Johnson County farmers’ market season kicks off Saturday — here’s our guide

Johnson County farmers' markets

The Overland Park Farmers' Market, one of Johnson County's oldest and biggest, opens Saturday, April 17, officially kicking off the farmers' market season here. All local markets will still be taking COVID-19 precautions, like masking requirements and social distancing protocols. Photo courtesy Overland Park Farmers' Market Facebook page.

Smell that?

It’s the aroma of freshly cut flowers, organic produce, roasting coffee and warm baked goods. In other words, farmers’ market season in Johnson County is back.

The summertime ritual officially kicks off Saturday with the opening of the Overland Park Farmers’ Market. Other cities’ markets will open gradually over the next month or so.

By June, farm-to-table foodies will have more than half a dozen local options.

Markets this year will still have in place standard COVID-19 protocols, including mask requirements and social distancing guidelines. Each market’s specific rules can be found at their websites.

Here’s your guide to farmers’ markets in and around Johnson County for the 2021 season, in order of opening date. If we’ve missed a market serving Johnson County, please let us know by emailing stories@shawneemissionpost.com.

Overland Park Farmers’ Market, opening Saturday, April 17

A scene at least summer’s Overland Park Farmers’ Market outside Matt Ross Community Center. Photo courtesy Overland Park Farmers’ Market Facebook page.

One of Johnson County’s oldest and biggest farmers’ markets, the Overland Park Farmers’ Market features more than 80 vendors, including sweet treats from Fairway Creamery and artisanal gourmet sausages offered by the Wiener Wagon.

  • Dates and Times: Open Saturdays, from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting April 17
  • Location: Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty Street
  • Payment: All vendors accept cash, most also take credit/debit cards. You can purchase $5 tokens at the market. EBT benefit cards are also accepted.
  • Parking: There are plenty of options around downtown Overland Park, including at the Farmers’ Market pavilion, which is not being used during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Full Vendor List.

Lenexa Farmers Market, opening Saturday, April 24

A display of produce at the Lenexa Farmers Market in 2019. Image courtesy Lenexa Farmers Market Facebook page.

Open Saturdays and Tuesdays, the Lenexa Farmer Market boasts some 30 vendors this season, including homemade barbecue sauces, cheese curds, pastries, sweet corn and new this year: kombucha. The first hour of each market day will be reserved for at-risk shoppers, to limit their potential exposure to COVID-19.

  • Dates and Times: Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon (April 24-Oct. 30); Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (June 1-Aug. 31)
  • Location: The ground floor of the parking garage at the Lenexa civic campus, 17201 W. 87th St. Pkwy.
  • Payment: Buyers are urged to pay with debit/credit cards to discourage the handling of money. Cash is also accepted, as are EBT benefit cards. Shoppers can pre-order from some vendors here.
  • Parking: Free parking is available on the upper floors of the civic campus parking garage.
  • Full Vendor List

Olathe Farmers’ Market, opening Saturday, April 24

Olathe’s annual farmers’ market operates at two locations, Stagecoach Park and Black Bob Park. A scene from last summer’s farmers’ market. Image courtesy Olathe Farmers’ Market Facebook page.

The Olathe Farmers’ Market also operates twice a week, on Saturdays and Wednesdays during the market season. Vendors are all located within 250 miles of Olathe and provide a variety of baked goods, flowers, fresh produce, plants and more. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Olathe Farmers’ Market will not allow the use of reusable bags.

  • Dates and Times: Saturdays, 7:30 a.m. until items run out (April 24-Oct. 23); Wednesday, 7:30 a.m. until items run out (May 12-Sept. 15)
  • Location: Stagecoach Park, 1205 E. Kansas City Rd.; and Black Bob Park, 14500 W. 151st St., Field One
  • Payment: All vendors accept cash, but only some accept credit/debit cards.
  • Parking: Plenty of parking is on hand at both park locations.

Merriam Farmers’ Market, opening May 1

A vendor at last summer’s Merriam Farmers’ Market at Merriam Marketplace. Image courtesy Merriam Farmers’ Market Facebook page.

Make it an outdoorsy day at the Merriam Farmers’ Market, which is near access to the Turkey Creek Streamway Trail and Werner Park. Live musical performances are canceled during the pandemic, but there is still space for up to 36 vendors.

  • Dates and Times: Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. (May 1-Sept. 25)
  • Location: Merriam Marketplace, 5740 Merriam Drive
  • Payment: No specific information on payment, but as with most farmers’ markets, be prepared with cash or card.
  • Parking: Plenty of free parking on location.

Bonner Springs Farmers’ Market, opening May 1

The Bonner Springs Farmers’ Market opened in 2017 and is fully run by volunteers. Photo courtesy Jack Granath.

Just across the Kansas River from Shawnee, the Bonner Springs Farmers’ Market is an easy Saturday jaunt for many Johnson Countians. At least a dozen vendors will be on hand at this volunteer-run operation, offering everything from the traditional (fresh produce, baked bread) to the more unique (organic soap, sno cones). Oh yeah, and wine, too.

  • Dates and Times: Saturdays, 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (May 1-October 31)
  • Location: Kelly Murphy Park, 129 Elm St., Bonner Springs
  • Payment: Bring cash. The market also accepts EBT benefit cards.
  • Parking: Plenty of free parking available.
  • Full Vendor List

Shawnee Moonlight Market, opening May 20

Shawnee is moving its monthly farmers markets to Thursday nights this summer and rebranding the event the Shawnee Moonlight Market, held in the city hall parking lot. File photo.

Shawnee is mixing it up this year, moving its monthly farmers’ market to a nightly format on Thursdays, starting May 20. The event will be in the city hall parking lot, live musical acts will also perform and the city appears set to allow for the open consumption of alcohol in downtown Shawnee this summer. Just in time, right?

  • Dates and Times: May 20, June 17, July 15, August 19, September 16 and October 21 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Location: Shawnee City Hall, 11110 Johnson Drive
  • Payment: Cash accepted, but also bring your credit/debit card. There are plenty of restaurants and breweries also within walking distance.
  • Parking: Plan to find street parking in the downtown area.

Mission Market, opening June 3

The Mission Market will be open Thursdays this summer in its usual place on the lawn along Johnson Drive across from Sandhill Brewing. File photo.

Take a pleasant stroll in downtown Mission this summer on Thursdays and hit up the Mission Market, which is located on the grassy space near Fluffy Fresh Donuts. You can check out the market’s offerings of local produce, arts and crafts and also consider taking a brief detour along Rock Creek Trail and visiting the nearby strip of businesses along Johnson Drive.

  • Dates and Times: Thursdays, 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. (June 3-Aug. 26)
  • Location: 5635 Johnson Drive
  • Payment: Be flexible: bring cash and credit/debit card.
  • Parking: There are usually spaces along Johnson Drive, and there is a city-owned lot on Outlook Street behind Fluffy Fresh and Paulie D’s Pizza.
  • Full Vendor List