The Giant Student Farmers Market Blooms Again!

“They have to learn how to plant this stuff, grow it, sell it, use the money to reinvest in the products that they’re [making]…It teaches the kids about Earth and how to protect our Earth and the environment that we’ve got.” –Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak on the Giant Student Farmers Market

How Watering One Small Idea…

Green Our Planet hosted its first Student Farmers Market in 2016 with only 12 schools participating. The idea came from Green Our Planet Co-CEOs and Cofounders Ciara Byrne and Kim MacQuarrie. Noticing a lack of financial literacy education in CCSD, a school district with a high concentration of Title 1 schools, Ciara and Kim saw opportunity in their STEM school garden programs.

Not only could the students gain valuable hands-on experience with STEM, nutrition and conservation, but they could also develop critical life skills in personal finance and entrepreneurship by selling their school garden harvest to the public. Thus, the seeds for Green Our Planet’s Farmpreneur Program and Giant Student Farmers Market were sown.

“I’ve never been on a field trip like this before. We’re going to sell crafts and sell veggies!” –Student Farmpreneur at the Giant Student Farmers Market

Sprouted into the Largest Student Farmers Market in the Nation!

The Market has grown into a major biannual Las Vegas event. This year’s edition featured student-grown fruits and vegetables from almost 50 school gardens throughout the CCSD. Roughly 500 student Farmprenuers came together to sell their produce and hand-made garden crafts to the public, with the help of 78 volunteers, 99 teachers and approximately 2,000 attendees.

Among the visitors were Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, Congresswoman Susie Lee, Senator Marilyn Dondero Loop, Nevada Superintendent Jhone Ebert, CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara, Chair of Statewide Financial Literacy Advisory Council Ray Specht, MasterChef winner Shaun O’Neale and eleven 2019 Obama Fellows, including Green Our Planet Co-CEO, Ciara Byrne. The students raised over $12,500 – more than any other Giant Student Farmers Market in the event’s history! All the proceeds will be reinvested into the participating school garden programs.

“It’s great to see kids excited about food. I didn’t have that when I was growing up, so it’s super exciting to see that joy in kids this age. We’ve lost track of where we’re getting our food from and we’ve allowed it to get to where it’s polluting the environment more and more every single day and we’re killing the planet. So for these kids to actually know where their food is coming from and to be able to grow it at home or on local farms is not only great for them, but it’s great for everybody around them in the community as a whole.” – MasterChef winner Shaun O’Neale

Like Rain After A Long Drought

This year’s Giant Student Farmers Market was appropriately themed, “Burst of Joy!” The pandemic created many challenges for schools over the past two years. Teachers have been overworked and exhausted. Students have been isolated from their peers and subject to increased anxiety and trauma. As the first field trip CCSD schools have been able to give their students in roughly two years, this event was a much-needed “burst of joy” for everyone involved.

“Really, when you think about being here in the desert and our kids farming with Green Our Planet and the opportunity that we’ve tied not only growing our vegetables, but also then marketing and selling them.” – CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara

Benefiting the Community Ecosystem

Thanks to a grant from United Way of Southern nevada, students learned the basics of finance and entrepreneurship leading up to the event through Green Our Planet’s garden-based financial literacy curriculum. The Giant Student Farmers Market provides an opportunity for students to gain real-world experience running their own business by pricing their produce and selling it at the market to community members. And those student Farmprenuers excelled at running their first-ever businesses, raising over $12,500. That surpasses  the revenue from Green Our Planet’s last Giant Student Farmers Market by more than $2,000! All proceeds will be reinvested directly into the school garden programs.

“To think that all of our precious plants from our school are making people’s dinners and making them happier and bringing them food – it’s amazing.” Said a Student Farmpreneur at the event.

The Schools That Created a Buzzzz 🐝

While each booth at the Giant Student Farmers Market delighted and inspired in its own unique way, a few schools stood out and won the day’s coveted green awards. 

Best Green Product: Quannah McCall Elementary School

Best Marketing: Youth Horticulture

Most Garden Team Spirit: Josh Stevens Elementary School

Heaviest Vegetable: Crestwood Elementary School

Hear the story of Crestwood Elementary’s award-winning vegetable!

And It Keeps on Growing

Green Our Planet’s Giant Student Farmers Market may have started small back in 2016, but now it’s the largest student-run farmers market in the country and has given thousands of students the chance to run their own business and support their school garden. 

If you missed the Market this time around, don’t worry! The Giant Student Farmers Market will return in October 2022, so mark your calendars and stay tuned for updates! You can look out for updates for the event here or through our social media channels.

Thank you to our partners!

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