Friday, June 15, 2018

I am embarrassed that so many weeks have passed since I have updated my blog. I have been busy visiting farms and crafter workshops but have not been able to find the time to write about it. Summer at the City Market always keeps us busy but in a good way.

The Wednesday “Mini Market” is up and running with about nine vendors participating, now all we need are customers. The “Mini Market” hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. but some of the vendors are set up by 9 a.m. All of the City Market shops and restaurants are open and free parking is available in the Market Square for two hours, which is plenty of time to shop and grab some lunch.

Kao Chang and her mother See Vue are Wednesday vendors and have been for two years. Kao handles the market booth while her mother is busy tending the farm. This year they expander their operation to Basehor, Kansas and farm 5 acres, they actually have a 100 acre farm but it is more than they can do alone. Produce is running about three weeks behind on some items so I wish I had waited a couple weeks before visiting. I visited Basehor on May 24th so they were just getting started getting plants in the ground. See’s Family Farm also have a garden behind Kao’s home, which they were able to get planted a little sooner once the weather finally broke in April. See currently has kale, garlic, onions, greens and squash available on Wednesdays. Once all the plants on their new farm start producing the quantity and variety of vegetables will jump.

Since Basehor is just a hop skip and a jump from Tonganoxie, KS, I stopped by Chava’s Farm while I was in the area. Chava and Mayka continue to expand their farm each year since they started vending at the City Market in 2012. Chava started back at the Saturday and Sunday market a couple weeks ago and will continue through the fall. While I was there Chava was busy clearing a new plot at the rear of his property, I decided not to keep him from his work and walked through the field alone. Chava had cucumbers, sweet peas, parsley, dill, garlic, lettuce, squash and a variety of flowers already in and doing very well. I will probably stop by again later this summer and see how the new area is coming along. Chava’s Farm is in the Farm 100% with Local Supplement category so in addition to selling produce he grows he can also supplement no more than 50% of the product he sells per market day. All supplemented product must be harvested within 500 miles of the market and vendors are required to post the farm name and location for customers. Chava’s farm is located in pavilion three stalls 103 and 104 on Saturdays and pavilion 2 stalls 54 and 55 on Sundays. 

My last stop for the day is also in Tonganoxie at Sacred Heart Healing Center. Janna Fackrell recently turned in an application to vend at the Sunday and Wednesday markets. After visiting Janna’s website I must say I was intrigued. Janna makes a variety of creams, salves and sprays. I was so happy when she told me she makes an all-natural sunscreen. Since I am outside more than I am in side, I will certainly try this. She also makes a product to help relieve the aches and pains of arthritis, again count me in. Janna is a non-contracted Artist Crafter vendor, this means her location might vary each time she vends. If you like her product, you can also buy them on line. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Last week I visited three new vendors who submitted applications this year. I hope that all three will be selling at the Wednesday “Mini Market”. The “Mimi Market hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. which is the perfect time to shop, purchase some lunch from our many wonderful restaurants and sit under the middle pavilion and enjoy the day.

I started the day off at Adams Orac Farm, which is located in Independence, MO in an area that was totally new to me. Kathy and Joel have a 61/4 acre farm, of which, 3 acres contain various fruit trees, most of which are native varieties. I spent at least an hour walking through their fields as Kathy pointed out the various fruit trees and bushes such as paw-paw, elderberry, gooseberry, cherry, peach, Aronia berries (chokeberries) and nectarines to name only a few. I can’t wait until they start bringing these wonderful varieties to the Market.

I was very happy to see their chickens and ducks since we do not have very many vendors who have eggs for sale on Sundays or Wednesdays, especially not duck eggs. I had so much fun seeing all of their animals especially the day old twin goats that were oh so cute and the 6-week-old lambs Susie and Zowie. The lambs were quite the escape artist taking turns squeezing out of the fence.

The Adams have been able to grow produce all winter in their high-tunnel so already have broccoli, beets, cabbage, lettuce and radishes to bring to the market. They also have a wonderful selection of herbs and vegetable plants, which may be purchased with the markets SNAP and DUFB tokens.
Kathy and Joel will be at the City Market on Sundays and Wednesdays throughout the summer and probably into the fall.

Next, I cut back through the city and visited Juniper Gardens located in Kansas City, Kansas. Van Nei Sue is part of the Catholic Charities New Roots for Refugees program.  After walking through the entire garden, which was wonderful, I discovered that Van Nei Sue had graduated early from the program and now grows vegetables on her own farm. I will arrange a visit to her new location in a couple weeks but I am not too worried since all the graduates of the program grow beautiful vegetables.  

