Archive for Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Farmer’s market to start Saturday

July 3, 2007

Pete and Brenda Wood have roughly two acres of produce they're growing at their homestead near McLouth.

That is the inspiration for the Historical Farmer's Market, which they're spearheading in Tonganoxie.

The market will kick off at 7 a.m. Saturday in the Tonganoxie High School west campus parking lot.

"My husband grows a garden and he retired from General Motors, and this is what he wanted to do," Brenda Wood said.

She also noted that the market's name reflects the popularity of the farmer's market years ago.

The weekly event originally was supposed to start in early May, but taking care of all the needed paperwork -- including a special-use permit that was approved during a special City Council meeting Thursday -- delayed its start. The market will be open from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturdays through the third week of October.

Wood said she's expecting 15 vendors for the inaugural market.

Vegetables, crafts and baked goods will be available at the farmer's market, Wood said, although next year the offerings could include frozen meat.

"We hope next year it will be bigger," Wood said.

For the first week, Wood said several of the vendors would be serving baked goods.

Wood visited area farmer's markets to get ideas for a market in Tonganoxie. She spoke with organizers in Lawrence and molded it after Lawrence's farmer's market. Like Lawrence, Tonganoxie will follow guidelines set forth by the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Wood said.

The THS west campus, which is the former Tonganoxie Junior High School, is an ideal place for the farmer's market, according to Wood. She likes the paved parking for handicapped residents, as well as its availability for emergency workers in case of an accident. Wood said she and her husband have liability insurance for the market.

"With liability regulations, it was a good site," Wood said.

A vendor space at the market also will be available for school organizations that want to sell items for fund-raising, Wood said. And, she hopes to have musicians playing at the weekly event, as is the case in Lawrence.

"The purpose of it all is to give Kansas rural farmers a place to sell their produce," Wood said. "And for Tonganoxie residence to get food that doesn't have chemicals or preservatives on it."

Feedback about the farmer's market has been good, Wood said, as she and her husband have fielded several calls from residents inquiring about when the farmer's market will begin.

For more information about the farmer's market or to reserve a space, contact Pete or Brenda Wood at (913) 634-6028.

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