Local Foods for Young and Old

It has been another great year for the Highland Farmers’ Market, with neighbors coming together to purchase the freshest local produce, meat, dairy and more.  The Market, which runs every Friday afternoon through September, saw record-breaking sales this summer as well as increased usage of SNAP Benefits, with a 1:1 match generously provided by the Highland Evangelical Association.

You may have noticed some younger faces at the Highland market this year, as participants in the Health and Nutrition from the Garden program ran a booth selling vegetables that were grown and harvested from the school garden.  The booth was entirely youth-run, with students creating the signage, interacting with customers, taking payment, and making change.  The program, a partnership between The Highland Center and Virginia Cooperative Extension/4H, taught elementary students about planting, harvesting and maintaining vegetable beds and preparing easy healthy recipes with garden produce.  Two students earned Junior Master Gardener certificates from the program.  Many thanks to the Highland County Public Library and the Allegheny Mountain Institute for their volunteer support of this project.

The Highland Center is also leading a four-county Farmers’ Market Promotion Program with funding from the USDA.  The grant has helped markets in Highland, Bath, Pendleton, and Pocahontas Counties come together to share successes and improve their amenities and signage.  It has also supported marketing and education for local farmers and has led to the expansion of the Faces of Farmers website.  The creation of a Faces of Farmers video is in production with local filmmaker KT! Eaton, and multiple farms in Pocahontas and Pendleton Counties are being added to the site.

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