Sullivan County Farm Market Scavenger Hunt

The "New York Harvest for New York Kids Week" Farm Market Scavenger Hunt was created by the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Program of Sullivan County as part of the Smart Bites nutrition program. It was designed to bring children, and their parents, to the farm market experience. The children "hunted" for items, and information from market vendors about their products including food preparation, storage and nutrition. Special-shaped balloons (apple, corn, etc.) identified the vendors. The children received a prize after completing the hunt. The following tips should help you develop a similar project.

diamond   First, our CCE has a strong presence at the local Farm Markets. We coordinate with other CCE programs so that there is always a display, or activity sponsored by a CCE program. As a result, we have established a great relationship with the vendors and the Farm Market Manager.
diamond   I approached the vendors to learn what they "harvested" and learned what their favorite or signature product was. Not every vendor sold produce so as a result we had to look at what they produced...such as Maple Syrup, baked goods, and jams and jellies.
diamond   I then created questions focusing on their product. I also created handouts and recipe cards that the vendors were to distribute to the children.
diamond   It was equally important, depending on the size of the market, to map out where the vendors were located. As a parent, I know how frustrating, and tiring, it is to have to run from one end of the market to the other several times. We kept everything in a one-way flow.
diamond   It was important to create a "kid friendly" environment. We made signs that were fun and informed people that there was an activity for children at the farm market. In addition, to keep the kids on track, we blazed a trail by using festive fruit and vegetable balloons to post at the vendor's table. This made it very easy for the kids to pick out a participating vendor. (I have a great contact for the balloons at wholesale prices, if anyone is interested, they can contact me)
diamond   The children were then given a handout with directions and questions and proceeded to the vendors to get the answers and collect certain items.
diamond   For prizes, we incorporated another activity that was occurring. The 4H program had set up a hay maze at the market, to raise money for a trip they were taking. All children that participated in the hunt were entitled to go through the hay maze for free. We also passed out magnets and pencils for the children that were participating.
diamond   To make our event known, we distributed press releases to the media, as well as to the local schools, to inform them of the event.
diamond   Hope you have a great time creating your harvest hunt!!!!!

For more information and copies of material please contact:

Deborah L. W. Cosgrove
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Sullivan County
Human Ecology Program
Project Coordinator of Smart Bites
An Eat Smart New York Program
Phone: (845) 292-5250
Fax: (845) 292-2154

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