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

Monday, December 9, 2013

Unique Gift Items & Massage at Emporia Downtown's Midnight Madness Event

Emporia Farmers Market vendors will be joined by local massage therapist, Carol Rhodes, providing chair massages  at 701 Commercial on Thursday, December 12, from 8pm to midnight with a variety of unique gift items for the holidays. 

Items featured will include:

  • handmade soaps by Waite & Allenby Soap Company
  • native jewelry designs by Darren Shaw
  • pecan treats (plain, praline, cinnamon, hot & spicey) from Turney's Tree Farm
  • original artwork by Jessie Stallings
  • gift baskets by Linda Simmons
  • jams, jellies and peppernuts from The Country Flower Shed
  • Octopus toys by Evie Simmons
  • Deluxe Nursing Pillows by Kristen Wright
  • hand painted wool roving by Charlene Osman
  • gourmet cookies from the European Bake Shop
  • Tiger Hunting, a novel by Tracy Million Simmons
  • products from the Karr Orchard 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December 7 Indoor Winter Market: Product Preview

(last updated 12/6/2013: 12:30pm)   *images below

Produce at Saturdays Market:
Romaine Lettuce

Lots of Fresh Farm Eggs

Baked Goods:
Cookies (and sugar free cookies)
Cinnamon Rolls
Quick Breads
Angel Food Cake

Local Honey
Dried Herbs
Jams & Jellies
Apple & Pear Butter
Homemade Egg Noodles
Fresh Eucalyptus
Pine Cone Fire Starters
Pecans (cracked, shelled, cinnamon, hot & spicy, lightly salted & toasted, praline glazed)
Handmade Quilts & Bags
Handmade Soaps & Lip Balms
Hand Painted Wool Roving
Deluxe Nursing Pillows
Crochet Octopus Toys
Jewelry & Crafts
Books by Cheryl Unruh, Leon Unruh, & Tracy Million Simmons
Party Trays
Gift Towers
Wreaths & Center Pieces
Yard Ornaments
Decorative Gourds

The next Indoor Winter Market will be held at the Emporia Humanitarian Center, 215 W. 6th Avenue, on December 7 from 10am till noon. In addition to the winter produce, the market will have an assortment of unique and one-of-a-kind gift options for holiday shoppers. 

Fresh Pecans, Plain & Glazed

Honey, Butters, & Apples...

Hand Painted Wool Roving

Original, One-of-a-Kind Holiday Ornaments

Books by Kansas Authors


Deluxe Nursing Pillows

Handmade Quilts
Octopus - Machine Washable

Fresh Farm Eggs

Apples, Apples, and More Apples!

Jams & Jellies


Handmade Soaps, Lotions & Lip Balms

Yeast Breads

Angel Food Cake, Egg Noodles, Monster Cookies, & More!

Books by Kansas Authors Make Great Christmas Gifts

December markets will feature a few books by local authors. Pick up copies for the readers on your Christmas list.

This book is about the Kansas experience: wind, long horizons, clouds, storms. It’s about life in a small town, a childhood in a community of 400 people in the center of Kansas. Eighty of Cheryl Unruh’s Flyover People columns from pages of The Emporia Gazette, Emporia’s Pulitzer Prize-winning, family-owned newspaper. Cheryl has written her weekly column since 2003. Eighteen of the essays in this book have also aired as commentaries on Kansas Public Radio.

The book tells the story of a Russian assassin, Nikolai Fyodorov, who is sent to Kansas to influence a U.S. Senate race. In a state beset by industrial farming, extreme right-wing politics, and kidnappers who prey on young girls, he confronts the betrayal that led him into the assassin’s trade and the price he must pay for his family’s past. He must also escape the temptation of love that draws him toward his own death. Dog of the Afterworld is a thriller, but there’s also mystery and romance in Nikolai’s search for redemption.

2013 J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award Winner: When Jeni returns to her childhood home in western Kansas, she never imagines that she'll be hunting a white tiger escaped from the circus or competing with an ape for the affections of the boy she once loved. While she waits for the man she's left behind to notice she's not coming back, she reconnects with her family and works to pick up the pieces of her life. 

New Product: Deluxe Nursing Pillows

Kristen Wright will be at Indoor Winter Markets in December with her locally made Deluxe Nursing Pillows. If you have a new or expectant mother on your shopping list for Christmas, these make a wonderful gift.

The market is open at the Emporia Humanitarian Center on Saturday, December 3 and December 21, from 10am till noon. 215 W. 6th Avenue.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Produce Expected at Saturday’s Indoor Winter Market

The second Indoor Winter Market of the season will take place on Saturday, November 16, from 10:00am to noon at the Emporia Humanitarian Center, 215 W. 6th Avenue. The market will feature live musical entertainment by Lee Muller of Americus.

