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Nursery business files plans to open farmers' market in West Lawrence


It is spring, which of course means that my crop of crabgrass soon will take off. (That sound you heard was my neighbor who reads this throwing her computer across the kitchen.)

But maybe a different type of crop comes to mind for you with the changing of the season. Fresh produce, it appears, is on the minds of more people than ever these days.

Plans have been filed at Lawrence City Hall for yet another farmers’ market.

The folks at Clinton Parkway Nursery — right at the corner of Clinton Parkway and Wakarusa Drive — have filed plans for a farmers’ market every Wednesday evening from May through August.

If you are keeping track at home, there will be farmers’ markets on Tuesday (Downtown Lawrence Farmers’ Market), Wednesday (Clinton Parkway Nursery, assuming it is approved), Thursday (Cottin’s Hardware near 19th and Massachusetts), and Saturday (Downtown Lawrence Farmers’ Market.)

Ann Peuser, an owner of Clinton Parkway Nursery, said people are creating a strong demand for locally grown fruits and vegetables. And she said indications are that West Lawrence residents want a market that allows them to buy a little closer to their neighborhoods.

The Downtown Lawrence Farmers’ Market has had a West Lawrence market in the past. Within the last two years it had a market in the parking lot of the shopping center on the southwest corner of Sixth and Wakarusa. But as that shopping center started to fill up with new tenants, the market lost its lease. I think the idea of a westside market, though, was starting to gain some momentum.

We’ll find out soon enough how much of an appetite the community has for farmers’ markets. If approved, the Clinton Parkway market will open May 15. Peuser said plans call for the market to be open from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays.

She said she expects to have about a dozen vendors — they’ll focus on actual produce, not crafts and such — and she already has “quite a list” of producers who are interested in the market. The market will be in a portion of the nursery’s parking lot.

While the Clinton Parkway market won’t get going until mid-May, the Downtown Lawrence Farmers’ Market in the 800 block of New Hampshire has set its opening day as Saturday, April 13. I don’t yet see an opening date listed for the Cottin’s Hardware market on its Web site, but it indicates its outdoor market (it has a small indoor market currently) will open in May.

Although I considered it, I won’t have a booth at any of them. But if you need some starter shoots of crabgrass, just get in touch with me and we can dicker. If you buy in bulk, I bet my neighbor will even finance the deal.


blindrabbit 5 years, 3 months ago

Too bad Lawrence does not really have a good venue for a Farmers Market, one with some kind of permanance or pavilion. Visited serveral in the past year or so that put this to shame; couple of nice examples (look them up if you want) Santa Fe, New Mexico and Bellingham, Washington. These facilities are so designed so can be used for other events.

Jock Navels 5 years, 3 months ago

sante fe and bellingham are very unique boutique cutified places. bellingham is also surrounded by some of the best market garden land and climate in the world. lawrence is not in the same league as these two cities. lawrence is in kanzassippi now. in a couple of years it may be illegal to sell a real vegetable in the state.

otto 5 years, 3 months ago

I can think of several locations that would be a good open area - there is plenty of room at the fairgrounds. i don't know if YSI or Clinton lake softball area is used every day. One of the larger parking lots in west Lawrence, churches, schools etc... Although these may work OK I am sure there would be some challenges involved and generally speaking feel they should have to buy there own place like every other business that wants to be in town. I realize this is an existing business location requesting this. My comments are more general towards the farmer market.

alfie 5 years, 3 months ago

If this a change of business request, won't their parking lot have to be brought up to code?

blindrabbit 5 years, 3 months ago

A good idea for a permanent place and combination of uses. Don't expect City to use any common sense though, and the citizenry will surely balk . The space between the South end of Lawrence Arts Center and 10th Street on New Hampshire Street. The Arts Center has planned on moving into that space once the Salvation Army Building is removed. Build a open pavillion (including part with cover) to host the Farmers Market (a couple times a week) then use the space for Art Center Events, public art displays, performing arts. City could charge a fee for uses by the public that don't interfere with other committed events. Place would be ideal with the planned developement at 9th and N.H.taking off and Arts District Development to the East around the Poehler area. Would keep business in downtown area and plenty of parking in the multistory garage across the street. Please look up Santa Fe and Bellingham to see what can be done, both cities are approximately the same size as Lawrence, but more progressive!

Chad, any thoughts??

