FERGUSON, Mo. – Every Saturday, rain or shine, the plaza in the heart of Ferguson turns into the Ferguson Farmers Market. They have partnered with EarthDance Organic Farm School and are now offering a Pay-What-You-Can program that will provide affordable fruits and vegetables to the community.
“When the whole COVID pandemic started, we realized that we needed to respond to our community’s needs as quickly as possible,” said Molly Rockamann, the founding director of EarthDance Farm.
EarthDance is a nonprofit organic farm school that reaches people of all ages and backgrounds about organic gardening and farming from seed to market. Their fresh fruits and vegetables have been available at the Ferguson Farmers Market for years but, in light of the pandemic, they are now offering a Pay-What-You-Can model of food distribution.
“We wanted to offer our produce on a sliding scale. So, if you can’t pay a single dollar, that’s fine, you still need fresh food. And if you can pay more so that others can have access to this produce that is greatly appreciated,” Rockamann said.
The process is simple and very safe. Those in need can sign up in advance to receive a produce bag online. Bags are filled with a variety of fruits and veggies each week and can be picked up at the Ferguson Famers Market every Saturday between 8:00 a.m. to noon.
Rockamann says the farm and market have been taking extra precautions to ensure the food and pick up process is safe and clean. There are a limited amount of gardeners allowed on the farm to harvest the fruits and veggies, which means fewer hands are touching the produce before it makes it to the market. Visitors at the market must wash their hands upon arrival, enter and exit through a one way, and all shopping is contact-free.
“We appreciate everybody being very focused on the bigger picture of keeping all of us healthy. We’ve gotta look out for each other and one way we are doing that at EarthDance is by making our produce more accessible,” said Rockamann.
Ferguson Farmers Market will be open this Saturday, July 4 and will remain opened every Saturday through the end of October.