Youthful Dixie gardeners earn experience, cash with club, weekly market

The Kids Garden Club in Dixie sets up shop with a mini farmers market each week along US Highway 12.

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DIXIE -- Each Tuesday afternoon since the end of May, members of the Kids Garden Club have sold their wares along U.S. Highway 12 in Dixie.

A mini farmers market peopled with smallish vendors is worth the stop just for the "cute" factor, not to mention vine-ripe tomatoes and tasty lemon cucumbers.

The brainchild of Lana Ash, the club began meeting in early April at the church in Dixie. Members were recruited with notices posted in the store and post office, and by Ash and her husband going door-to-door in Dixie to invite children to join.

Ash got the idea from her friend Maria Venn of Prescott, who had a similar club for a couple of years.

Seven families and 15 kids participate, although not everyone is selling every week.

The youthful gardeners (ages 2-15) learned about gardening, planned their plots, and compared notes on progress. Field trips were made to each garden, and the young gardeners were encouraged to experiment with varieties of produce.

During club meetings, the kids learned how to make pots from newspaper, what to plant at different times and practiced identifying seeds.

On a recent Tuesday, the offerings were heavy to tomatoes and summer squash.

Prices were neatly posted on blackboards, or on the products. Each family has a table.

Vicky Sacha donates use of her lot a block west of the school. Sacha has been generous with garden tips, Ash said.

Besides produce, customers can buy items like handmade cards by 5-year-old Lynae Ash, and potpourri made by 12-year-old Julietta Bishop.

Pencil drawings, cookies, banana pops, bouquets and decorated socks have been for sale at different times through the summer.

Carrie Chicken can be reached at cec@innw.net or 522-5289.

IF YOU GO

The Kids Garden Club market is held every Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. The Market is located just off U.S. Highway 12 west of the school, and is clearly marked with signs. The market will continue through the end of September.

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