STAFF NOTE: This week we said farewell to our beloved Market Manager Georgia! Georgia knew how to create a welcoming and upbeat environment for all of our market locations. The care she took with each customer and the compassion she showed for the community helped shape our market programs to be a community gathering place. Thank you to Georgia for your hard work and dedication over the past year! To catch some tidbits Georgia has shared about the mobile market this year, keep reading…
By Georgia Meyer, Market Manager
While the market team is gearing up for another fantastic year of Project GROWS Mobile, it’s important to reflect on the little things that made 2022 so special… Here are 5 things that made a BIG difference on the mobile market truck this year.
1) Samples and snacks: great for morale!
There’s nothing quite like a good snack, and ours were as fresh as they come! Customers and PG team members frequently enjoyed some fruits and vegetables off the truck, and even tried some specialty dishes made by Mackenzie and Chef Aaron back at our big green barn. Little known fact, for some of our younger market-goers, carrot snacks are a gateway vegetable to a myriad of other tasty treats such as turnips, radishes and even beets!
2) Back pocket kid’s games
Speaking of young market-goers, summertime markets means enrichment activities (aka, games). While farm fresh snacks are a great draw to learning about local and seasonal produce, back pocket kid’s games are key to making the market a fun and engaging event! Farrier Court residents enjoyed I Spy, Simon says and Tag throughout the summer while their parents shopped.
3) The Mighty Tomato
The superstar of this season was, without contest, the unrivaled heirloom tomato. Gypsy Hill House customers would start their market line a full hour before we opened for business, just to have their pick of the tastiest Dad’s Sunsets and Brandywines. Cherry tomatoes were eaten like candy, and even green tomatoes were available upon request. Will we ever grow enough tomatoes to satisfy our customers? Only time will tell. In the meantime, we have Calixto Farm and Singing Earth Produce to thank for keeping our market-goers happy.
4) A Stellar Market Team
My unbiased opinion is that Project GROWS Mobile had the best market team in the biz. Rain or shine our team was happy to stand outside, slinging vegetables and catching up on the week. All customers were met with a smile, and more often than not our new friends would hang around much longer than it took to buy their weekly share of fresh produce.
5) Snap Double Dollars: Virginia Fresh Match
Last but not least, Virginia Fresh Match made this year a successful one. With grocery store prices increasing and COVID-era SNAP allotments ending in February, accessing healthy and affordable food is challenging for many families in our region. Thanks to our partnership with VFM, we are able to offer customers double their money on fresh fruits and vegetables. That’s twice as many tomatoes!!
Project GROWS Mobile is a celebration of local food and local folks, and the 2022 season was full of delicious recipes and new friends. We are beyond thrilled to return for our second season this May!