Sarah here! While out checking a Youth Market vendor’s tomato plants, I stopped by Stephen's Orchard & Apiary a few Tuesdays ago to take a look around. Walt and Karlon Stephen are both a joy to be around at the market and I was really looking forward to seeing their place! Walt let me know ahead of time that they wouldn't be able to meet with me, but encouraged me to still stop by.
City Market’s Property Manager, Deb Churchill, came with me to Bonner Springs, Kansas to walk around the Stephen’s orchard and see the hives Walt keeps on property. The apple trees in the orchard were heavy with delectable looking apples. Surely they will be ready to bring to market in the upcoming weeks.
The hives were quite active, Deb and I decided we would be better off staying away from them since Walt was not there to advise us. The Stephen’s keep about two dozen hives on their property and have hives on other nearby farms as well. Having bees on the farm helps pollinate crops that would otherwise have to be pollinated by hand. I fully appreciate bees even if I am a little afraid of them stinging me.
While the Stephen’s market table is filled with tasty looking jars and bottles of honey, you’ll also see beeswax soaps, lip balms, and other body products that Karlon and her daughter Michelle make using some of the byproducts from the hives.
Find Stephen’s Orchard & Apiary at the market on Saturdays in the north pavilion stalls 141-142 and on Sundays in the middle pavilion stalls 67-68. See you at the market!