Produce expected at Saturday’s market includes apples, carrots, cucumbers, spinach, lettuce, red and green tomatoes, bell peppers, radishes, turnips, pumpkins and mustard greens. Both fresh and dried herbs will be for sale, as well as dried pears, local honey, and apple cider. Fresh farm eggs should be at the market in abundance. Customers can look forward to a wide variety of baked goods, including yeast and quick breads, cookies, cakes, cinnamon rolls, fruit pies and more.

Holiday ornaments and one-of-a-kind crafts and art products will be a feature of the indoor market season. For information on becoming a market vendor for the December Indoor Winter Markets and Holiday Bazaar, contact market manager, Tracy Simmons, at 620-343-6555 or email


Opportunity for Artists and Craft Vendors at Emporia Indoor Winter Markets

Holiday ornaments, handmade gifts items and art products will be a feature of the the Emporia Farmers Market in December. The Indoor Winter Market and Holiday Bazaar will take place three times in December. On Saturdays, December 7 and 21, the market will take place at the Emporia Humanitarian Center, 215 W. 6th Avenue, from 10am to noon. On Thursday, December 12, market vendors will participate in Emporia’s Midnight Madness event and will be located at 701 Commercial from 7pm to midnight.

To participate in the month of December markets only, Emporia Farmers Market is accepting vendors for a $10 vendor fee. Those who wish to go ahead and pay the standard $25 fee will become vendors for 2014 markets, as well.

For more information on becoming a market vendor for the December Indoor Winter Markets and Holiday Bazaar, contact market manager, Tracy Simmons, at620-343-6555 or email


Friday, October 11, 2013

It’s Soup-A-Palooza Time!

Friends of the Emporia Farmers Market are bringing you another home grown dining opportunity. Forget about the kitchen on Tuesday, November 5. Instead, bring your co-workers and your family for delicious homemade soup. Cost is $3/bowl (eat in) and $6 per take-home pint. Desserts will be extra.

The Soup-A-Palooza is a fundraiser to benefit the Emporia Farmers Market. Friends will be serving soup from 11:00AM to 7:00PM at the Lyon County Extension Office Meeting Room, 2632 W US Highway 50, Emporia.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Zouplna Garden Tour

Among the new faces at EFM in 2013, Tony and Linda Zouplna. The Zouplnas (Tony, his father and son) have been involved in the market in previous years as market musicians. 

Tony and Linda Zouplna have been familiar faces at the Emporia Farmers Market for several years now, but this year they came on board as vendors. Tony attended the Farmers Market 101 course via Community Connections in January and started attending the market as a vendor this summer. 

A Master Gardner since 2004, Tony enjoys growing test plants for K-State each year and monitoring and recording the results. He said he wasn't so enamored of the hours spent in the garden when he was a kid staying with his grandparents, RC and Kay Heaney, but as an adult, he found himself drawn to growing things. Completing the Master Gardner program helped him fill in a lot of the blanks.

Linda says that Tony keeps meticulous records. He tracks varieties by quantity and volume produced, and they have approached the farmers market in a similar fashion. By tracking what they bring to market, what the customers are most attracted to, and responding to feedback, they are already making plans for next year's gardens. 

There is so much green in this photo, it's hard to differentiate. Grape vines line the fence behind the flat. To the left is Tony's "alpha" garden. He has a second plot behind this one and is starting work on a third.

Some customers recognize the Zouplnas for their giant tomatillos. On my visit, I learned that the pods grow big like balloons and then the fruit grows to fill them.

At the time of my visit, there were a lot of green tomatoes and some just turning to shades of pink and red.

The grapes were starting to turn, as well.

Monday, August 19, 2013

L.A. Fahy Plays Music at the Market on Saturday, August 24

Join Kansas musician and ESU graduate, L.A. Fahy, at the Emporia Farmers Market on Saturday, August 24. Fahy is a passionate and diverse songwriter who began playing the piano at the age of 6 and began performing and writing for his first basement band at the age of 18. While attending Emporia State University, he performed and wrote for an alternative rock band called Zen Farmers.

Fahy now lives in Lawrence Kansas and enjoys performing his music for live audiences. He is a regular feature at the Lawrence Farmers Market and several other locations throughout the area.

The Emporia Farmers Market is open every Wednesday at 5PM and Saturday at 8AM in the parking lot at 7th and Merchant. Sign up for the market’s free e-newsletter at

Monday, August 12, 2013

Special Guest at Wednesday’s Farmers Market

Jasmine Reese, a classically trained violinist, will be providing live music at the farmers market on Wednesday, August 14, starting at 5PM. Jasmine and her rescue dog, Fiji, are biking across America, in Jasmine’s words, “as I work my way towards a healthier, more musical, me.” More about their adventure can be found at

Watermelon and cantaloupe are expected at the market, and sweet corn and tomatoes continue to arrive in abundance. Saturday’s market will start at 8AM.

