Howard County Farmers’ Market volunteers are completing a pavilion and storage building to house a new program for children, The Kidz Klub. The new program is part of the Nashville Demonstration Organic Garden (NDOG), located at the Farmers’ Market.
Kidz Klub was piloted last year and includes activities that encourage children to learn gardening skills and that teach about healthy nutrition and where their food comes from. The first two registered members were Paisley and Jolene Mobbs, children of Kelsey and Joe Mobbs. Early meetings of the pilot program were in the NDOG greenhouse until the weather became too hot, then tables were set up under trees in search of a shady location, although rain and wind made some meetings difficult.
The NDOG Kidz Klub attendance increased each week from three to 12 attendees, with others expressing an interest in future programs. Because of the program’s success and interest future Kidz Klub activities, volunteers decided to make the pilot program a permanent part of the NDOG’s scheduled workshops.
These workshops are conducted by the Farmers’ Market to increase access to healthy nutrition and encourage healthy nutritional behaviors as part of Nashville’s Growing Healthy Communities Initiative.
The market had already received some funding for a storage facility from Blue and You Foundation for a Healthy Arkansas as part of this initiative and plans for the storage were modified to provide a covered area and storage for the Kidz Klub activities.
Tony Fatherree Sand and Gravel and Smith’s Ready Mix donated their services to cover costs that were not covered by the Blue and You Foundation grant. Jerry McCammack’s crew built the building, also donating some of the additional costs needed. Plans are to hold fundraising activities this year to supply electricity and water to new building and to provide program materials.
The first meeting of the 2018 Kidz Klub will be held Friday, June 8, 8:30 to 10 a.m. at the new Kidz Klub Pavilion. Children ages 3-10 may enroll in the new program.
Some of the summer activities will be selecting plants for “Gardening in a Glove”, learning about making healthy food choices using the USDA “My Plate” program, and how to make “healthy” ice cream and other frozen treats.
The participants will even pedal a bicycle to make their own refreshing smoothies.
Other topics will be Wiggly Worms – A Garden’s and Gardener’s Best Friend, Planting a Pollinator Garden – Butterflies, Bees and Other Pollinators, Attracting Birds to Your Garden.
Participants will make a variety of garden art projects and complete the season on Aug. 3 by making a scrapbook with pictures and written memories of their NDOG Kidz Klub summer activities.
The Farmers’ Market, NDOG and the new Kidz Klub are all part of the Nashville Growing Healthy Community Initiative to increase access to healthy nutrition and improve nutritional behaviors. Farmers’ Market volunteers hold tastings, cooking demonstrations, garden workshops and other free educational activities during Market hours and at other times throughout the year as part of this initiative.
For more information about NDOG and the Kidz Klub, contact Gerry Wenta at (903) 278-6716 or Tempi LaMothe at (870) 557-6722. Information will also be available at the Howard County Farmers’ Market booth during the Peach Blossom Festival, Saturday, May 5 at the Nashville City Park.