Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Spud Club educates children about sustainable eating at Evanston Farmers’ Market

Sarah Serota/The Daily Northwestern
At the Downtown Evanston Farmers’ Market, families draw with chalk at the Spud Club.

Evanston residents crowded around booths at the Evanston Farmers’ Market, sampling and purchasing local produce and food Saturday. In the market’s center, children and parents crafted colorful chalk drawings on the pavement. 

Every Saturday, the Spud Club hosts a tent for children aged 2 to 10 and their families at the farmers’ market. The club is a free program designed to introduce children to healthy eating practices, according to the City’s website.

For many parents, the Spud Club is their first Farmers’ Market stop. Evanston resident Greg Burhop said he and his children love the Spud Club. 

“I have such fond memories, especially around the fall (with) the fall activities that they had out here,” he said. “We have such beautiful pictures from this last year.” 

Burhop said his family typically spends half their time at the market at the Spud Club tent. 

Along with activities like coloring and tracing one another with chalk, Burhop said he takes his children to the Spud Club for educational purposes.

“There have been some times when (they) were teaching us how to plant things and teaching us about plants, and we really enjoyed that too,” he said. 

Many children are regulars at the Spud Club. Every weekend they visit and participate in an activity, they can get a punch on their Spud Club punch card. After the card is fully punched, children can choose a reward from a market-themed bushel basket.

The club is frequently run by volunteers. This weekend, Evanston Township High School sophomore Tyson Clark volunteered at the tent. It was his second time helping run the tent. 

Clark recently moved to Evanston from California and said volunteering at the Spud Club reminds him of home. 

“I’m glad I can help them build their future,” he said. “Maybe they want to be an artist, so I’m here to help them do art.” 

Evanston resident Kristen Hren said she regularly takes her son Zephyr Hren to the market. 

She said the Spud Club is a good activity for young children who wake up early in the morning and hopes to teach her son more about sustainable gardening. 

“We are trying to teach him about growing his own food,” Kristen Hren said. “We have a big garden in our backyard, and it’s important for him to see where food comes from.”

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