Kids are cultivating for their future at farmers’ market

The Cultivate Kids community garden at the Cave Junction Farmers’ Market in Kerby Friday, July 28.
(Photo by Lindsay Martinho for the Illinois Valley News)
The Cave Junction Farmers’ Market has a new, shady spot for local youths to gather as they learn about how they can work to create a more environmentally conscious future for themselves. 
The market’s generalized children’s program that was created in 2018 has blossomed into Cultivate Kids, a hands-on program that aims to teach children how to develop sustainable life skills. These skills include gardening, plant identification and composting. This year, participants have planted their own trees and have been working toward planting small gardens around those trees. Although some of the children only show up for a few of these lessons, Cultivate Kids has managed to generate a small group of dedicated regular attendees, as well as some teams of volunteers to help the children learn.
“We’re really just teaching them how to take care of the environment, and they get to run around and play,” explained Cave Junction Farmers’ Market manager Alisa Ocean, adding, “I’m super excited about expanding the program as time goes on.”  
One of the most recent expansions is a large, handmade wooden trellis that will not only shade participants as they learn about the world around them, but also allow them to grow plants that need to climb. When asked who made it, Ocean emphasized that the structure’s creation was a “combined effort where the community came together to create something amazing for these kids.” 
The Cultivate Kids program is entirely free for participants and the supplies that are used are all fundraised through community-based efforts like Cans For Kids. 
Later this year, Cultivate Kids instructors will begin teaching participants how to create treasure out of what others would call trash for the market’s annual upcycle competition and fashion show. This will be much easier to do now that they have a nice spot in the shade to create their upcycled goods. 
If you would like to learn more about or contribute to the Cultivate Kids program, email cjfarmersmarketinfo@gmail.com .  The Cave Junction Farmers’ Market is open Fridays from 4-7 p.m. at 24100 Highway 199 in Kerby.