Today I made a really large loop when visiting farms, Kansas City, Fort Scott and Adrian. I had planned to get four farms in today but ran out of time so will plan to visit Hubbard Farms in a few weeks.
Only 15 minutes from the Market and I arrive at the farm of Chao Lo and Lue Chang. They are leasing the land they are farming and have two separate locations. When I arrived I found them both busy at work trying to keep ahead of the weeds. When the weather warms up like it did this week weeds can take over a field in no time. You might have seen Chao Lo and Lue Chang at the Market last year but they did not have their own stall, they were helping out a family member. This year they will be a Sunday vendor selling their own produce. Lue Chang walked me through the fields showing me where and what they will be planting in the coming weeks. Currently they have lettuce, onions, kale, radishes, mustard greens and lilies ready to bring to the Market this coming Sunday. I followed Lue Chang to another location on Parallel Parkway which is owned by his wife’s cousin. Lue pointed out the corner section of the Vang’s farm which he has planted. He had a good start on getting things in the ground but I will come back in a few more weeks to see how things are coming along.
Next I head south on 69 highway to Fort Scott, Kansas. Dennis and Linda Clayborn are the only farmers currently selling at the Market from this area. They have about 50 acres including the land their house and outbuilding are on and farm a little over 30 acres. They are very fortunate to have access to a lake, pond and creek for watering if they need to. But like most of the farmers they only do this when we see a long stretch without any rain. I was happy to see that the Clayborn’s were able to save all of their crops from last week’s heavy frost. They were out most of the night last Wednesday spraying all the plants to keep the frost from killing them. This is quite a task when you’re talking about covering 30 acres of plants. Dennis was not there when I arrived so Linda stopped what she was doing and showed me around. Linda and one of her employees were hard at work putting in tomato stakes, lots of tomato stakes! They bought a piece of equipment this year that helps to pound the stakes in, before they did this with a sledge hammer, makes my shoulders hurt to think about it. The list of plants they have in the ground range from lettuces, greens, corn, lots and lots of tomatoes, beets, onions, melons and a lot more. Their stalls should remain full through November if Mother Nature cooperates. You will find Clayborn Farms at the Market every Saturday in stalls 92, 99, 100 and Sunday in stalls 39 and 40.
I wanted to make sure I got to Buds and Berries today since Gayle’s strawberries are ready to bring to the Market on Saturday. I am so excited since it has been about five years since we have had a big crop of strawberries at the Market. The weather has been quite a problem lately. Gayle and Linda have 3000 strawberry plants and five varieties. I must admit I had to sample a few berries as I visited with Gayle and her sister Linda, they were wonderful! I love to eat them when they are warm right out of the field. Gayle and Linda have been really busy since I visited last year, they are close to finishing their licensed kitchen so they can make value added items such as baked goods and canned or frozen items to extend their season into the winter months. They will also have a you-pick and pumpkin patch which will hopefully be opened to the public later this year. I plan to visit later this summer to see how things are coming along. Buds and Berries are at the Market every Saturday in stalls 101, 102, 103 and 104. They hope to start coming in on Sundays in the next couple of weeks as their other produce comes on. www.budsandberries.us or www.facebook.com/budsandberriesproduce
Strawberry Spinach Salad
University of Missouri Extension
Makes 11 one cup servings
2 cups sliced strawberries
9 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic or cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds (optional)
Mix berries and spinach in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, mix dressing ingredients well. Pour over salad.
I am taking a few days off next week so will not be out on the road until June 5th. I hope everyone has a safe holiday and remember the City Market is the perfect place to find everything you need for your weekend cookouts.