Sunday, September 27, 2015

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.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Once again I am visiting a couple new vendors who will be selling at the Sunday Market this fall and winter. As I head towards Sedalia I was so surprised to see that some of the trees were starting to turn and the field corn was turning brown, fall will be here before we know it.

My first stop today is in Otterville, Missouri which is just east of Sedalia. I am so glad the state fair is over or the traffic would have been a mess. Allison and her husband Kyle live on a 15 acre farm and Kyle’s family has an additional 205 acres which they also use. All the produce is grown on the 15 acres where they live and much of what they had planted this summer is starting to finish up for the year but they still have enough to bring to market. I was so surprised that they had strawberries still producing; this variety is called Everbearing and produces berries all summer. Kyle had recently planted more lettuce and beets and was harvesting cantaloupe, watermelons, green beans, pumpkins, tomatoes, zucchini and winter squash. In addition to growing produce Kyle also raises beef and chickens on the 205 acres his family owns and pigs on his farm. Kyle currently had 1000 chickens used for laying that live in a movable chicken coop which is relocated from field to field after the cattle have used the pasture for feeding. He also has 250 baby chickens and 200 meat chickens which will eventually be processed and sold at the market. As with all the meat sold at the City Market it will be processed in a state or USDA inspected facility and the vendor will also be inspected by the health department while at the market. Kyle recently purchased 9 feeder pigs which he will bring to the market later on. All the chickens the Rupe family raises are fed non GMO feed. Allison Rupe will be the face you see at the Market, she also sells at the Sedalia Farmers Market during the week and the Lees Summit Farmers Market on Saturdays. 

Since the Rupe’s live 2 hours from the City Market I will only have time for one more stop today in Holden, Missouri. I was really looking forward to visiting with Janet Smith the owner of Borgman’s Dairy since she has a very unique product she will be bringing to the City Market. Borgaman’s Dairy is a goat milk dairy which is very exciting since customers are always looking for goat milk. The milk is pasteurized which is the only way a vendor could sell it in Kansas City. In addition to milk Janet produces cajeta, a goat milk caramel sauce which is cooked over very high heat while being constantly stirred for hours, I can’t wait to try it. Another unique product Janet makes is goat cheese cheesecake which is made in a jar so you can eat a little, seal it up and put it back in the refrigerator. I am afraid I might keep eating it, I could be in trouble! Borgman’s Dairy will start coming to the Market on Sunday, September 20th and on Saturdays in the fall and winter. I almost forgot to mention that Janet brought home two blue ribbons from this year’s Missouri State Fair. For more information visit her web site at