The Best of Home Grown, Home Baked and Hand Crafted by Local Farmers, Gardeners and Artisans.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Homegrown Tomatoes: Bill & Jane at the Market

We had a fabulous market on Saturday, August 27 and live music by Bill Ihling and Jane McCoy.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Jane and Bill to Sing at the Emporia Farmers Market

Back by popular demand, Bill Ihling and Jane McCoy will provide live music at the Emporia Farmers Market on Saturday, August 27, starting at 8am.

Jane and Bill are two Emporia-based musicians who recently discovered how much fun it could be to play as a duo. After several years of admiring each other's playing from afar, they've finally combined their talents and lent them to an eclectic mix of songs from several diverse genres, from old and new country to 60s pop to classic "Americana" and contemporary. Although their vocal styles are diverse, their voices combine to produce a lovely and distinctive harmony and Jane's cello adds a whole new dimension to the typical "acoustic guitar duo" sound. Their debut at the Emporia Farmers Market last month generated many favorable comments from market patrons, so their appearance at this Saturday's market is very much a case of "back by popular demand". Come check out Jane and Bill at the Emporia Farmers Market this Saturday, starting at 8am.

They will also be playing at Hetlinger's "AppleFest" on September 24.


For more information about the Emporia Farmers Market, contact:
Tracy Simmons
Market Manager

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Field of Dreams

by Chris Walker, Emporia Gazette, August 24, 2011

When the employees of PrairieLand Partners in Emporia planted a garden at their business they wanted to do more than provide some fresh vegetables for themselves. They wanted to prove to area gardeners that if you grow it, local businesses will buy it.

And that is just what happened.

Paul du Toit, store manager of PrairieLand Partners Inc., has been successful this summer selling produce like tomatoes, lettuce, onions and more to area grocery stores and restaurants.

Du Toit sees this project as a success because businesses are not only getting better, fresher products but it’s also proving to local gardeners that they could earn extra income by growing fruits and vegetables.

“We have young farmers coming back to the farm with families,” he said. “Grandpa is still drawing an income, so these young families have to develop extra income. High tunnels to extend the growing season can help provide needed income for families.”

Local food initiatives and food cooperatives are on the rise around the country. An estimated $4 billion in 2002 was spent on local food, and that will jump to an estimated $7 billion in 2012. The increase has been helped by more restaurants, and grocery stores are joining the local food initiatives.

That increase has also been seen locally. “We continue to have record sales at the Emporia Farmers Market and we are getting more requests from restaurants who want local produce.” said Rachael LeClear, Director of General Education and Community Education at the Flint Hills Technical College.

Read the whole article here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Emporia Farmers Market has matching funds for food

as printed in the Emporia Gazette, August 19, 2011

Families relying on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other programs to put food on the table have a friend in farmers markets and the Emporia Farmers Market is no exception. This summer, nationwide, participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is at a record high of approximately 45 million Americans. In Emporia, the farmers market has matched more than $1,000 in Vision cardholder tokens in 2011. A gift from the Emil Babinger Charitable Trust has allowed the market to provide $2 for spending on fresh produce and food items at the market for every $1 debited from a state of Kansas Vision card. This program, in its second year, has drawn many new shoppers to the market. Use of the SNAP benefits program at the Emporia Farmers Market is 5 times greater than it was in 2009, the year it was introduced.

The market will continue matching funds for state of Kansas Vision cardholders until they have given away $1,500. There has been a surge of new users in recent months. “We gave away nearly $400 in matching dollars the month of July alone, compared to $105 in May and $117 in June,” says Tracy Simmons, Market Manager.

Simmons attributes the growing popularity of this market program in part to community partnerships that have helped to get the word out. The Flint Hills Community Health Center, Community Health Coalition has purchased $800 in market bucks via a Kansas Department of Health and Environment grant in the past year that have been distributed as a way of encouraging new shoppers with children to check out the market. $500 of these dollars were given through the market’s first full season of winter markets. In recent months, invitations to receive market bucks have been distributed through brown bag concerts at the library, Big Brothers Big Sisters, SOS, and several other venues where volunteers encourage local youth to bring their parents to shop the market.

The Emporia Community Foundation has recently gifted the Community Health Coalition with another $800 for low-income families to try out the market. These market buck gifts are specifically for families who have youth in the house and, in many cases, the parents hand the money to the kids and say, “Let’s go pick something good to eat.” Getting families to forgo the packaged junk food as an after school snack in favor of an apple, melon or plate of fresh veggies is an educational process, as much as anything, and kids are more likely to chose healthy options when they have that experience of talking with the farmer who pulled that vegetable from the ground.

