Mobile farm stand teaches students about local produce in Center City

CENTER CITY (WPVI) -- Every year, kids in and around Philadelphia run a farm stand at Eakins Oval where they learn about the importance of locally grown food and how to do a little business too.

7-year-old AJ Okoniewski from Warrington pedals away, blending fresh berries, yogurt and leafy greens into a delicious fruity drink.

"I was just biking for a smoothie. I just wanted a smoothie," said AJ.

He didn't know he'd get his exercise in, too at the Greener Partners mobile farm.

The farm stand teaches kids about growing and eating local produce.

"We bring them to schools in all five counties and Philadelphia to teach kids where their food comes from. They'll get to come over here and do something like pull out these carrots and use them directly in a recipe to try that day," said Anna Swanson from Greener Partners.

Across the Oval, plenty of produce grown in Philadelphia was for sale at the annual Youth Growers Market as part of the Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative, run through the University of Pennsylvania. The goods were sold by the proud teen farmers who planted and harvested every tomato, bean, and gourd.

"We go in the field, we do crops, we plant stuff, we harvest ourselves. We do a mixture of everything," said Valerie Geleplay from Southwest Philadelphia

Ten different youth gardens were represented, allowing the farmers to meet one another and swap secrets...

"As we harvest we can pick little foods here and there. That's the best," said Hajjah Glover from West Philadelphia. But what's her favorite food at the market? "The cherry tomatoes. They are delicious!" she said.

"Philadelphia is really moving. There's a big food movement. People are pushing to take control back of their food system and a lot of the young people are doing that," said Tyler Holmberg from the Youth Growers Market.

The Youth Growers Market comes around just once a year, but the farm-to-table lessons aren't over.

The Greener Partners mobile farm will be here at Eakins Oval every Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the rest of the summer.
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