I am reposting this entry from a few weeks ago to remind everyone that the Farmtastic Food Trek is open through September 30. Do not miss this chance to win a free farm tour and free groceries for your family! One important note: in order to participate, your Instagram account must be public. In order to make your Instagram account public, from your profile page, click the icon in the top, right-hand corner. Once you’ve clicked that, you’ll be brought to your account options page. Scroll down to the “account” section. Tap the switch next to “Photos are Private” to change it to the “off” setting. A window will pop up asking if you’re sure you want your photos to be public. Select “yes, I’m sure.” Good luck!
Although I am not a Midwesterner by birth, I have now lived in Illinois for over a decade. And I have grown to love this part of the country. One of the things that I love about living in the Midwest is being in the middle of farm country. When you love food and cooking as much as I do, you are naturally going to take an interest in where your food comes from, and indeed I have. I love shopping at my local farmers’ market and talking to the farmers there about the challenges of their job. (This year has been a hard one for farmers, no question, with the warm spring, followed by a cold spell, and the punishing drought this summer.)
I have also been fortunate enough to tour some local Illinois farms under the auspices of Illinois Farm Families. That was an eye-opening experience for this city girl! I recommend that all families who care about food production in this country take the opportunity to visit a local farm. There is no substitute for seeing what is happening on the farm and talking to the people who make their living on the land, especially
when there is so much conflicting information in the media about food safety, animal welfare and other important issues.
It’s great to live so close to many of the farms that produce the food that we find in our grocery stores. I like to know that I am supporting my local farmers with my purchases whenever I can. Perhaps you do as well. If you are one of my Illinois readers who cares about where your food comes from, you will definitely want to hear about the Farmtastic Food Trek, which begins today (August 15) and runs through September 30. The Farmtastic Food Trek is a virtual scavenger hunt that has moms and dads in the Chicago area taking their kids to the grocery store to look for products containing foods grown and raised by Illinois farmers. Your family could win $500 of free groceries, plus a farm tour, just by playing. Here’s how it works:
How to Play
- Farmers provide clues on www.WatchUsGrow.org that lead to information about the food that they raise. You then use those 15 clues to find those foods at local grocery stores.
- Once you identify the food referenced in the clues, use Instagram™ to take pictures of your children holding the products and add the hashtag #foodtrek in the photo comment. (Example: [photo of bacon] Billy found the bacon! #foodtrek)
- To find the clues and see the complete contest rules, go to the Watch Us Grow website and click on the Farmtastic Food Trek button, or simply click on the button in the top right corner of this page.
- The scavenger hunt kicks off August 15 and ends September 30.
- Each family needs to upload five accurate photos using the hashtag #foodtrek to qualify for the Family Farm Prize Pack.
- Three random winners will be chosen and will be notified by a comment on their Instagram photo. The family will have to respond to the comment via email within seven days of receiving the comment, providing the original photos and their contact information in the email.
- Families will pick up their Family Farm Prize Pack during a farm tour in the Chicago area in the fall. It will contain:
- A gift certificate for $500 in free groceries!
- The family farm tour
- Farm games and toys
I am in favor of anything that makes grocery shopping with kids more fun. This contest is also a great way to teach urban and suburban kids more about where the food that they eat comes from. They may be surprised to learn how many different foods are produced right here in Illinois by Illinois farmers. And what kid (or adult) wouldn’t love to win a farm tour, to say nothing of $500 in free groceries?
I hope that many of you will participate in the Farmtastic Food Trek with your kids this fall. I am certainly excited about it. If you are not familiar with Instagram, do not panic! Instagram is a free photo-sharing app available for iPhone and Android phones. It is actually a terrific app for taking pictures and sharing them with family and friends. I use it all the time. (I am West of the Loop on Instagram if any of you want to follow me. I mostly take pictures of the food I cook, but sometimes cute photos of my kids make it into my stream.)
Looking forward to seeing your Food Trek photos!
Full disclosure time: I have been retained by Illinois Farm Families to help spread the work about the Farmtastic Food Trek and I have been compensated for my time. All opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.