Here at Smart Eating for Kids we go ga-ga over a good farmers market. Now that farmers markets are in full swing, you’ll be hearing a lot more from us about them as we celebrate all they have to offer.

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Throughout the month of July, we have more than twenty exciting articles planned for you on topics like why it’s important to take kids to farmers markets, how to manage your child’s behavior in this sometimes-overwhelming environment and how to use the market as a springboard to introduce new foods to your family. We’ll also share some of our favorite farmers market inspired recipes with you.

But we’re not stopping there…

We’re super excited to offer our first-ever give-away contest that includes everything you’ll need to make your farmers market experience a success. The winning package, valued at $100, includes these envy-inducing prizes:

{A big thanks to Heartland Foodways, Cuisipro, Cabot and Great Harvest Bread Company who all generously said “yes” when we asked them for donations to make this sweepstakes happen. We sure do love it when others get as excited about good eating as we do!}

You can enter the contest six different ways, so don’t hold back! Enter all six ways to increase your odds.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

{Book Review} “Farmers’ Markets of the Heartland”

Now that you’ve (hopefully) entered our contest, I’d be remiss if I didn’t write about a big source of inspiration to us (and a highlight of the give-away): “Farmers’ Markets of the Heartland.”

farmers market of the heartland

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Janine MacLachlan, the author of this beautiful book, for about a decade. I first met her in her lovely Rustic Kitchen headquarters (aka her cozy home kitchen) and I later had the fortune of working with her on several projects.

Janine is one of those people who has an energetic, contagious spirit about her. Personality-wise, she reminds me a bit of Stephanie Izard of Top Chef fame, whom I’ve never met, but whose general happiness and love of good food always seem to radiate from the TV screen. Janine is the same way. She’s the kind of person who is always smiling and who you just want to be around.

So when she wrote the book, “Farmers’ Markets of the Heartland,” in which she tells the stories of farmers throughout the Midwest, I knew I’d be hooked.

Throughout the book, Janine’s amiable storytelling and vibrant pictures make you feel like you are riding shotgun in her red Mustang convertible as she takes you to some of the best farmers markets in the heartland and introduces you to the people who tirelessly work the land to help us put wholesome food on our tables.

The book covers everything you need to know about why farmers markets matter so much (I learned a lot), how to best shop a farmers market (key to making the most of your shopping trip) and fascinating back-stories of some of the farmers (you will want to befriend them all). As a perk, Janine also shares recipes from several leading chefs who not only make some of the best food in town, but who are also driving the sustainable food movement.

To help continue our farmers market theme, tomorrow we’ll hear directly from Janine as she shares a few of her farmers market tips with us.

Until then, we want to hear from you…! What are some of your favorite tips for shopping farmers markets (either with kids or without)? Do you have a favorite farmers market-inspired recipe? Share as a comment….or better yet, share via our give-away contest. We’ll compile everyone’s recipes, tips and stories and share them at the end of the month!

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