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Archive for Friday, April 13, 2007

Farmers Market kicks off Saturday

April 13, 2007

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Linwood farmer Kevin Irick knows what his customers at the Farmers Market want: tomatoes. Inside his greenhouse, the plants have been spared the recent cold weather.

Linwood farmer Kevin Irick knows what his customers at the Farmers Market want: tomatoes. Inside his greenhouse, the plants have been spared the recent cold weather.

Farmers Market opening

Kevin Irick, a Linwood-area farmer, talks about his recent crop losses and how his tomato plants look for the upcoming Farmers' Market. Enlarge video

Rain, snow or shine, the Lawrence Farmers Market's 2007 season kicks off Saturday two weeks earlier than usual.

But the recent cold snap has left local producers with little to bring to opening day.

"I've lived in Kansas my whole life but I've never seen or experienced anything quite like this," said Kevin Irick, who farms near Linwood and sells produce at the market. "We need sunshine bad to warm up the ground."

The result: some fruits, including apples and peaches, won't make it at all to the market season, and other produce will run several weeks behind.

"But luckily we have meat vendors, baked goods, crafts and prepared food vendors, so there will be a lot at the market," said Mercedes Taylor-Puckett, the market's coordinator.

The earlier market opening was designed to take advantage of longer growing seasons for some produce, she said, and to give producers of meat and baked goods an extended selling season.

"But Mother Nature is not cooperating," Taylor-Puckett said.

The market has more than 75 vendors each weekend. The show will go on, even though Irick will end up waiting until May for his tomatoes.

"We'll be there," Taylor-Puckett said. "I'll definitely be there, hopefully not with a snow shovel."

Hours of operation

The Downtown Farmers Market will run from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturdays in the parking lot at 824 N.H.

The market also will be open from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the parking lot at 1020 Vt.

The market will be open through November.

Comments

Wilbur_Nether 7 years, 6 months ago

The_Original_Bob, I will be shocked if locally grown tomatoes OR peppers are available in the middle of April.

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Eric Neuteboom 7 years, 6 months ago

I can't wait! Well...maybe one week...or two, if it's still cold...

But, damn glad to have the market back!

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Jace 7 years, 6 months ago

Good point, Wilbur!

I doubt that any of the produce that you will find there will be of the "local variety".

Not in the middle of April, anyway!

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Christine Pennewell Davis 7 years, 6 months ago

hot house people can grow stuff year round.

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Wilbur_Nether 7 years, 6 months ago

Don't misunderstand, Jace; I have no doubt most of it will be local. I just don't think they will be mid-summer crops.

Not even from a hothouse.

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terrapin2 7 years, 6 months ago

True, you can grow some crops year round in hot-houses or greenhouses, but with the high cost of natural gas and electricity, and the poor insulation properties of traditional greenhouses, it isn't very cost effective, or easy, to grow warm-weather crops in the middle of a Kansas winter, especially with the very low temps that we had this winter and again recently. Sure, you can augment the short, cloudy winter days with grow lights but that can be very costly as well.

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Jace 7 years, 6 months ago

Well, all of that being said.....It will still be, what?, June?, before all of the "good/great-tasting local stuff" will be had at the Farmers' Market.

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Jace 7 years, 6 months ago

I'm all for "buying local"....so don't get me wrong!

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Jace 7 years, 6 months ago

Wilbur,

Agreed, my friend! Agreed!

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luvthesun 7 years, 6 months ago

hawk, it sounds like you're bringing a can of worms to the market. Perhaps the improvements for the market location should be paid for by TIF funds? Oh, I forgot, that would mean the market would have to contribute to retail sales tax collection like other businesses do. Let's just say that hobbyists who play butcher and baker and candlestick maker don't have to follow the same laws. Really though, don't you think the Farmers' Market name should simply be the Market, since most aren't farmers?

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budwhysir 7 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, lets kick that spring time farmers market right in the middle of a snow storm. Wonder how many will be there? Just the die hard fans and vendors. If the ground is white, dont look for me, Ill be inside enjoying the expensive heat produced by my furnace. No extra money to buy fruits and veggies this week end. Going to contribute to the fuel and oil companies. Thanks

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badger 7 years, 6 months ago

I miss the Lawrence Farmers Market. The one nearest my house in Austin is OK, but they are heavy on the premade stuff, like baked goods and salsas and candles and pottery, and light on the actual produce. However, the meat variety is better, with beef, bison, lamb, chicken, pork, fish, and shrimp, and they have most of their meat year-round because the market runs year-round. No rabbit, though. I still miss the rabbits from the Lawrence Market. They were tender and yummy. More variety on cheese, but it's not as tasty as the Bradford stuff, and there are no apples in the fall.

I miss the apples most, really. And the little tiny pecan pies.

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