at Sappington Farmer’s Market

By Nancy Smith, secretary, Farm to Family Naturally

For four months now, Sappington Farmers Market has been presenting “Sampling Sundays” one Sunday each month. The store is packed with local farmers and vendors, offering their farm-fresh and locally produced foods for tasting. Music fills the air and drawings are held for prizes throughout the day. “Farmer Fred”, the personification of the statue in front of the store on Watson Road, roams through the store, offering free cookies.

Since local produce is a seasonal offering, the first Sampling Sundays have featured more meat and dairy offerings from Missouri and Illinois farms. Local producers of all kinds have offered their special value-added products.

Each Sunday has different offerings. The kick-off Sappington Seven Sunday in November 2010 offered a several-course Thanksgiving dinner (all free) as well as food and wine samples throughout the store. In December, the focus changed to Christmas goodies. It was a surprise to everyone to see that Indian Creek winery offers special holiday wines in addition to their regular line. Beautiful collector bottles were lined up on display, and shoppers were treated to samples of Indian Creek’s excellent wines to go with the delicious local food samples throughout the store.
The Winter Warm-up Sale featured locally roasted coffee, locally blended tea, homemade stew made from all-natural Missouri beef and other locally-produced soups and warming winter foods. Many shoppers tell us there are more than enough samples to provide them with a truly delicious and healthy lunch–all free!

Sunday, February 13, was the Sappington Sweetheart Sale. Record crowds attended, the atmosphere was fun and many shoppers went home with free gifts of flowers. Bargains were found in every aisle, in addition to the special coupon offers. Music filled the air and beautiful roses greeted shoppers as they entered the produce department. Healthy Planet readers were well represented in the crowd of shoppers who turned out to support local producers.
Truly, support is what these Sundays are all about. The shoppers who pack the aisles are not just looking for a good time or bargains. They want to show their solidarity with the farmers who grow their food and the St. Louis entrepreneurs who produce delicious, healthy foods from local ingredients. That shared attitude of support brings a spirit of camaraderie that is felt by everyone, producers and shoppers alike. The little child who asked her father in the parking lot, “When are they going to do this again?” had sensed the importance of building a community of growers, producers and eaters.

Sappington Farmers Market is located at 8400 Watson Road, between Elm and LaClede Station Road.

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