This Thursday is Kid's Night at the farmers market - All children under 18 will receive a special gift.

Studies show that the younger you can introduce children to a variety of fruits and vegetables, the better the chance they will have a quality diet as they grow older. We know that the amount of fruit and vegetable intake, as well as the quality of their overall diets, impacts not only their physical health, but also their mental health and academic achievement. That is why the Ottawa County Farmers Market makes it a point to encourage shoppers to bring their children and grandchildren to the market each week. Being exposed to an event that showcases fresh produce, participating in nutrition and agricultural-related kid’s activities, and being able to taste samples of produce and plant-forward meals can have a positive impact on children’s opinion of healthy eating.

This Thursday is Kid’s Night at the farmers market. This event is sponsored by the Miami Public Library. Parents can sign their 3 to 12-year-olds up for the library’s 2018 summer reading program “Libraries Rock”. This special program uses books, games, music, and STEAM activities to make reading fun. Log your child’s reading and get rewarded with discounts at area businesses or visit the children’s library “store” to buy gifts.

We will have a fun kid’s craft, healthy snack, and balloon animals provided by the Library. Alexis will be demonstrating and providing free tastings of kid-friendly cheesy broccoli quesadillas. Stay awhile and listen to Miami’s-own Aaron Anderson playing live guitar. All children under 18 will receive a special gift from the farmers market and everyone else can enter their name into our raffle for one of three market shirt and tote bag prize packages!

This week, we will see the first of this season’s cucumbers and squash As well as, more strawberries if you missed out on them last week. Also expect asparagus, broccoli, turnips, radishes, cabbage, kohlrabi, assorted greens, and fresh herbs. Ramer Farm Market & Bakery will have a variety of baked goods, including gluten-free, sugar-free, and naturally-sweetened choices. J-M Farms returns with their wholesale mushrooms by the pound. Payne’s Happy Harvest will have farm-fresh eggs for sale. Emu Only of will have medicinal lotions and heating pads to help ease those aches and pains. Beaded Aquarius will have bath products and jewelry for purchase. Blazin B’s BBQ food truck from Grove will be parked at the market so bring the family out for dinner and Miami’s Frozen Cabana will have shaved ice treats for sale. Four States Honey will be back with local clover honey on May 31.

Come out to see us every Thursday from 4-7 p.m. under the pavilion at All Saints Episcopal Church at 225 B St NW near downtown Miami. We welcome cash, credit, and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Benefits. We also “SNAP and Match” (up to $20 each market), so stop by the information table for more details about how to make your SNAP dollars go further at the market.

Kris Woodruff is the Market Coordinator for the Ottawa County Farmers Market. Learn more about the market at https://ottawacountyfm.com/ or connect with them on Facebook.