Friday, September 14, 2012

Today it felt like fall as I headed out to visit farms in Lecompton and Kansas City Kansas. I actually had to wear a coat. Lecompton is just west of Lawrence off I-70. “Two Sisters Farm” is a fairly new hydroponic operation which had its first crop of lettuce and greens in March of this year. Hydroponic farms grow everything in a controlled environment where all the plants are grown in a liquid nutrient instead of soil. Ryan met me at the door to the packing area of the greenhouse where they were busy packaging lettuce for a pickup later in the day. I was amazed by how clean the greenhouse was and the contrast in colors. It was just beautiful. The Eddinger’s can grow 9,306 heads of lettuce at once and are constantly either harvesting, transplanting and rotating their crop. It is just amazing to see. They do not need to use any chemicals since the lettuce is grown in a controlled environment. If there is a problem they are usually able to solve it with ladybugs. When the lettuce is harvested you will get the roots and all. If you store the lettuce in your refrigerator with a little water on the roots it will stay fresh for weeks.

Ryan and Caroline will be at the market this coming Sunday and probably throughout the winter on Saturdays. What a treat to get fresh, locally grown lettuce and greens all winter. For additional information about their wonderful operation visit their web site at

Since it was still early when I headed back to the office I thought I would stop and visit Chiong Vang’s farm in Kansas City, KS. I visited this farm the first of July but with the very dry summer we have had I thought I would take another look since we have been getting some rain. They still have a few items they are harvesting such as green beans, okra, Asian peppers, long beans, beats, kale, fresh herbs and cut flowers. They have also replanted cucumbers and onions which will start producing later if the weather holds. Hmong Vaj Farm is at the market every Saturday and Sunday in the middle farmers shed.

Almost all of our farmer’s stalls should be full tomorrow and the weather will be cool and sunny. What a great day to stroll through the market, get some wonderful local produce, enjoy the sights and have lunch. I am still undecided where I will head next week; I still have quite few more farms to visit this season.