Friday, September 19, 2014

I had to switch up my schedule this week and visit a farm on Wednesday. I was in Columbia, Missouri for a meeting so decided to visit DanJo Farms while I was there. The drive to Columbia was not very relaxing; the rain was really coming down for at least half of the trip. At one point the rain was so heavy I decided to pull off at a gas station till it let up. Things dried out once I got east of Higginsville, thank goodness.

DanJo Farms is located in Moberly, Missouri, just north of Columbia. Dan and Joanne Nelson have been contracted vendors at the City Market since 2012 and drive over to Kansas City every Saturday year round. The Nelsons do a little bit of everything at their farm. They have a licensed kitchen and bake sourdough, sweet and artisan breads, rolls and cookies, which Joanne and her son were working on when I arrived. They also grow a variety of produce to add to their stalls including fresh herds. Their vegetable plants were still producing a little but like most farms this time of year summer crops are slowing down and the fall crops are getting rotated in. They had a terrible beetle infestation in their kale and since they opt not to use pesticides, the rows of kale were totally destroyed. Tucked away behind their vegetable rows are a few honey hives, I usually keep a large distance between the bees and myself, you never know when they are having a bad day. Dan also brings meat and eggs to the market. They raise beef, turkeys, pigs, sheep, ducks and chickens, a real menagerie. All of their animals are fenced but have plenty of room to roam, the chickens, turkeys, ducks and a pig greeted me when I arrived. I was afraid I would back over them when I left but they all stayed clear of the truck. Joanne told me they have about 30 turkeys which will be ready in time for Thanksgiving, once they put on a little more weight. They do take orders.

DanJo Farms is in the supplement category at the Market so they are allowed to purchase no more than 50% of the items they bring from another local farmer or from one of the local produce auctions. The Nelson’s supplement jams and jellies, pickles, salsa, mustards, fruits and some vegetables. You will find DanJo Farms at the City Market every Saturday year round in the middle farmers shed in stalls 78-80. For additional information visit their web site at

Next week my schedule is a little crazy so I will not be able to do any farm visits but plan to get back on the road the following week. I visited with most of our vendors last Saturday and some of them plan to keep selling at the Market till at least mid to late October, the date of the first heavy frost will affect this. Many of the vendors plan to stay through Thanksgiving and others will stay till Christmas. The City Market is open year round so please continue to support our vendors and small family farms.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I was back on the road again today after taking a week off last week for a much needed break. I can’t believe I actually needed to wear a jacket this early in September, it was a little chilly.  I have a new crafter vendor to check today in Lake Lotawana, Missouri and a farm in Richmond, Missouri.

Jeffery Morlan lives just around the corner from one of our long time vendors, Gayle and Mike Pappas. I would have visited with them today since I was so close but they were working at their store in Zona Rosa where they mainly sell calendars. I will have to stop by another time. Jeffery prints photos on canvas stretched frames which he builds in various sizes. He will be working with his father to put some of his original art work on a few items. Jeffery also makes coasters, mouse pads, pet mats and plant pads out of material that comes in big sheets which he cuts to the desired shape. This foam material is covered in cloth so it can be printed on. Jeffery has a very large printer and other equipment so he can make a large number of items fairly easily. His equipment is spread around his basement, shed and back deck. Jeffery will be coming to the Market on Sundays starting this week.

After crossing back over I-70 I headed north to Richmond, this area is beautiful to drive through. I met Keith Calvert in his driveway when I pulled up, he was just getting in his truck to leave so our visit was short. Pulling into his drive it was obvious he is growing a lot of green beans and corn. His corn is pretty much done and he opted not to plant a late crop this year. He is happy he made this decision with the cold spell we are having. If he had planted another crop he might not have gotten much of a yield for all his time and money spent. He is hoping the rain in the forecast holds off so they can get in the fields and pick beans for this weekend. In addition to farming Keith also runs a bird hunting preserve on his farm. With the cold snap he is getting bombarded with calls for reservations. Keith sells at the City Market on Saturdays during the middle of the summer once his first crop of corn comes on and while he still has plenty of green beans. His stall is located in the middle farm shed in stall 68. For more information visit his web site at

I have visited most of our vendors in the farm category this year but still have a few more to get to. I am running out of time and have already driven almost 5000 miles since April. If we get the heavy frost which is predicted we will see some vendors start to drop out. It depends where they live and what they are growing. Let’s hope the weatherman is wrong, it is just way too early for a frost. 

Next week I am heading to Columbia, Missouri for a state wide meeting but should be able to get one farm visit in while I am there, DanJo Farms is located just north of Columbia.