According to Suzanne Worthen-Miller, Chronic Disease Risk Reduction Program Manager at the Flint Hills Community Health Center, nearly 65 percent of youth in Lyon County qualify for free and reduced lunches and these families need increased access to locally grown foods. “We hope these incentives will encourage members of the community to begin building more healthful relationships with food, which will, in turn, help our community reduce the incidence of obesity and associated chronic conditions.”

“We are always looking for new ways to encourage people to try out the farmers market. It’s a social experience, as well as the best source of local and healthy food in town. It’s fun to be able to hand new folks money to spend, as well. We hope it gets them hooked on the farmers market,” says Simmons.

If there are any teachers, school counselors or professionals aware of hungry kids who could benefit from this program, please contact Tracy Simmons, Emporia Farmers Market manager, at 343-6555 or email

Sunday, August 14, 2011

ESU International Student Day at the Emporia Farmers Market

Market Manager trying out new camera. Unfortunately, the battery was near its end. Perhaps more market movies to come in the future.

We had a wonderful Saturday market on August 13 with many new visitors. Chris Cakes served approximately 170 people in a fundraiser for the HALO Hispanic American Leadership Organization. 

They will be using the proceeds to fund "The Hispanic Heritage Month Extravaganza 2011 Series," which will take place on Sunday, September 18th, 2011 through Saturday, October 15th, 2011.

Emporia Farmers Market Reminder for Area Seniors

Seniors, don’t forget that your Kansas Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers must be redeemed by October 15. SFMNP vouchers may be used to purchase local, fresh produce at farmers markets, roadside stands, and community support agriculture (CSA) programs. EFM vendors who are certified to accept SFMNP checks will display a poster at their stall stating “Kansas Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program Checks Accepted Here.”

Markets will take place in the parking lot at 7th & Merchant every Wednesday, starting at 5pm, and every Saturday, starting at 8am, through the months of September and October.

An up-to-date calendar for the market events can be found online at

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Murphy's Menu Salsa Cook-Off Winners

Last Wednesday was the infamous Murphy’s Menu Salsa Cook-off, and the people did not disappoint. Neither did the heat, but that’s OK. It’s summer.
There were four hot salsas and eight “not hot” salsas. We had great voter turnout: an estimated 90 people from 5 to 6 p.m. came by to try out all kinds of salsas. The two winners were given a great reusable shopping bag with chips, choppers, limes, garlic and all kinds of other helpful food gifts from Nancy Garcia at Country Mart North. There were fresh and canned salsas. Salsa with beans and salsas with mangoes. All in all, it was a nice mix and very challenging choice for the tasters.
 As published in the Emporia Gazette, August 10, 2011.

Finish reading the story by clicking here!

A Musical Month of August at EFM

The Emporia Farmers Market is pleased to announce that it will be a very musical month. Shop for veggies and enjoy the songs of area talent that is scheduled for every Saturday market throughout the month of August.

Guest Musicians include:
August 13 - Joe Foster
August 20 - Savanna Chestnut
August 27 - Bill Ihling and Jane McCoy

An ongoing calendar of market events can be found at Questions? Contact market manager, Tracy Simmons, at or 620-343-6555.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Love at First Bite

Over 5 million mouths are fed every week by our nation's farmers' markets, representing over $1.2 billion annually in direct-to-consumer sales.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pancake Feed to Welcome ESU International Students at Emporia Farmers Market

Saturday, August 13, starting at 8am, the Emporia Farmers Market will be hosting the new international students who have come to study at Emporia State University in 2011-2012. Everyone is invited to shop the market, have pancakes for breakfast and help us welcome these new members of our community. The market will also feature live music by Joe Foster.

The pancake feed is a fundraiser of the ESU HALO Hispanic American Leadership Organization. They will be using this opportunity to welcome international students and  fund "The Hispanic Heritage Month Extravaganza 2011 Series," which will take place on Sunday, September 18th, 2011 through Saturday, October 15th, 2011.
For more information about the Hispanic Heritage Month series contact:
Manny Requenes
Student Assistant for the Director of Multicultural Affairs
President, Collegiate Chapter of the National Association for Music Education (CMENC)
Vice President of Programming, Hispanic American Leadership Organization (HALO)
620-341-5481 Office
620-341-5882 Fax

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Emporia Farmers Market at the Lyon County Free Fair

On Monday, August 1, eight vendors had booths at the Lyon County Free Fair for an extra opportunity for shoppers to get fresh and local in Emporia.

We hope we met some new friends and always welcome shoppers at our regular Wednesday markets (starting at 5pm) and Saturday markets (starting at 8am in the parking lot at 7th & Merchant.

EFM Vendor, Jase Hubert, sold out of tomatoes and cucumbers early.

Bradley Phillips had a popular table full of the sweetest cantaloupe and melons.

EFM Vendors at the Fairgrounds.

It's not a farmers market without sweet corn!

Vendor, Drew Kuchera, brings his product to market.

Bob Karr had peaches, as well as honey, jams, and apple wood  and chips.