Friday, August 11, 2017

I had a very short trip today since all of the farms I am visiting are located in the same large field. We have four vendors who rent a parcel of land located north of I-70 in Kansas City, Kansas. I sometimes have trouble determining which plot belongs to which vendor but today I lucked out and Vang Thao and family were on sight and was able to help me.

Vang Thao Garden has been vending at the City Market since 2014 and sells at the Sunday farmers market. Like many of our vendors, Vang Thao grows a variety of flowers to sell as bouquets at the market. The type of flowers in the bouquets will vary depending on the season. You will currently see bouquets that contain zinnias, cockscombs, cosmos, dhalia, gladiolas and sunflowers Vang Thao’s Garden had them all. As with all of our vendors this time of year they were busy trying to stay on top of the weeds, lots of rain and heat makes for very healthy weeds.  In addition to flowers, they also grow squash, cucumbers, assorted peppers, okra, long beans, water spinach, bitter melon, basil, dill and tomatoes that had yet to start producing. You will find Vang Thao Garden in pavilion three stalls 129 & 130 every Sunday through the first frost.

Located on the north side of the property on a steep hill is Youa Vangs plot. This is a very challenging section of land for growing vegetables, especially with all the rain we had this summer. Youa had  a little lettuce that was still producing since it was located in a shady part of the field, I was actually a little surprised to see this with all the heat we had a few weeks ago. Although Youa has struggled this year, she had Asian melons, lemon grass and a few flowers that she can bring to the market on Sundays. You will find Youa’s Farm in pavilion one in stall 6.

Across the drive is Amy Lo’s plot, which takes up the width of the property. Amy was not on the property when I arrived but I have been visiting her garden since 2011 so knew exactly where it starts and ends. Amy also sells cut flowers and had the same variety of flowers as Vang Thao with the exception of bachelor buttons and marigolds. She has added more tomatoes this year, which were just starting to turn red, field tomatoes, are really starting to come on now. Amy also grows a variety of vegetables that she brings to the market every Saturday through the first frost. You will find Amy in Pavilion two stalls 53 and 54.

Located at the back of the property is Pheng Hers plot. Pheng and her family have been farming for six years and started vending at the Sunday farmers market their first year. They have since been able to get a Saturday contract and are now selling on both market days. Pheng sells a mix of cut flowers and vegetables and has a second location where she farms which I still need to visit this summer. I cannot believe how fast time is ticking by this year. You will find Peng her is pavilion three on Saturday in stall 131 and pavilion one on Sundays in stall 10.

I headed across town to Independence, MO to visit with a new applicant for the artist crafter category. Before a new vendor gets approval to sell at the City Market, I am required to visit their workshop to verify they personally make the items they would like to sell. Sam LaSala has a workshop where he draws designs and screen-prints them on t-shirts. Vendors who purchase pre made t-shirts are required to create the design themselves and the design must encompass at least 50% of the shirt. Sam spends  quite a bit of time drawing and cleaning up his designs before screen-printing them to a t-shirt but the designs are not large enough or detailed enough to cover the shirts so is not something we will allow at this time. I was glad to hear that he plans to work on this and I will revisit him once he makes this adjustment, and so, you could possible see Art Space at the market in the near future.

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