Friday, April 30, 2010

First Cooper Young Farmers Market: Bring the Kids

Posted By on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 2:40 PM

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Saturday is the kick off for the Cooper Young Farmers Market, and local farmers and vendors will be on hand - rain or shine - from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot of First Congregational Church.

Be sure to include the kids in the market, because they will be able to learn how to plant bean or basil seeds thanks to Sue Easley, who will be demonstrating in the market's activity tent beginning at 9 a.m. Demonstrations also are set for 11 a.m. and noon.

Easley will be showing kids the soil block method, a seed-planting technique popularized by organic gardening guru Elliot Coleman. (Check out Coleman's The New Organic Garden for detailed instructions.)

Easley showed me how to do the seeds a few days ago. She initially plants seeds in worm castings (that’s a nice word for worm manure!) and then transplants seedlings into a mix of greensand, blood meal, rock phosphate, and Pro-mix after they sprout.

Easley uses a block press to shape the castings into tiny squares and then places a single seed in each block. Kids will love discovering how to pick up a single tiny seed on the tip of a wet toothpick, and they will receive a seed block to tote home for transplanting into their own gardens.

Cheryl Mesler of Burke’s Book Store also will be reading children’s books related to gardening, including The Diary of A Worm at 10 a.m.

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