Whitefish Middle School fifth-graders recently grew their own produce and then turned it into an opportunity to earn money.
The fifth grade class recently held a farmer’s market at the Center for Sustainability and Entrepreneurship, where students created their own small businesses selling microgreens or sprouts they grew last month.
The students spent six weeks working with Whitefish High School agriculture students, learning to grow and harvest their products and also developed business and marketing plans before the farmer’s market.
Of 35 teams of fifth graders, all sold out of their microgreens during the market. Profits were split evenly between supporting the operating costs of the CSE and donations to the students’ local nonprofits of choice, said Randy Hohf, educational director for the CSE.
“It’s a whole entrepreneurship, marketing and sustainable farming thing,” Hohf said.
For students Balun Moore and Max Brown, their spicy MyGrowGreens product is a perfect addition for a variety of meals. The pair had their poster board and jars of microgreens ready for sale in the middle of a packed CSE full of eager parents and students.
“It adds texture and flavor,” Brown said. “You can put it on salmon and salads, it’s pretty tasty.”
In another group, the microgreens were meant to be of an even spicier variety.
“The Spicy Micromix goes good with salads, and you can sprinkle it on top of pizza to add extra flavor,” Olivia Jennings said.
The farmers market was just one in an ongoing series of similar projects at every grade level, Hohf said. Soon sixth graders will be taking over in the CSE and working on their own salad mixes, and first graders have already gone through their own similar process as well.
Hohf said the farmer’s market project is exactly what the CSE was meant for.
“What these kids are doing right now is a real-life thing. They’re really raising money for things they are passionate about. That was one of our big goals,” Hohf said. “We really focused a lot on sustainable, regenerative agriculture. Then we rolled that into marketing, like with the farmers market idea and the entrepreneurship aspect — we try to do it in a sustainable way.”