The city of Lenexa is gearing up for its second season of the city-sponsored farmers market, with new vendors and some familiar faces.
Jenny Doty, recreation supervisor, said that last year — being the inaugural year of the Lenexa Farmers Market — staff mainly focused on getting it up and running. This year, with some sense of norm established, they’re ramping up with additional programming, such as youth activities and live music performances.
Also different from last season are the market’s Tuesday hours — now 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. — to accommodate shoppers who prefer visiting the market over the lunch hour or want to grab lunch at the Public Market.
“There’s not very many places in the area where you can go grab a local lunch and sit down and listen to music on your lunch break, so we’re trying to provide that opportunity for people as well,” Doty said.
All new for market customers are classes, the goal being to build relationships between vendors and customers. Staff are organizing cooking, herb planting and flower arranging classes, which some of the vendors will lead so their customers can get to know them more. Cooking demonstrations and special recipe releases (to accommodate the preferences of both adults and children) will take place monthly so customers can sample dishes as well.
“We’re always evaluating what our customers say,” Doty said, citing survey feedback from customers that dictated many of the changes this year. “I’ve learned from early on not to bite off more than we could chew.
“Our first year, we did it well, but we want to amp up and really provide a community gathering space that the Lenexa residents want, so they can meet a neighbor, hang out, listen to music, their kids can play for a little bit. It’s just a great place to relax and be with their community.”
The Lenexa Farmers Market will also co-host a progressive dinner and farm-to-table experience led by vendors in the Public Market.
“We had a lot of positivity; our customers were really appreciative that all the food is truly locally grown, raised and made within 250 miles of the market,” Doty said. “It’s sometimes a challenge — we have to eat to learn to eat more seasonally — but you’re going to get the best and most flavorful fruit and vegetables if you’re eating seasonally.”
Here’s a list of vendors for this year, including new additions to the market roster:
- Bailey’s Orchard (NEW)
- Dierking Farms
- Food Life Joy Microgreens
- Hemme Brothers Creamery (NEW)
- Holy-Field Vineyard & Winery
- Jake Creek Pecans (NEW)
- JET Produce and Meats
- Joe’s Cellar
- Koenig & Hill
- Madd House Hill
- Marigold’s Food Truck (NEW)
- Meulebeke Market
- Mindfully Made
- New Roots for Refugees – Ibrahim Dugudu
- New Roots for Refugees – Khin Hrin Pan (NEW)
- New Roots for Refugees – Moe Thu
- Next to Nature Farm
- Parsons’ Gardens
- Pastimes Farm
- The Roasterie (NEW)
- Rock the House Bakery
- Ronnie D’s Cheesecakes (NEW)
- Salt Creek Valley Farm
- See’s Family Farm
- Stony Ridge Farms
- Three Bears Bakery & BBQ (NEW)
- Velouté (NEW)
- Wohletz Farm Fresh
- Yummylicious Cookie Company
The Lenexa Farmers Market season and hours are as follows: From April 27 to Oct. 26: 8 a.m. to noon Saturday; from May 28 to Aug. 27: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday. The Lenexa Farmers Market will still be located in the parking garage of the Lenexa Civic Centre campus, located near the Lenexa Rec Center. The rec center’s address is 17201 W. 87th Street Parkway.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correct an error about the locality of the products at the Lenexa Farmers Market. All products at the market are produced, raised or made within 250 miles of the market – no exceptions.