Iron County has a rich history of agriculture and it’s exciting to have kids be a part of revitalizing the farmers market. The kids really seem to be enjoying the experience, and hopefully we can continue this into the future.”