Monday, July 1, 2019

Master Gardener Activities Farmers Market

by Ed Powers
I have been a Master Gardener for more than 9 years, 4 in Michigan and 5 in Colorado.  Master Gardeners are usually sponsored by a state university and the local County.  We are connected to a major agricultural university; in our case it is Colorado State University. I have worked many activities in those years in both states, although I have enjoyed Colorado the most.  Of all those activities, ones that I have enjoyed the most are the activities we perform at the Farmers Market. 
Master Gardeners at Evergreen Farmers Market assisting individuals
Farmers Markets have been around for centuries. Originally, they were found in many smaller farming communities for farmers to sell their produce to the local town’s people.  Things have changed over the years as larger grocery stores replaced these markets. For a period of time the farmer’s markets disappeared, but recently they have made a resurgence, in part because of a public desire for naturally and locally grown food.  Now, not only do we find produce but also clothing, cooked food and beverages, plants and many other things.
Farmers Markets have become a great place for Master Gardeners to help local individuals garden successfully.  

Markets are usually weekly and happen during the growing seasons. The Master Gardeners arrive at these farmers markets, set up a canopy, and are assigned a place to display gardening information about the local area.  While we set up topics to discuss at each of our weekly markets, most of the time individuals come in to discuss challenges within their gardening efforts.
It is a pleasure to use our own knowledge when answering their questions, and of course we do enjoy discussing gardening.  Also, we share other resources with them such as the CSU garden notes and fact sheets, and remind guests that they are welcome to email in questions they may have. We also work with younger gardeners, encouraging them to continue their gardening effort. This just a great time as we really enjoy assisting people.

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