Lenexa Farmers Market plants seeds for a fresh season

Lenexa Farmers Market musicians Jimmy Dykes and Joy Zimmerman. Photo credit: Bill Harrison

The word is out about the Lenexa Farmers Market. It welcomed nearly 30,000 visitors during its second season of operation in 2019 — a 43% increase over the previous year. And it’s poised for continued growth as it kicks off a third season this spring.

“Our goal is to bring farmers and consumers closer together,” said Jenny Doty, recreation supervisor and Lenexa Farmers Market manager. “And that cultivates a special sense of community.”

In recent decades, the local food movement has flourished as a growing number of Americans want to know where their food comes from and connect with the people producing it. Eating foods that are in season, sustainably grown and have a shorter distance to market provides health benefits and helps reduce environmental impact.
All products sold at the Lenexa Farmers Market must be grown, raised or made within 250 miles of Lenexa — from meat, honey and baked goods to vegetables, fruits and skincare products.

Lenexa Farmers Market shoppers. Photo credit: Bill Harrison

Be part of the growth
Lenexa Farmers Market staff are hard at work planning for a successful season, which runs late April to late October. In addition to supporting the Market by buying local, here are six other ways you can get involved:

Jane Wohletz of Wohletz Farm Fresh. Photo credit: Bill Harrison

1. Become a vendor
Do you own a local business or know of one you think would thrive at the Market? Consider applying to be a regular or occasional vendor. Note that all vendor products must be farm grown or made by the vendor (no mass-produced resale items) within 250 miles. Submit a vendor interest form

2. Perform as a musician
Calling local musicians! Live entertainment contributes to the festive atmosphere of the Market. Musical acts are booked for two-hour performances on Saturday and Tuesday mornings during the outdoor season. Submit a musician interest form

Lenexa Farmers Market artist work.

3. Share your art
The Lenexa Farmers Market regularly presents a featured artist and their works. Artists are selected by jury and must be located within 250 miles of the Market. All items for sale must be handmade by the artist. Submit an artist interest form

4. Volunteer at the Market
As the Market grows, it relies on more volunteers to keep things running smoothly. From helping vendors check in and coordinating kids’ activities to set-up and tear-down, there are many ways to make a difference with your time. Sign up to be a Farmers Market volunteer

Bordner Home Improvement sponsor. Photo credit: Bill Harrison

5. Sponsor the Market
Does your company or organization want to be associated with the Lenexa Farmers Market? There are several options available

6. Stay in the loop

Get the latest scoop on what’s happening at the Lenexa Farmers Market. Sign up for the newsletter or join the Farmers Market Facebook group.

What’s next?
There are two more indoor Winter Farmers Market events scheduled for Feb. 29 and March 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lenexa Public Market (8750 Penrose Ln., Lenexa, KS). They give shoppers a chance to stock up on favorite goods and reconnect with vendors during the off-season.

For the 2020 outdoor season, the Lenexa Farmers Market will be open Saturdays from April 25–Oct. 31, 8 a.m. to noon, and Tuesdays from May 26–Sept. 1, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Market is located on the first floor of the parking garage on the Lenexa civic campus at 87th Street Parkway and Winchester Street. Free parking is available on street or in the upper levels of the garage.