The Power of a Purple Hull Pea and One Pea’s Journey into Central Arkansas School Meals – April Meet-Up

Dan and Nadia Spatz began farming in 2012 when they purchased a greenhouse operation in Eagleville, TN, focusing on culinary herbs. Dan’s family has a legacy farm in central Arkansas which is being transitioned to community oriented, regenerative farming practices. The Spatzes experience includes growing a small ag enterprise six fold over 10 years; partnering for and administering a USDA Farm to School grant; executive leadership experience in Mars, a global food manufacturing and marketing company; and non-profit work for Catholic Relief Services. Healthy Flavors has grown from 5 employees in 2012 to 30 employees today. HF is a certified woman owned enterprise.

Dan Spatz, co-owner of Health Flavors Farm out of Conway, Arkansas, will share his experience of converting their commodity farm into a purple hull pea operation, how a USDA Farm to School implementation grant supported their farm operation’s needs, working with Arkansas school districts, incorporating educational and culinary experiences for children and college students, as well as making a living by providing locally grown food to schools. Come with us a we take the journey with the purple hull pea from local farm to school cafeteria fork.

Join us for April 13th’s Virtual Meet-uP at 12 Noon
with Dan Spatz from Healthy Flavors, Arkansas

Watch Dan Spatz’s presentation and listen to our fruitful conversation with excellent resources and information.

Learn more about how Healthy Flavors is involved in Arkansas Farm to School Programs:

Vilonia has successful farm-to-school program

Greenbrier Schools partners with UCA and Healthy Flavors Arkansas

Farm to School initiative produces results

“The kids were coming into the cafeteria and asking ‘Are these the peas?’” Sophia Hogan, Child Nutrition Director for the Vilonia District, said.
Hogan said that students were asking for seconds, and that she saw multiple empty plates.
“When I saw the poster [of the peas], I didn’t know what they would taste like,” third grader Makayla Cole said. “Then, when I tasted them, I thought ‘whoa.’ They are really, really yummy.”
Dan Spatz, the agricultural entrepreneur behind Healthy Flavors Arkansas, visited the district on Thursday and spoke with multiple students, including Cole, about their experience with the farm-to-school activities.
“It is so heartening to be at Vilonia, see the kids experience the peas and hear the teachers describe the learning that has taken place,” he said. “Food has become so transactional in our society, but this program shows the ability of food connect people and spread knowledge on something that is vital in our lives.”

Market Gets New Managers with Fresh Ideas

This year the Martin Farmers Market will be seeing new faces, events, community outreach opportunities and more locally grown and produced goods. 

A market manager is a key ingredient in the success of the Martin Farmers Market, working with all three sides of the farmers market paradigm— farmers, consumers, and the community. The City of Martin in collaboration with the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network aim to revitalize historic downtown Martin through a beautification and enhancement project with a key focus in and around the Martin Farmers Market pavilion.

Samantha Goyret (left) and Caroline Ideus (right), part of the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network team, are partnering with the City of Martin to serve as Martin Farmers Market managers this season May 14-October 15, 2022. They will host a vendor meeting on Saturday, March 12th at 9:30 am on the second floor of the Martin Public Library.

Caroline Ideus and Samantha Goyret will be serving as the new market managers. “Caroline and Sam bring the passion of promoting local foods, experience with farmers, and dedication to the community they serve,” stated Brad Thompson, Community and Economic Development Director of the City of Martin. “We are grateful to the former manager, Richard Gallagher, for his 15 years of service towards the development of the Martin Farmers Market.”

“Serving as managers, we will keep the farmers market functioning and prospering,” stated Samantha Goyret, co-manager of the Martin Farmers Market. “The role of the market managers is one of multitasking: keeping records for the market, coordinating promotional activities, organizing special events, managing the finances of the market, and a wide assortment of other tasks. Juggling the many duties of a market manager also requires promotion to farmers, building the vendor base and increasing the diversity of products in the marketplace.”

Any vendors located within a 50-mile radius to the Martin Farmers Market are welcome to sell their locally-grown, locally-made and locally-produced products.

Any local vendors located within a 50-mile radius of the market, organizations, food trucks, artisans and special event acts are welcome to attend the upcoming Martin Farmers Market Vendor meeting on Saturday, March 12, 2022, at 9:30 am on the second floor of the Martin Public Library, on Lindell Street, Martin, TN 38237. For those not able to attend in person, a virtual meeting option is available as well. RSVP via the facebook event to Samantha Goyret – nwtnfoodguide@gmail.com or text 731-332-9071 for call in information.

If you can’t come in person, you can join us virtually for the Martin Farmers Market Vendor Meeting:
Saturday, Mar 12, 2022 09:30 AM Central Time
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89610006098…
Dial by your location
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
Meeting ID: 896 1000 6098
Passcode: 381187

“We are motivated and passionate about causes such as agriculture, the local community, health and nutrition, and the environment,” stated Caroline Ideus, co-manager of the Martin Farmers Market. “We will be coordinating fun and engaging activities that build an exciting community-minded atmosphere.”

The Martin Farmers Market season will kick-off this year with a Strawberry Market on Saturday, May 14, 2022, from 8am – 12 noon. The season will end with a Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 15, 2022, from 8am – 12 Noon. 

“Vendors will be able to sell their locally grown and produced items at the market on Wednesdays from 3-6pm and Saturdays, 8-12 noon,” noted Goyret. “There are several special events planned throughout the growing season, too! Any vendor, organization, food truck and special event act must fill out a vendor application form which will be made available online soon at facebook.com/MartinFarmersMarket. We will review the updated Martin Farmers Market information and guidelines during the vendor meeting on March 12th at 9:30am at the Martin Public Library.”

“We want to encourage the growth of our local food system and support start-up businesses at the Martin Farmers Market,” noted Ideus. “Supporting a circular economy where our money stays in the community by supporting local producers, businesses, organizations and youth engagement will help our community thrive and gain access to local products.” 

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network is a nonprofit organization based out of Martin, TN with the mission to serve as a catalyst for a thriving and equitable local food system accessible to all. To learn more about becoming a vendor visit facebook.com/MartinFarmersMarket