Farmers markets around the county
Despite Friday’s snow flurries, spring officially arrived Sunday, and with the awakening of the area’s flora, Marion County will soon sprout several unique farmers markets while others struggle to survive.
Marion Farm and Art Market will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays in Central Park, starting May 4 and continuing into autumn.
“The ambience of the park just adds so much,” coordinator Carol Laue said. “It’s so beautiful down there. I love the sound of the fountain. It’s so neat and peaceful.”
Laue said fresh homegrown produce, homemade baked goods, jams, jellies, salsas, honey, bath products, flowers, bierocks, handmade crafts, cards, and sewing and crocheted items are a sampling of what will be available.
“We have such a variety of things that you could purchase just about everything you need for a meal,” Laue said. “Everyone has their niche and everybody pitches in.”
Laue also values providing an opportunity for people to socialize.
She is searching for new vendors who might be interested in face painting or other child-focused activities, as well as vendors who make jewelry and other crafty things. Musicians who want to play live music also are welcome.
Laue said groups might serve hot meals as fundraisers at the market.
“Hot meals draw huge crowds,” Laue said. “Our vendors love it when groups put them on.”
There is no fee to set up a vendor table. Vendors are encouraged to arrive early to set up and move cars before patrons arrive.
More information is available by contacting Laue at (620) 382-5761.
Florence Farmer’s Market coordinator Scott Zogelman said the group has not met yet to discuss this year’s plans. However, he said the basics are still the same.
Vendors typically start selling on the first Tuesday in May and continue until the last Tuesday in September.
“We meet from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday in Moses Shane Park by the highway near the roundabout,” he said. “Everything is homegrown or homemade.”
He said the park is a cool place with a nice breeze on hot summer days, he said. The location also has high visibility.
Florence Farmers Market also meets during city Labor Day festivities.
There is no fee to be a vendor this year, he said. However, no flea market item or resale items may be sold. Vendors and patrons are asked to refrain from bringing pets, too.
“We occasionally have special nights,” Zogelman said. “We’ve had a petting zoo night, live music, or if we can get someone to truck in peaches or watermelons we’ll feature that, but most of the produce is locally grown.”
He said people could sign up for phone text reminders. More information is available by contacting Zogleman at (620) 382-6994.
Hillsboro Farmers Market coordinator Lena Hall said vendors start presenting goods on Memorial Day in May and continue until Labor Day.
“We meet every Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. in Memorial Park,” Hall said. “It’s all handmade, homegrown, and home-baked items.”
There is no fee to set up a table, but vendors should arrive at 4:30 p.m. to set up, she said. Selling does not start until officials ring a bell. The bell’s chime signals the end of each night, too.
Hall said the last Thursday of every month is a “sell anything night,” in which garage sale items are allowed to be sold.
A unique wrinkle June 30 will be “Armed Forces Night” military branches are allowed to set up recruiter tables, she said.
More information is available by calling Hall at Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce at (620) 947-3506.
It is uncertain if Peabody will have a farmers market this year, however longtime vendor N.M. Patton is interested in finding others who want to participate.
“At this point I do not know of anyone else who wants to be a vendor,” Patton said. “I would like to know if there are any other vendors who would like to participate in Peabody.”
He said interested parties could contact him at (316) 772-8048.