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Farmers Markets cropping up all over

Staff writer

April showers bring May flowers, and they also herald the growing season and good fresh-from-the-garden eating.

Communities across Marion County are preparing to host farmers markets this summer.

Doyle Valley Farmers Market in Peabody began in 1999 and is the oldest in the county.

“For as small as we are, it has gone on for quite a while,” said coordinator Debbie McSweeney.

It will open the season May 29, Memorial Day weekend, in the city park. The market is available from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

Nominal fees for vendors are assessed on a one-time or season-long basis. Coordination among the regular vendors assures a variety of fresh produce, along with baked goods and other homemade products.

A “community booth” is available for a group to use free the first time. The booth must be reserved in advance.

Doyle Valley Farmers Market is registered in the “Simply Kansas” program, which requires everything sold at the market to be grown and produced in Kansas.

Several fundraisers are held each year to support the farmers market. Special events are sometimes planned at the market. At the end of the season, a dinner is served to vendors.

McSweeney said the farmers market isn’t a big moneymaker but raises enough to pay expenses.

“We are like a close-knit family,” she said. “The farmers market is a big social hour for us.”

Hillsboro Farmers Market is beginning its fifth year under the guidance of Joni Calam. She will be assisted by Amelia Breugem, who is taking the place of Sheryl Lehr.

Calam said the open-air market has proven to be a destination place for families. Various groups and organizations provide meals while musicians (when available) provide entertainment.

According to Calam, the Hillsboro Farmers Market focuses on homegrown and homemade products.

“The market has been well supported by the Hillsboro community and by people from outside the community,” she said.

The opening day of the 2010 season will be May 6. The 5 to 7 p.m. event will feature $1 hot dogs or $5 hot dog meals and entertainment by the Greenhorns, a blue grass band sponsored by Stone Wolf Entertainment of Hillsboro.

Florence will have a farmers market for the first time this summer.

According to organizer Scott Zogelman, six vendors have signed up so far and more are interested. Vendors pay a fee to cover the purchase of banners and advertisement.

The market will be available from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays in Moses Shane Park, between U.S. 50 and U.S. 77.

At its May 4 opening, Zogelman expects to see a few fresh items for sale such as beets and radishes. Baked goods also will be available.

Tampa Farmers Market is launching its second season this summer.

According to coordinator Carole Spohn, the market was popular in its first season and proved to be a social occasion for the local people.

“It is very informal. Arts and crafts and flea market vendors are welcome,” she said.

Held Wednesday evenings, the opening event begins at 6:30 p.m. June 2 on Main Street in Tampa. In case of rain, it will be moved indoors to the Tampa Senior Center.

At Lincolnville, space will be available for fresh produce from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the first Saturday and Sunday of every month at Pilsen Packrats Flea Market in the former Tiemeier’s Store.

Last modified April 29, 2010

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