Hands On at the Farmers Market

By Holly Giles | Field Trips

farmers market

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The Farmers Market

How can you turn a morning at the farmers market into a homeschool lesson? Follow our morning at the farmers market and we will show you 5 life skills your kids can learn.
I gave each of my boys $5 and a food challenge. They needed to purchase food for our family for the week.  I gave Grant  $5  to purchase fruit for our family of four for one week. Grayson was given $5 to purchase vegetables to last our family for one week. Grant headed for watermelon, $2.  It’s big and that should last a week, right?  He forgets that watermelon is his favorite, and if we don’t watch him, he will eat the whole thing!
 grant buying a watermelon
Grayson loves cabbage.  He headed over to pick out the best one he could find for $2.
grayson picking out cabbage
It is hard to pay $2 for cabbage that you paid .50 for a few months ago! Shopping for food that is in season will stretch your money. Farmers’ markets are a place to find bargain prices for bumper crops and end-of-season finds.
Grant was swayed by peaches and plums for a total of $3.50.  He had to bum a buck off his brother to pay for it all.  He convinced him of the thought of eating a juicy plum.
grant buying peaches at the farmers market
buying plums on a homeschool field trip to the farmers' market

The Challenge

Grayson is now on the hunt for green beans and asparagus.  He only has $2.50 left after loaning .50 to his brother.  We were starting to get pretty hot at the farmers market, and I was ready to head out.  We stopped at the last booth where green beans and asparagus were on the table.  After weighing out the beans and picking a good bunch of asparagus, the total came to $3.00.  When Grayson emptied his pocket and had a frown on his face, the stand owner said $2.50 will be fine today!
farmers market homeschool field trip
They did it! Each spent $5 for what they thought would last a week. Now, I had to buy cucumbers and dill for a pickle recipe, and Florida avocados were calling my name at 50 cents each.  Grant LOVES apples and begged for a basket for $1, so I caved. He is so cute!
buying apples and avocados at the farmers market
We brought our new farmers’ market cart on wheels with us for the first time. It seemed to have very large holes in the frame, but I thought it would be fine.  As we drove out of the parking lot and I looked in the mirror, I saw a trail of apples on the road! Grant jumped out and collected his treasure and we headed home.
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Funny thing is, those avocados were never seen again. I sure missed them in my salad that night.  We have looked high and low, and they were too big to fall through the holes.  It is a mystery.
homeschool science curriculum grocery

The Results

The food did last us about a week.  The cabbage worked in two meals. The green beans lasted one.  The asparagus was enough for two meals also. Then, over the weekend we ate at other places twice. The peaches were very good. We decided to go back for more next week to make peach jam.  The plums were nice and ripe.  Grant forgot he did not like granny smith apples so we made tarts.  And the watermelon, it pays to try a sample.  It was certainly not the best we’ve had, so we shared it.
chickens eating watermelon
How about you and your kids doing a grocery challenge?

The Skills

  • The boys are learning communication skills by talking to the vendors.
  • They are having to add up purchases and make the change while working on a budget.
  • They are also learning how to buy food.  How much does it cost versus how far can it go with a family of four and what happens when you make a poor choice.
  • Comparison shopping for the best price.
  • They are trying new foods that they choose themselves.
  • The boys are cooking new recipes by using what we have on hand.
farmers market challenge
farmers market homeschool lessons


About the Author

Holly Giles is a wife, mother, and storyteller. As an author and Florida Master Naturalist, she writes about heritage homemaking skills, motherhood, and why Florida offers the best hidden natural gems to explore as a family.

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