Friday, May 19, 2017

Cultivate Kansas City hosted their “Homegrown and Happy Hour” event on Wednesday evening at Juniper Gardens. I thought this would be the perfect time to also do a farm visit since I was already there and it was a beautiful evening with good food and company.  Juniper Gardens is a training farm and the location for the New Roots for Refugees program. New Roots for Refugees help resettled refugees start their own small farm business growing and selling vegetables. These families come to the United States with significant agricultural experience and this program gives them the help they need to get started and provide them with five years of training. The facility currently sits on 8 acres which is divided up among Kansas City, KS resident farmers; each farmer gets a ¼ acre plot. The facility is equipped with a large cooler which is divided up among each farmer. They also have a wonderful wash area where all the vegetables can be washed before bringing them to the Market. 

 Since 2014 we have been working with three families from Juniper Gardens who have since become contracted Saturday and Sunday vendors, Mee Nge and Swa Dit, Ha Li Mar and Sa Je Dar. This year Neng Khen Khup will start selling produce at the Sunday Farmers Market. The New Roots for Refugee vendors bring beautiful produce to the Market and have been a wonderful addition to our market family.

 Next week Sarah and I will be heading on an all day road trip to Springfield, Cole Camp, Sedalia and Osceola, Missouri. It should be a fun day; I am hoping it is not raining or windy.

Friday, May 12, 2017

The City Market is partnering with Scrap KC this summer which is a not for profit organization that inspires creativity in art and education, positively impacts the environment and provides hope for the homeless. To help celebrate Mother’s Day, volunteers will be at the “Education Station” providing children with materials to make seed bombs, handmade gifts from children are always the best! The “Education Station” is located next to the yellow information tent 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 13th. Scraps KC will also be accepting craft supplies while at the Market so take a moment to clean out your closet before heading to the City Market.  For additional information visit Scraps KC’s website at

Last week we thought we would take a little field trip to Scraps KC which is located in the West Bottoms just a short hop ski and a jump from the City Market. I do love a field trip in the middle of the day. I was amazed with the size of the location and how organized everything is, this is my kind of place. What a wonderful place for a children’s party or to shop for great craft bargains.  For anyone that has a creative side this is the place for you.

Yesterday I thought I would take a chance and dodge a few raindrops so headed north to visit a few vendors. We received a new application from Bill Lane a couple of months ago, Bill raises chickens, vegetables and is an artist. They recently built a home on their 20 acre property in Trimble, Missouri and have expanded to raising laying chickens, Bill currently has 100 chickens and two movable coops. He relocates the coops as needed so the chickens have fresh options to eat. In the winter months the coops are moved to a large chicken compound where they are safe from predators. Bill collects eggs daily, washes them and checks the shells for cracks. Any egg that is cracked is not sold. He has recently prepared and planted a small plot with heirloom seeds to grow spinach, lettuce, kohlrabi and assorted herbs, the rain has made this slow going. I timed my visit just right and was able to see newly hatched chicks. Bill is also an artist who might eventually make smaller clay pieces to bring to the Market; I can’t wait to see what he comes up with. Wild Moon Ranch – Bill’s Birds will be a Sunday vendor in the upcoming weeks, mainly selling eggs and eventually produce.

Since I was so close to Gower, Missouri I wanted to make sure and stop by Comanche Acres Iris Gardens and Water Gardens. For the past few years I visited Jim Hedgecock after the iris’s had already bloomed, this year I was just in time. What a beautiful site to see! It always amazes me to see how many different varieties there are. Jim sells iris bulbs at the market June through September and a little bit of produce. If you want a great day trip head south on 169 and turn left on St Rt 116, you will need to do this soon since the iris only bloom a short time. If you love birds make sure and visit their little store, they have a great selection of bird feeders, in fact I bought one. For additional information and better directions visit

I enjoyed strolling around Comanche Acres so much I decided to visit another iris vendor, Don Browning. Don grows iris on a smaller scale, in his front yard in Weston, Missouri. Although his garden is on the small size he is still able to grow 125 different varieties.  Don lives in an historic home so when he could no longer handle mowing his yard he decided to take out his grass and plant perennials. He wanted to make sure the perennials he planted were period to when his house was built in 1846, irises fit the bill. Don’s business is called Centennial Iris Gardens which is very fitting; the description of his home on the historic plaque is very interesting so zoom into the photo for a better look. Don will not be at the Market this month since he is hosting “Iris Fest” in his front yard every weekend in May, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Another great day trip is a drive to Weston, Missouri located off 45 Hwy, it is a quaint river front town filled with shops, restaurants and Iris Fest. For additional information visit

Make sure and stop by the City Market this weekend, we have a great selection of unique items for mom and the most beautiful cut flower bouquets and hanging baskets in Kansas City.
Not sure where the road will take me next week, I am thinking about heading to Kansas if the weather looks good.