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Monday, May 23, 2011

Second Annual RLMS Plant Sale a Sassy Affair

Second Annual RLMS Plant Sale 
a Sassy Affair:
Plants, all natural products 
and live music featured
By Mike Lauterborn
(for Fairfield Citizen News)

Fairfield, CT – The sun, after a rain-soaked week, was a welcome sight for organizers of the parking lot event Saturday morning, particularly as the effort was being hosted for a good cause.

Held at Roger Ludlowe Middle School, the 2nd Annual Garden Sass Plant Sale offered not only a wide variety of plants but complementary all natural products, raffle items and live music.

“’Sass’ is a Yankee term for a home garden,” explained event co-chair Kate Carroll about the event’s origins. “With so many plant sales going on, the name stands out. We also wanted to tie into the area’s Colonial agricultural roots. I have a book called ‘Yankee Talk’ and found the term there, then went to the Fairfield Historical Society to confirm it. It stuck.”

Carroll noted that the event benefits the school’s Parent-Teacher-Student Association, helping to offset expenses related to teachers’ grants, afterschool clubs and related activities.

“We wanted to make this have some meaning,” added Carroll. “The gardening focus creates that and gets families out working in the yard together. In the farm category, we have Moorefield Herb Farm of Trumbull and Daffodil Hill Growers of Southbury.”

At the Daffodil Hill stand, Jackie and Mickey Herbert of Fairfield were buying a tray of zinnias, verbena and dahlias. “We came down to support the school’s effort by buying some needed flowers, garden vegetables and herbs. We’ve made a trip to the car already.”

Michael Coppola, 11, a Boy Scout with Troop 88 out of Fairfield Grace Methodist Church, was set up down the row and talking to Fairfielder Nicole Cassidy about square foot gardens. “It’s great for a gardener with limited space and you can put in clean soil, compost and whatever kind of vegetable or herb you’d plant in a regular garden,” he said. “We will construct them to order and sales help us fund events and outings.”

At the Moorefield stand, Fairfielder Linda Hogue was purchasing a Rainbow variety tomato plant. “I heard about the great heirloom tomatoes here and wanted to make sure to get a plant that will bear fruit in August, timed with summer barbecues.”

Onsite promoting an upcoming garden tour in Westport was Beth Davis, former chair of Bridgeport’s Mercy Learning Center, a literacy center for women. “The tour will be on Sunday, May 29 and highlights include Martha Stewart’s former garden, which is really extensive and rarely seen, and TV personality Mar Jennings’ garden. All proceeds benefit Mercy.”

In the all-natural products category, Ryan Agee was on hand with his Goatboy Soaps. “We found a market niche for this type of moisturizing soap, which works well for people with dry skin and eszema,” he said.

Beside him, Steve Dunn of Boxed Goodes, a Litchfield business, was offering spices and dried beans. “We spend a lot of time at farmers markets in the summertime as a companion to locally grown plants and produce,” he said. “Our products are all-natural and locally packaged, and are tasty enhancements to meal occasions.”

In a category by himself, Nick Toledo, 13, a Roger Ludlowe student, was seeking donations to support his Relay for Life team, The Teddy Bears. “This is in honor of Teddy Gerber, an Osborne Hill student who passed away from cancer last year,” he said. “I thought we could get support from families visiting the plant sale today.”

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