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Altered Farmers Market

Sept 14, 2021

This program aims to promote the values of work ethic, teamwork, education and fun.

This year's Youth Farmers Market had to once again be adjusted to fit with the provincial health restrictions in place due to COVID-19, but thanks to pre-orders and curbside pick-up it was still a complete success.

This annual program provides the young people with the opportunity to gain valuable employability skills while they set up and run their own farmers market.  Thanks to funding from the Youth Development Initiative, we have been able to offer this program every summer for more than a decade. The past two years have been slightly different as a result of the pandemic, but the value of the program remains the same.

HomeBridge's Program Coordinator works with the participants from beginning to end, starting with an orientation session where they learn all about the program, what to expect and what will be expected of them.  This session also includes practice job interviews, education on safety practices, basic food handling skills and the fundamentals of sales and marketing.  Then the budding entrepreneurs start the real work.  Typically, the venture ends with them operating two public markets, however, this year they once again opted for pre-orders and curb side pick-up.  They prepared order forms outlining the produce options, circulated them throughout the HomeBridge Community and then headed to the Annapolis Valley to harvest what they needed to fill the orders.  They spent a full day gathering everything from peaches and apples to a full variety of root vegetables.  They also took a gamble on investing in some extra supplies to make homemade treats to sell when customers arrived to pick up their orders. 

The next day was spent sorting produce, packing orders and baking up a storm.  The team made apple and peach crisp, chocolate chip cookies, dog treats, blueberry sauce and blueberry BBQ sauce to sell.  When their customers arrived to pick up their orders all of their marketing and customer service training paid off as did the investment they made in extra produce for their homemade products.  They sold out of baked good nearly immediately and their blueberry sauces were also very popular. 

Each participant received an evaluation in the end explaining their strengths and weaknesses during the program as well as valuable experience to list on their resumes. This program aims to promote the values of work ethic, teamwork, education and fun.  It was another successful year for the young people and we would like to thank everyone involved for making it possible. Hopefully next year we will be back to business as usual. 

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