La Primaria School Hosts Farmer’s Market

by M. Earle, Mountain View School District

“Come get your organic fruits and vegetables and support our school” could be heard loud and clear along Gilman Road in El Monte as students from La Primaria School hosted a Farmer’s Market.

Sponsored by City of Hope, the Farmer’s Market provided community members the chance to purchase fruits and vegetables locally, and also enabled students the opportunity to experience running a business. The students were very attentive, friendly and knowledgeable and did a wonderful job managing the event and selling the organic fruits and vegetables and reusable shopping bags they made out of t-shirts.

Prior to the pandemic, La Primaria and City of Hope partnered to host a couple successful Farmer’s Markets and are happy to resume the event. To prepare for the Farmer’s Market, La Primaria teachers, Janette Salce and Nora Eskew worked with students after school, providing training on the roles of cashier, sales representative and marketing manager. They also taught the students about inventory, quality control, pricing and customer service. First graders pitched in by creating signs and posters for the event.

The school appreciates City of Hope for sponsoring the Farmer’s Market and Food Roots Farm for the produce.

“City of Hope is a great partner and we are grateful for their sponsorship of the Farmer’s Market,” said Salce. “In addition to providing our students with hands-on learning and our community with access to fresh produce, our goal is to use the proceeds to sustain the Farmer’s Market without outside sponsorship,” she added.

As shoppers browsed the tables the students were happy to share their knowledge and even some recipes using the fruits and vegetables they were selling which included broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers, limes, carrots, zucchini, lemons, bell peppers, and eggplant.

“It’s fun selling the vegetables and helping others get healthy,” said Tabatha Rodriguez, fifth grader.
“We have learned a lot about fruits and vegetables and we inspected all of the items to make sure they were fresh to sell today.”

“I like participating with everyone and working the Farmer’s Market,” said Emile Montanez, fifth grader, who was busy selling reusable shopping bags. “It’s a lot of fun and will help our school.”

According to Mrs. Eskew, the students are learning valuable lessons regarding running a business and other important life skills such as responsibility, organization, punctuality and confidence.

“The Farmer’s Market enables our students to develop good social skills and customer service,” said Eskew. “They are very enthusiastic and have done a great job. We are very proud of their efforts.”

Fifth grader, Bryan Lopez was serving as cashier, thanking shoppers for their purchases. “I like selling the fruits and vegetables to people and making them go off with a smile,” he said as he tallied up a purchase for a customer. “It’s nice that they buy stuff and help our school.”

Along with the fresh produce, the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) provided information on its expanded food and nutrition education program and the Think Together program provided information on enrolling in their afterschool program.

As the Farmer’s Market drew to a close, the students were very excited that most of the items sold out and they are eager to increase their inventory for their next event set for Tuesday, May 17 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.