Chad Lawhorn 5 years, 3 months ago

It will be interesting to see what comes of the idea of taking over the space where The Salvation Army is currently located. A lot will be dependent on The Salvation Army having fundraising success to build a new facility elsewhere. As far as a more permanent location for the Farmers' Market, I hear mentioned more often the plaza area between the library and the soon-to-be-new parking garage as a location. Some amenities such as restrooms, a cooking station and such could be incorporated. I haven't gotten a good sense of whether the Farmers' Market folks are interested in moving, though. It seems they like their current spot, and my understanding is Doug Compton and his group have offered to put in restrooms in the bottom floor of the proposed apartment building, which could serve the market. I think the developers like the idea of having a Farmers' Market next to their apartment developments. Thanks, Chad

irvan moore 5 years, 3 months ago

that has to be to good and reasonable an idea for the city to even consider it

Angela Longhurst 5 years, 3 months ago

Yes, this city needs to have a public pavilion. I have tried many different ways to hold the (now on hold) Lawrence Flea. Many people have enjoyed shopping and vending at our market but the permits to hold such an event in this town are too high. After spending many months in the red, I have had to regrettably cancel this years markets, until I can find space out of the city limits. The planning dept has been very helpful, but it is difficult to start a market in this town from scratch with such overhead. I have event insurance, events held on privately owned ground in the limits should not have to be charged fees if all other requirements are met.

irvan moore 5 years, 3 months ago

darn it, I like the flea market, nice place to spend an hour and visit, kind of a community gathering in a relaxed setting, thanks angela, please keep trying

amac 5 years, 3 months ago

Hi Chad, I wonder if you could address how the local produce markets are "screened." In other words, how does the public know who they are buying from and what pesticides are or are not used on the produce, etc. Not just the hopeful Clinton Parkway market, but all of those you've listed. Thanks!

Chad Lawhorn 5 years, 3 months ago

Hi. I haven't asked that question specifically, but unless a grower actually has gone through a program to be certified as an organic grower, I suspect it is just a matter of trust between the farmer and the consumer. Thanks, Chad

Keith 5 years, 3 months ago

This is a great idea, more outlets for local farmers.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 3 months ago

Hopefully you can get waited on at the farmers market than the store. Have been in there multiple times and was like pulling teeth to get someone to help you.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 3 months ago

It's getting to be like that at a lot of stores. I think it is all part of Natures grand plan in action, a way of telling us that we had better learn to fend for ourselves.

Phil Minkin 5 years, 3 months ago

The new open area of the Library could offer a great space. Plenty of parking, and Vermont could even be blocked off.

Lawrence Morgan 5 years, 3 months ago

Lawrence DEFINITELY needs a public pavilion. blindrabbit, you are right on.

If Lawrence won't have the flea market because of high fees, why not try Baldwin? It's a great location, and the town could use the business for new restaurants and great walking. It's a very nice town! - and not far from Lawrence.

Lawrence Morgan 5 years, 3 months ago

And- they could even have a bus that goes back and forth between Lawrence and Baldwin each hour on the weekend. It would be a great change of pace.

irvan moore 5 years, 3 months ago

grow your own veggies, be part of the process and get healthy and have fun doing it

peartree 5 years, 3 months ago

I think it will be nice to have a farmer's market in the West side of town. It will be more convenient for some, and I actually know some Westsiders who think it is unsafe to go downtown, even during the day. I think it's humorous, but alas that is how they feel. I hope the prices are not higher, especially since that particular greenhouse seems to have some of the highest prices around. As far as a pavilion, it would be interesting to look into but I doubt will happen soon. What about using junior high or high school parking lots?

blindrabbit 5 years, 3 months ago

peartree Maybe these "Westsiders" need to get a life.

Angela Heili 5 years, 3 months ago

blindrabbit....we "westsiders" do have lives. Very good lives in fact. The fact that you feel compelled to post a juvenile type negative comment suggests that maybe you're life needs a little uplifting. Studies show that people who "tear down" others are doing so for a variety of reasons including, family life, peer pressure, being surrounded by people who have low standards and adopting those standards themselves, as well as other reasons.

I certainly hope that you find something much more constructive to do with your time than to choose to bully others with your negative comments.

Maybe this will help:


I'd also encourage you to seek help for your negative mindset. You'll be a much happier person and be a better asset to society instead of a hindrance. I certainly hope you have a much better day!

Peartree...High schools parking lots are a good idea. However, I wonder if there are restrictions on what kinds of things the parking lots can be used for (i.e. only school related things)?

I certainly hope they have a farmer's market in West Lawrence on Wednesday evenings as it would give Lawrence and surrounding communities more opportunities to buy locally grown produce. I try to support small businesses as much as I can when it comes to "farming" as I'm a farmer's daughter, have my own garden, and know how time and labor intensive it is to produce good, healthy produce.

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