This internship has genuinely been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I could not have asked for a more perfect summer internship to match with my studies at college, create community connections, and give me valuable experience for the future. I came into this internship not quite knowing what to expect or what I would gain from it, but reflecting on the summer, I realized how much I accomplished and all that I’ve gained from this opportunity.
The first main project I worked on was creating recipes to incorporate the food at the farmers market for customers and Double Up SNAP participants. I began by researching delicious, healthy recipes. Then, I adapted them to ingredients that could be purchased at the market, cooked them, and photographed the finished product. To make something useful for the community, I created a pdf with all of the different recipes I made and posted them on our website so that others can try them out too. With our great varied market, I found success in being able to include almost all of our vendors in some fashion into the recipe cards. The only aspect that could be improved upon is getting these recipes out to the public more. In the future, I envision future interns expanding upon the recipes and featuring them at the market or compiling them into a market cookbook for customers to purchase or read.
Next, I worked hard to complete monthly newsletters for our vendors and customers to enjoy. They featured stories like promoting our Double Up SNAP Program, fun events, unique vendor stories, and featured recipes I developed. I posted these newsletters on our website and have had several people sign up to receive the newsletters. In the future, I hope to teach interns how to continue with the simple design and stories of the newsletters. I also envision the newsletter being more publicly promoted through the market and through social media.
My final and largest project for my internship was developing and leading a tour and cooking demonstration for the farmers market. I got connected with an organization called Cooking Matters that leads tour through stores and markets. They gave me information on how to lead a tour, new recipes, and sent me free promotional bags. I promoted the event through a Facebook event, flyers around town, promotional business cards, and word of mouth to market customers. We had a good turnout with about twenty people attending the full tour and demo. Then during and after the demonstration we had several others stop by to taste test and pick up the recipe card. I did a demo of three different recipes that used various ingredients that could be purchased throughout the market– a strawberry green smoothie, a farmers market bruschetta, and a fresh peach sorbet. People loved the recipes and I received feedback from vendors that they sold out of certain products used in the recipes. This was awesome to hear. In the future, it would be ideal if we could set a list of events like these before the market season and hand out calendars throughout the market, this way the events would bring in even more people.
I can’t believe my summer internship is already almost over. I have created so many valuable connections through the community. I have loved working with Cooking Matters, the Harvest Center, Green Mountain Ranch, the vendors, all of the market managers and volunteers, and my AWESOME supervisor! Thank you to everyone who has made this the best experience it could be. As I go back to college, I will definitely take this experience and apply all that I learned to my new community in Fort Collins.
The recipe and newsletter tabs on our website. Feel free to check them out at https://www.wpfarmersmarket.com/.
Fresh baguettes, produce, and more– all donated by our generous vendors for my cooking demonstration!
Photos of me leading our market tour and cooking demonstration. What a blast! 🙂