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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

10 Ways You Can Help the Emporia Farmers Market

The month of June means the Emporia Farmers Market is in full swing with twice weekly markets and more vendors than ever before. All markets take place in the parking lot at 7th & Merchant. Saturday markets start at 8:00 AM and Wednesday markets start at 5:00 PM. Shoppers are encouraged to come early for the best selection.

The Emporia Farmers Market is run by an all-volunteer board of directors and one part-time employee. We rely on community members – market farmhands – to run the market kiosk, check vendors in and out, as well as host market events and fundraisers. Have you ever wondered how you can help the Emporia Farmers Market?

1. Shop the market. The easiest, most obvious way to support the market is to become a loyal customer. Does your schedule make it hard to come to markets? Consider organizing a “shopping coop” with your friends, neighbors or family members so that you can share shopping duties and all benefit from more fresh and local produce on your dining room table.

2. Bring a friend to the market. You can never have too many friends at the market. Offer to give your neighbor a ride to the market. Make the market the destination of your group walk or bike ride. Arrange to meet your friends at the market, then spend the rest of the morning shopping in downtown Emporia or having a cup of coffee and a chat at your favorite Emporia coffee house.

3. Buy in bulk when the harvest is ready. Think in terms of what you can store and put away for later as you shop the market. It may be best fresh, but think how good it will taste this winter when you are still eating market tomatoes or green beans from a local farmer’s garden. Learn to can or brush up on techniques of freezing and dehydrating. Make a second round at the market after the peek shopping hour has passed to see if vendors are willing to let you help them clear their tables at a discount.

4. Vend at the market. We accept new vendors year-round. If you grow it, make it, or bake it yourself, you are welcome to join the Emporia Farmers Market as a vendor. View our vendor regulations on the website or contact the market manager for details.

5. Volunteer at the market. We are always looking for more farmhands to help run the kiosk throughout the growing season. Volunteers come early to set up signs and check in vendors to the market. They then help shoppers by answering questions and running the electronic benefits machine. At the end of market, volunteers collect vendor reports and exchange coupons and tokens. Volunteering is a fun way to interact with your community and an excellent way of getting to better know the hands that feed you.

6. Schedule your non-profit, community organization to host a hot food fundraiser at the market. Invite your friends and supporters to your fundraiser and we will give them an introduction to the market at the same time.

7. Host an event or activity at the market. The market is actively seeking community oriented events to be held at the market. Cooking demonstrations, presentations on gardening, and other lifestyle improvement topics are at the top our list for events to be held at the market. We are also happy to add fun events (Zucchini races, anyone?) and contests to our schedule. In exchange for hosting an event at the market, we are happy to share word of your business in our newsletters, press releases and social media.

8. Share your musical talents at the market. We are always looking for talent to add to our pool. If you are interested in providing live music at the market, we would love to hook you up with our market music coordinator.

9. Help us share news and events through social media outlets. Every time you receive a newsletter from the market or hear about a new product at the market, hit share. Tell everyone you know you are shopping at the market. Better yet, let them know about the great products you purchase and take home!

10. Spread the word about market resources and promotions. Talk with the market manager or review our newsletters and website to learn about the special promotions the market participates in. Make sure all the eligible seniors you know are aware that most Emporia Farmers Market vendors participate in the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program and that the market is a place where they can spend their vouchers. If you know families receiving state food assistance benefits, let them know that they can double their dollar by shopping the farmers market. Involve your business or community organization in the promotion of our
market money give-away program to encourage families with children to shop the market. We are always looking for new ways to reach our community members.

The Emporia Farmers Market manager, Tracy Simmons, can be reached at 620-343-6555 or email To view the market website, visit


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bill and Jane to Provide Live Music at Saturday's Market

Live music at the Emporia Farmers Market on Saturday, May 26, will be provided by Bill Ihling and Jane McCoy. Jane and Bill are Emporia-based musicians who combine their talents for an eclectic mix of songs from several diverse genres: old and new country to 60s pop to classic "Americana" and contemporary. Their voices combine to produce a lovely and distinctive harmony, while Jane's cello adds a whole new dimension to the typical "acoustic guitar due" sound.

