Four longtime friends from Sedalia decided this year to start something they’ve never seen in their town before, a farmer’s market. But more than just a market — they’re selling education, too.
“The idea is to expose people to learning how to grow their own food, different methods of growing food,” said Johanna Santucci, 69, treasurer of the new Sedalia Community Market.
The market, which kicked off in June, is held at the Sedalia post office parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays so that it wouldn’t compete with Saturday’s Castle Rock farmers market. It has the usual fresh garden produce, as well as such things as “shares of goats,” offered by the market’s vice president, Deanna Meye. She has a herd of about 20 goats and sells shares for $50 a month, which gives buyers a regular supply of fresh goat milk.
But in addition, the market offers workshops on such things as an old German gardening technique that’s great for regions with water issues. To retain water longer, it involves digging a hole, filling with wood, then hay, wetting it down and putting dirt on top of that and then planting.
Meyer plans to pass out information on an upcoming workshop that will be held on her family’s 400-acre property. Participants will hike through the property and learn about various native plants’ medicinal and nutritional properties.
Meyer said that some of the weeds people routinely pull out of their vegetable gardens, such as lamb’s quarter, shepherd’s purse and amaranth, are tastier and more nutritious than the lettuce they leave behind. And if someone is sick and needs a dose of Vitamin C, pinch off some needles, particularly new-growth needles, from a Douglas fir or any other pine tree.
“It’s an incredibly dense (dose) of Vitamin C,” Meyer said. “And the flavor is very citrusy,” she said.
In addition to Santucci and Meyer, the other two women starting the market are Carrie Thompson, president, and Regina Precosto, secretary.
“It’s all about community,” said Precosto, 53, who has lived in Sedalia for 20 years. “I wanted to help start this market because I believe in bartering, trading and, where necessary, buying as much as possible within my community. I like knowing who and where my food and other products come from.”
Santucci said they also wanted to give an outlet to all those talented people in the area who make quilts, pottery and other things, but didn’t have any outlet to sell them.
For more information, go to www.sedaliacommunitymarket.com.