Summer may be over for lemonade stands, but it's just starting for the newest farm-fresh favorite activity to hit Beacon - vegetable stands. Fleeting vegetable markets have popped up in Beacon for a few years now, with the green truck from Green Teen (a program connected to Common Ground Farm) parking in designated lots, as well as appearing at the Beacon Farmers Market (of course) on Sundays.
Now, thanks to an initiative from the Beacon Parks and Recreation Department, Hudson Valley Seed (an education-based food-growing program that is woven into Beacon City Schools' curriculum), and Common Ground Farm, kids from Beacon's After School Program (A Little Beacon Blog first wrote about the program here) will be running "Crop Shops," pop-up vegetable stands during the students' Food Fridays, rotating Fridays among South Avenue, J.V. Forrestal, and Sargent elementary schools.
In the After School Program, each weekday has a theme, such as baking, karate, yoga, or bird-watching, run by a business or nonprofit from the Beacon community. During the program's first quarterly session, Fridays are designated Food Fridays, and the kids learn to make snacks. Thanks to this program, the kids will also learn commerce as they run the vegetable stands. "Staff from the After School Program as well as Hudson Valley Seed will be on hand to make sure the kids have a great experience and learn about produce, small business and salesmanship," says Nate Smith, the Recreation Department's assistant director. "Please be patient while a second grader figures out your total and makes change!"
Donation to the After School Program's Tuition Assistance Program
The kid-run vegetable stands are open to the public, and will rotate among three of the Beacon district's four elementary schools. (Glenham Elementary isn't participating right now.) The stands, which will spend two Fridays at each school, will be open from 4:45 to 6 pm. Half of the stands' proceeds will go toward the After School Program's Tuition Assistance Program, which offers a 50 percent discount to students who qualify for the Free Lunch Program. Kids in roughly half of the families in Beacon qualify for free lunch program.
Schedule for Farm Stand Fridays
Here's the lineup. Check back with this article to make sure you're going on the right day!
Fridays, 4:45 to 6 pm
10/6 and 10/13 – South Avenue
Front entrance near the disabled parking
10/20 and 10/27 – Sargent
Lower cafeteria entrance
11/3 and 11/10 – J.V. Forrestal
In front of main entrance