Talk grows into something edible
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Sometimes talking grows into good ideas. Just ask, John Golden, Slippery Rock University School of Business instructor, and those involved in the Slippery Rock Community Farmers' Market, which is adding seedling sales to this year's market.
"I was just talking with David Culp, chair of the School of Business who is also a farmer of sorts, and he was complaining about the lack of local places to buy fruit, vegetable and flower seedlings for family gardens. We decided there was a need, and we should try to incorporate seedling sales into the Slippery Rock Community Farmers' Market," Golden said.
As director of projects and outreach with SRU's Sustainable Enterprise Accelerator, a University project designed to help budding entrepreneurs, Golden began work with organizers of the farmer's market at Rock Falls Park.
Those involved decided to open the market a bit earlier than usual to provide the seedlings.
"We are working with the local seedling producers as well as home gardeners who may have extra seedlings they want to sell at the market. We think the market will give home gardeners and those looking to produce their own foods or flowers a chance to buy locally. It is really a symbiotic relationship that is beneficial for all involved," Golden said.
The seedling market will run 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays, May 5-26, then move into the seasonal produce regularly seen at the market.
"After the seedling sales end, local fruit, vegetable and flower growers will take over. We usually begin with strawberries and early vegetables and flowers," he said.
Golden said some of those purchasing seedlings could return later in the season to sell the fruits of their labor. "It might give some small gardeners the chance to recoup the costs of their seedlings, thus giving them their produce for free," he said.
In addition to the themed seedling sale Saturdays, organizers have planned a number of 11 a.m. lectures on related topics and musical performances as part of the market.
Lectures, from 11 a.m. to noon, include:
• May 5: Greg Boulos, an organic farmer, "Seedling Sale Launch: Grow by Growing";
• May 12: John Steiner will discuss "Soil to Table" at the market's "Feed your garden so it will feed you" event;
• May 19: Allen Erdis will discuss "Things you can brew at home";
• May 26: Bob McCafferty, a local cattle farmer, will lecture on "Farming: You are what you meat"; and
• June 5: Pat Nelson will offer "Canning 101" at the "Harvesting: You CAN do it" event.
Musical guests will perform from 10 a.m. to noon.
Don Heasley will offer a fee-based Hatha yoga session from 9 to 10 a.m. each week and hands-on family and children activities are planned for 10 a.m. each week.
Golden said sale table space is still available for both the seedling sales, or later in the season for produce.
Rock Falls Park is located at 111 Stoughtons Beach, Slippery Rock. For more information visit http://www.rockfallsonline.com.