Local Families Find Farmers Market Fun, Educational Experience
By Dave Woods • Official Kids Mag
Chandun O’Neal enjoyed his recent trip to the kids day at the Fayetteville Farmers Market.
“I like that you get to have fun,” the 6-year-old Holcomb Elementary School student said. “It’s fun to come with friends. It’s just cool and fun hanging out.”
That morning, Chandun played in a bounce house, shopped for fruits and vegetables with his adults and got to hang out in an unusual place.
“I got to go on a helicopter,” he said, proudly grinning. “It was fun. I hadn’t been in one before. I just wanted to do it. The pilot uses the controls to fly it. It was yellow and had a big engine.”
Each year local farmers markets host special events designed for kids. The events stress the importance of healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. Chandun didn’t seem to care about the healthy aspects of the event, but he won’t soon forget his time in the pilot’s seat.
“We come out for the fruit and vegetables,” Jeanene O’Neal, Chandun’s mom, said. “Today kid stuff is going on. We’re jumping on the trampoline. They have the bounce house out here. We were going to go bounce some more, watch a magic show, walk around and get a popsicle.”
While a kid friendly event is always a nice extra for the O’Neal family, regular trips to the farmers market are important for other reasons.
“My kids are enjoying seeing their friends,” Jeanene said. “They are talking to the vendors about the different fruits and vegetables. They are trying the different things that are here to sample. They’ve had Chex Mix and we are going to go back to get more squash and okra. It’s important they have vegetables in their diet.”
Jaynie Hesselgren, a Fayetteville mom, brought her three daughters to the market as well.
“They are having a good time,” she said. “There’s the fresh air and the feel of Fayetteville. Establishing roots and getting to know the community is important. Learning healthy eating habits and connecting with the town is good.”
Her daughters agreed.
“It’s better than a regular market,” Helen, a 10-year-old Fayetteville student explained. “I like seeing the dogs. This is our first time to bring (my dog) Daisy. I like walking her around out here. I like the blackberries, and the ice cream and the tomatoes.”
Her sister, Emelia, has her farmers market favorites, too.
“I like the fresh smells and the flowers,” she said. “We buy them a lot. I like the flowers and all sorts of berries. It’s a fun place and I like getting outside and buying stuff.”