Eat, Learn and Play! Purple Asparagus Brings Family Fun to the Good Food Festival

The dedicated staff at Purple Asparagus work to educate children, families, and the community about eating that’s good for the body and the planet. They bring delicious, nutritious hands-on adventures to schools, community organizations, and farmers’ markets throughout Chicagoland.

On March 26 this year, Purple Asparagus will delight children and adults alike at the Good Food Festival. They sponsor the Kids’ Corner at the Festival, which is jam packed each year with activities such as face painting, seed planting with the folks from Gardeneers, a scavenger hunt and a book corner featuring the Purple Asparagus Fruit & Vegetable Book Collection. What’s new this year? Kids will be creating fruits and vegetable prints with paint and leafy vegetable crayon rubbings.​

These activities are not only fun, but they help raise awareness about the importance of Good Food. Child obesity rates are a growing epidemic, and education is a key component in reversing that trend. Researchers have found that nutrition education causes children to consume two times more veggies during their snack time. If snack time is healthy and fun, kids are setup to continue these successful healthy eating habits in the long term.

Speaking of long term successes, Purple Asparagus and the Good Food Festival have grown up together. The organization got its start at the Good Food Festival 11 years ago, and has achieved acclaim and recognition since. Purple Asparagus’ Stephen Landfear says:

“Aside from the opportunity to pursue our mission by exposing children to fun activities that involve fruits and vegetables, we return each year because it’s a great opportunity to interact with like-minded individuals. We meet people who are thrilled to learn about the work we do and many have become long-time volunteers and donors. Being at an event like the Good Food Festival where everyone is on the same page is really a special place to be and we wouldn’t miss it.​”

Melissa Graham, the founding executive director and “Head Spear” of Purple Asparagus, received a Culinary Youth Advocate award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals in 2012. A year earlier, she received a 2011 Good Eating Award from the Chicago Tribune, whose other honorees have included celebrity chefs such as Rick Bayless of the Frontera group and Grant Achatz of Alinea, and as well as first lady Michelle Obama.

Be sure to check out all of the great programming at the 12th Annual Good Food Festival this year. Admission to the Purple Asparagus Kids’ Corner is included in the price of a ticket to enter the Good Food Festival, which also includes DIY workshops in the Good Food Commons area that would be of interest to children with a hands-on interest in growing or making food.

Buy online and save ‐ tickets available at

Hours: 10 a.m.‐5 p.m March 26. Admission: $10 online ($15 at the door); kids 12 and under are free.

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