Markets take place in the parking lot at 7th and Merchant every Saturday, starting at 8:00 AM. Wednesday markets will begin on June 6, starting at 5:00PM. For more about market news and a full calendar of events, see their website online at

Upcoming live music performances include:

June 9: Savanna Chestnut

June 30: Zx3

July 14: Lance Fahy

Deadline Extended to Purchase Pasta Palooza Tickets

The date to purchase tickets at $10 for the Pasta Palooza has been extended to Monday, May 28. Ticket purchases may be made on the market website at or by contacting the market manager at 620-343-6555 or email

A very limited number of tickets will be available at the door at the cost of $12 per ticket. Purchase in advance to guarantee a spot at the table. The Palooza will be served at the St. Andrews Episcopal Church on Friday, June 1, at 828 Commercial from 5:30-8:30pm.

The Pasta Palooza, a fundraiser benefiting the Emporia Farmers Market, is sponsored by The Verona Grill & Pizzaria at 410 Merchant Street, by Emporia Subways, and by Friends and Vendors of the Emporia Farmers Market.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Vision Cardholders Receive 3-for-1 at the Emporia Farmers Market in May

In celebrating 30 years of the Emporia Farmers Market, state of Kansas Vision Cardholders will be eligible to receive three market tokens for every $1 spent on their Vision card. Those who participate simply need to visit with a market volunteer at the kiosk which stands in the center of the parking lot of 7th and Merchant during market hours. The market opens every Saturday in May at 8:00 AM. The market closes when vendors sell out, typically by 9:30 or 10:00, depending on weather. Shoppers are encouraged to come early for the best selection.

The 3-for-1 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits promotion is made possible by a grant from the Emil Babinger Charitable Trust. The market typically runs a 2-for-1 promotion through most of the season. This special May markets promotion, and the continuation of the 2-for-1 promotion at subsequent markets, will continue as long as funding permits.

Questions should be directed to Tracy Simmons, Market Manager, at 620-343-6555 or email A schedule of events and the ability to sign up for the market’s free e-newsletter can be found online at

Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program 2012

The Kansas Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (KS SFNMP) is providing low-income seniors with $30 of cash benefits for use during the 2012 harvest season.
ECKAN will begin accepting applications for SFMNP vouchers after May 14. 

To apply for these vouchers in Emporia, contact Yvonne Johnson at Lyon County ECKAN. Phone: 620-342-4607. Lyon County ECKAN is located at 616 Merchant St, Emporia.

SFMNP vouchers may be used to purchase local, fresh produce at farmers markets, roadside stands and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs.

Emporia Farmers Market vendors who are certified to accept SFNMP checks will display a poster at their stall stating "Kansas Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program Checks Accepted Here."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Emporia Farmers Market Opens 30th Season: Birthday Cake, Silent Auction, Gifts for Shoppers

Saturday, May 5, starting at 8:00 AM, vendors and shoppers will gather in the parking lot at 7th and Merchant for the first market of the 2012 season, celebrating the market’s 30th year of bringing fresh and local food to Emporia and the surrounding area. There will be treats for those who attend the market on Saturday.

Shoppers will receive gifts of reusable shopping bags, courtesy of Emporia Realty Group and PrairieLand Partners. As well, everyone who attends the market will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite decorated cake for the market’s “Bake Us a Birthday Cake” decorating contest. After voting, shoppers are welcome to a taste of birthday cake courtesy of Country Mart North. The winners of both the professional and amateur categories will be announced at 9:15 AM.

Shoppers will also have the opportunity to take home a market birthday cake by participating in our silent auction. All cakes entered in the contest will be auctioned off, proceeds to benefit the Emporia Farmers Market. Auction winners will need to be present at the kiosk at 9:15 to take home their cakes, so plan to spend the morning downtown visiting the market and area downtown merchants.

The cake decorating contest is brought to by the following market sponsors: Murphy’s Menu; The Emporia Gazette; Country Mart North; RJ's Cake and Candy; Chelsea Gerleman, Independent Sales Director, The Pampered Chef; and Vanessa Apodaca, Independent Consultant, Tastefully Simple.