Today I got a really early start since my first stop would be to check a new vendor in Arkansas which was a 4 ½ hour drive from the City Market. I thought I might need a backup driver so Deb Churchill, Property Manager for the City Market went along. Pence Nursery is located in Mountainburg just south of Fort Smith. Philip and his wife Michele met us when we pulled in and gave us the tour of the area where they start the plants and store them till they get shipped out, most of their business is mail order. I was amazed by how many different kinds of blueberries and blackberries there are. They also grow some of the more specialty plants such as gooseberries, goji berries, choke berries, alpine figs, and a wide variety of grapes. Once the plant is one year old they are sold or planted on their 25 acre farm. Pence Nursery plans to be at the Market next month and will be bringing, blackberries, blueberries, blueberry bushes, unusual fruit trees, tomatoes (they planted 15,000 plants) and okra, onions, squash and cucumbers. For additional information visit their web site www.penseberryfarm.com
This is the day for visiting new vendors which will be selling at the Sunday market. Our next stop was in Purdy, MO at the farm of Nhia Yang. Nhia was not at the farm but her father showed us the field. They are fairly new to Missouri so have not yet sold at any local markets. They have a great variety of items and with a lot of work the fields were immaculate, no weeds. In the next few weeks they will be bringing basil, sweet peas, potatoes and garlic to the Market. The many other items they have planted will be ready to harvest in late June.
Last stop for the day is in Granby, MO which is near Joplin. Ma Yang and her family will be selling at the Market every Sunday in stalls 141 and 142 located on the north side of the Market Square. They have a beautiful farm and grow a great variety of produce including Strawberries and Microgreens. After walking through their farm it was obvious that they take great pride in the produce they grow. Since they are located in the southern part of Missouri their produce is coming on a little earlier than those vendors who live north of Kansas City.
If you have not been to the Sunday Market in a while you will be pleasantly surprised. All three covered farmer sheds are filled with vendors selling fresh local produce, assorted food items and hand crafted items. In addition to the farmers market the Vintage Yard Sale also takes place on the east side of the Market Square. This week we will have 58 yard sale vendors selling those great one of a kind finds. Ride the street car, browse the market and enjoy what looks to be a beautiful weekend without rain.