The goal today was to visit eight farms in the Kansas City, Kansas area; I was only able to get to 5 today since I got a late start.
Chava Xiong has purchased the land next to his home this year so has completely started over. In years past he has rented land which made things a little difficult plus he was limited on what he could do. Needless to say Chava has great plans for next season which includes a greenhouse and raised beds. I can’t wait to visit next summer. Although his field does not look as nice as it would have a few weeks ago, he is still harvesting some fresh herbs, green beans, egg plant, daikon radishes, heirloom tomatoes, okra, kale, water spinach, Thai peppers, and squash. In addition to vegetables he also grows flowers to sell in arrangements at the Market, his snap dragons were beautiful. Chava and his family sell at the City Market every Saturday in pavilion 3, north side of the Market in stalls 103 and 104, on Sundays you will find them in pavilion 2 stalls 54 and 55.
My next stop is on the south side of I-70. Chiong Vang and his family have been farming this section of land for a few years. They also have two other plots in the area for a total of 10 acres. They have an abundance of produce and a wonderful variety. Chiong’s father showed me his Asian pear trees which finally had a decent yield this summer until the squirrels found them. He has a plan to detour them next summer. A few of the unusual items they grow are hicama, jit leaves and water spinach. In addition to produce they also grow flowers such as sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos, allium and cockscomb. Hmong Vaj Farm is at the Market every Saturday and Sunday late spring till the first frost. On Saturdays they are located in the second and third farmer pavilion in stalls 90, 91, 108 & 109. Sundays you will find them in pavilion two stalls 65, 66, 85 and 86.
Back across the highway and I arrive at a large plot of land that is sectioned off and leased out to various families to farm, three of the markets vendors rent plots at this location. They grow similar items and do this without access to water, so are always hoping for rain and if it is very dry they haul water in.
Vang Thao is a waiting list vendor on Sunday, which means she rents a space occasionally throughout the summer. Vang was still harvesting Thai peppers, eggplant and a few flowers.
Youa Vangs plot is located on the east side of the property and like many vendors right now things are starting to slow down. Youa is still able to bring squash, hot chili peppers, eggplant and flowers to the Sunday market.
Amy Lo has a fairly large plot and is growing a lot of flowers to sell as cut flowers at the Market. Although it is almost October Amy still had zinnias, marigolds, sunflowers, bachelor buttons, cockscomb and cosmos blooming. Cut flower arrangements are the main part of Amy’s stall. Amy is a Saturday contracted vendor located in pavilion two stall 54.
Next week I will be heading to Iowa to visit a new vendor I have been talking with for couple of months. I hope to have time to stop by Plattsburg, Mo and visit Bill and Kathy Wrights pumpkin patch. You probably know them at the Market as the fudge people but September though October they run a pumpkin patch on their farm.