My last stop for the day is also in Kansas City Kansas at the large backyard garden of San Win and his family. The garden was immaculate and all the vegetables looked beautiful. Like most of our vendors this year, it was impossible to get crops planted in April due to the unseasonal cold weather. San Win’s vegetables were running about two weeks behind but should be ready very soon. San Win Garden will more than likely be selling at the Wednesday Market in the near future.

Our days in the office are always very busy so Ajani Nosakhere, Assistant Farmers Market Manager, visited a new artist/crafter vendor on her way home from work. Kal Bielawski is also a new vendor that will be selling at the Wednesday farmers market. Kal makes DIY Face Masks Kits and all natural pillow sprays. I probably need both of these items after a busy weekend at the Market. Vendors in the Artist /Crafter category must make the items and sell the items themselves. Natrillo is the name of Kal’s business and his product is very nice. 

Please visit the market on Wednesday and help support these wonderful new vendors.


Friday, May 4, 2018

This is what I came across hanging out in the road. I don't know who was more startled the cow or me!

Last week got away from me so I did not have a chance to write about the farm visit Ajani and I did. It was a rainy Wednesday but still a nice drive to drive to Cleveland, MO, which is located near Louisburg. Carrie Cronan is a teacher but loves growing flowers for cut flower arrangements. She renovated a 60-acre farm in need of love a few years ago and has transformed it into Yellow Dog Farm. The flowers were just starting to come up but not a surprise with the late growing season we have this year. Carrie has devoted one acre for growing flowers she feels this will provide flowers for about 4,000 bouquets. WOW! Carrie will be vending at the Wednesday Mini Market June through August, which works perfect with her teaching schedule. The Mini Market hours are 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. so the perfect time to shop and take time out for lunch.  If you would like to know more about Yellow Dog Farm visit her website at

 Here are some of Carrie’s tips for making your cut flower bouquets last a little longer.

·        Use a clean vase and fill with warm water.
·        Add flower food, or, a small amount of sugar.
·        Change the water daily, or, as often as possible.  Bacteria is the biggest deterrent to flower life, so keeping the water and vase clean is imperative.
·        Trim about 1/4 inch from the stems every other day.


Yesterday I had some time in the morning to visit two vendors. Erica Portly will be new to the Sunday Farmers Market this year and makes bath and body products. These items fall under the Markets Artist/Crafter category and must be made and sold by the person making the product. Erica has really done her homework on how to make a quality product and the best ingredients to use. We get many calls from people wanting to make bath and body products, which is why we have recently stopped accepting new applications for these types of products. This is something that will be used on your skin so vendors are required to list all ingredients; similar to what is required for processed food items. The soaps that Erica had curing were beautiful and very fancy. Handmade soaps must be cured for some time, if not they will not last very long. In addition to soaps, Erica makes scrubs, bath bombs, face products, body sprays and lotions. For more information visit this is Erica’s website, which is launching in mid-May.

I did not made it out to Windy Ridge last year so wanted to take time and drive up to Plattsburg, MO. The Hank’s family have had their running with tornadoes twice over the last few years. Last year the tornado took out the tomato high tunnel and damaged their greenhouses. Like all farmers, you learn to pick up the pieces and keep on going. Over the last 6 months, they have rebuilt even bigger and better than before. I worried about them this week with all the terrible storms going through.

William, Clara, Bill and Jennifer Hanks own and operate Windy Ridge Produce just south of downtown Plattsburg. In addition to selling bedding plants, vegetable plants, beautiful hanging baskets, produce and farm fresh eggs at the City Market and Liberty farmers market the have a wonderful retail location on their farm, which is open to the public. What a great getaway from the city and a great selection of plants, I could not resist buying a Hydrangea while I was there. Bill and Jennifer are at the City Market every Saturday located in the first covered pavilion on the south side of the Market Square, in stalls 32-35. If you would like more information or directions to their farm, visit their website at

What a perfect weekend to visit the City Market, the weather is perfect. If you need information on parking options visit our website at Parking in the City Market lots are free on the weekends. We have lots located at the corner of 5th and Grand, on Grand behind the Market and three small lots located at 5th and Main.

The City Market shops and restaurants are open daily, seven days a week.

Farmer Market Hours:
Saturday 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Wednesday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.