Friday, September 30, 2016

It is the end of September and officially fall and I have yet to visit all the City Market vendors this year. So far this year I have traveled 4,151 miles and have checked 56 vendors farms or workshops. Much of this year has been spent visiting new vendors who sell during the Sunday farmers market. 

Last week I once again stayed in the Kansas City, Kansas area. Although the City Market allows vendors to participate in the farmers market from within a 500 mile radius of Kansas City many of our vendors farm and live just across the state line. Most of the vendor I visited on the 15th sell cut flower bouquets so I thoroughly enjoyed myself while walking through the rows of dahlias, zinnias, sunflowers, cosmos, gladiolas and cockscombs.

See Vang and Nao Thue Thao have the tallest dahlias I have ever seen, See explained that she plants a special variety which is better suited to our weather. As we walked through the rows See was constantly clipping flowers to send back to the office with me, what a wonderful treat. I was fretting about getting them back safely. In addition to flowers See also grows eggplant, banana peppers, mustard greens, lemon grass and bok choy.  You will find See and her family at the Market most Saturdays and Sundays April through October. Saturday pavilion 3 stall 135 and 136 and Sundays Pavilion two stall 82.

I was barley back in the truck and I had arrived at Cha Vang’s. Cha farms this large plot of land with his son Chenou Vang and the rest of his family. I was amazed how his farm had expanded since my first visit a few years ago. Everyone was busy when I arrived so I wondered through the rows on my own. I love the trellises they make out of sticks to support the bitter melons, they are quite beautiful. Cha had rows of Moonshadow hyacinth beans which were climbing along wire suppor. I always thought they were poisonous to eat but apparently if you eat the pod when it is small and tender it is okay but as the pod gets older and the bean starts to dry it could be poisonous. I have one of these plants at home as an ornamental, it is very pretty and grows quickly. Cha also grows cut flowers, his gladiolas were beautiful. Chenou Produce is at the Market every Saturday and Sunday April through October. You will find them in the third pavilion in stalls 123-125 on Saturdays and in Pavilion two in stalls 76, 77 & 83 on Sundays.

My last stop for this day was at the home of Alissa Pang Her and Chao Her. They farm in the area located behind their home on a pretty steep slope. No one was home so I walked through only a portion of their back yard. I am always fascinated by the bamboo that is growing along the side of their yard; it spreads every year I am there. They still had okra to harvest, kale and eggplant along with zinnias and cock combs. Alissa Pang Her is at the Market most Saturdays during the summer and occasionally on Sunday.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

After stopping by the office to check emails I headed out to Fort Scott, Kansas to visit with Linda and Dennis Clayborn. I double checked with them before I left Kansas City to make sure their road was not washed out, this happens a lot. Turns out the road was okay but their drive was a little dicey. Dennis met me at the end of the drive and we headed west to his property where he grazes their cattle, only 25 miles each way.  I always love a road trip and the area around Fort Scott is beautiful. We had to search a little for the cows since they are free range and have a lot of area to roam in, we found quite a few along the fence line soaking up some shade. On the way back to their farm we drove by the Bronson Locker where Dennis has all his beef and pork processed, Bronson Locker has been in business for years.  Linda was busy picking pumpkins when we got back to the farm which they were planning to bring to the market on the weekend. Their tomatoes are pretty much done for the year except for a few cherry varieties. On Friday they were going to dig potatoes, onions and pick greens for Saturday. In addition to cattle Dennis and Linda also raise pigs and chickens which they have processed to bring to the market.  Clayborn farm will be at the market throughout the winter selling mainly beef, pork and eggs.

The day got away from me while I was at the Clayborn’s so I was only able to get one more stop in before heading back to Kansas City. I headed down 54 highway to Walker, MO where Mark Curtis raises Argentine style grass fed beef which he has processed to bring to the Market. Mark works a full time job so is never at the farm when I visit. It was obvious that he had cattle, although I was unable to take any photos since all the animals were along the tree lines in the shade, smart animals! Mark sells in the supplement category at the market and supplements pork from Lamar, Mo and chicken from Button Wood Farms. Vendors in the supplement category are allowed to supplement no more than 50% of the product they bring to the market and that product/produce must come from within a 500 mile radius of the City Market. Golden Rule Meats is also at the City Market on Saturday throughout the year. For more information visit his web site at

I am taking a few days off over the holiday so will not be visiting any vendors next week but will get back on the highway the following Thursday.