Eastern Market Kiosk 2013 “All About” demonstration series

Food demonstrations in the Eastern Market proved successful.

The Eastern Market Michigan State University Extension Michigan Fresh Outreach Kiosk provided an exciting “All About” food growing and cooking demonstration series that was delivered twice a month on Tuesdays between July and October 2013.  These demonstrations occurred during the peak shopping hours between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.  The series is called “All About” because each demonstration was all about how to grow, cook and sometimes preserve a specific crop that was currently in season; a sort of “one-stop shopping” for information on a product.  For example, on August 27 there were short demonstrations on how to grow, cook and preserve tomatoes. 

The cooking demonstrations were very effective at attracting the attention of shoppers just by the aroma, while the growing demonstration offered cultivation tips along with some of the common problems associated with the vegetable and how to prevent or manage them.

The goal of these demonstrations was to provide research-based information to feed the increased interest in cooking, gardening and preserving.  At the same time we wanted to entice shoppers to buy produce in season that they may not normally purchase by showing different, tasty and simple ways it can be cooked and preserved.  We also aspire to encourage shoppers to purchase more of the product when it is in season while at its peak in taste and nutrition, yet, at its lowest price, and to preserve enough to last throughout the year.  Preserving produce when it is in season provides both the best value and the tastiest food.  Dried tomatoes reconstituted in a stir fry or sauté is a great way to beat the winter doldrums with a taste of summer.  

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