More information about the Emporia Farmers Market, for shoppers and potential vendors, is available at Sign up for a free monthly newsletter or for weekly market reminders and announcements.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Breakfast Burritos at the Emporia Farmers Market on Saturday and Live Music by Savanna Chestnut

Friends of the Emporia Farmers Market, sponsored by Country Mart North, will be holding one more breakfast burrito fundraiser at the market on Saturday, August 3, starting at 8:00 AM. Cost of a vegetarian burrito is $4; bacon or sausage is $4.50. All burritos are made with fresh and local ingredients: locally raised Berkshire Pork (bacon or sausage); potatoes, onions, peppers (both sweet and spicy) from EFM vendors; Mama Lupe Tortillas made in Moundridge, KS; and Alma Cheese from Alma, KS. Vegetarian burritos include black beans seasoned with in-season market ingredients.

New to this twice-yearly fundraiser is the option to pre-order and pay for burrito orders online. Orders can be placed from the market website until Thursday, August 1, 5:00PM. Burritos will need to be picked up at the market on August 3 between the hours of 8AM and 9:15AM. 

Shoppers will also be able to purchase burritos at the market, as usual.

Music for Saturday's market will be provided by Americus singer and songwriter, Savanna Chestnut.

For more information, contact Tracy Simmons, EFM Manager, at 620-343-6555 or email

Monday, July 8, 2013

Watermelon Games and Contests at Saturday’s Homegrown Celebration

ESB Financial hosts the market’s 10th annual Homegrown Celebration with watermelon games for the kids and more! Registration for games starts at 8:00 AM: watermelon rolling for kids 5 and under, watermelon eating for kids ages 6-9, and seed spitting for distance for kids ages 10-13. Participants will receive a Kasasa cape and prizes for the winners.

Artists of all ages are invited to bring a carved or decorated watermelon. Entries must be checked in at the kiosk by 7:55AM. The winner will receive a prize from the Emporia Arts Council and a People’s Choice Award will receive an Emporia Chamber gift certificate.

The Arts Council will be on hand at the event with watermelon themed crafts for the kids. Live music for will be provided by Savanna Chestnut.

The Emporia Farmers Market and the Annual Homegrown Celebration takes place in the parking lot at 7th and Merchant in Downtown Emporia.

Wednesday Market Hosted by Friendly Visitors Program

There is a new program for seniors in Emporia. The public is invited to Wednesday’s Farmers Market, starting at 5:00 PM, to visit with and learn about The Friendly Visitors Program from Catholic Charities.

Friendly Visitors helps area seniors maintain their independence. Volunteers are paired depending on level of services needed and time available to the volunteer. The three levels of service of the Friendly Visitors program includes a daily phone call, a weekly social call, or a weekly social visit. Director, Marilyn Thomas, will be on hand at the market to answer questions about this program.


To be eligible for Friendly Visitors services, one need only live in Lyon County or another service area and be age 60 or older. Prospective participants or family members can call this toll free number at 1-888-737-1137 and ask for Marilyn Thomas. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

St. Francis Community Services hosts Emporia Farmers Market

Saturday's market, opening at 8:00AM on July 6, will be hosted by St. Francis Community Services, a community-based service provider that has been a voice of hope for children and families since 1945. 

Services focus on adoption, child welfare, foster care parenting and more. 

Market shoppers are invited to visit with Missy Floyd at the market kiosk on Saturday, to learn more about St. Francis services in our community.

St. Francis Website

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Food Preservation Workshop

Register Now!!

July 18th, 2013
July 19th, 2013
9am - 4pm

Learn the proper food preservation techniques for pressure and water bath canning, as well as tips for dehydrating foods. In this class you will get hands-on experience making salsa, jelly and canning the vegetable of the day.

This is a hands-on workshop. The class will be taught by Karen Blakeslee, Food Scientist from KSU. The fee is $25.00. Reservations are required, a minimum of 10 people, maximum of 20, RSVP due by July 6 to K-State Research and Extension Lyon County Office at 341-3220. Class must be paid for when reservation is made. July 19th will only be offered if the July 18th class fills. Class will be held at the Flint Hills Technical College, 3301 W. 18th Ave. in Emporia.

Lunch will be provided.

Check out all the courses offered through Community Connections by visiting their website at or look for a course catalog at the market or any area business

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Music by Lee Muller on Saturday

Join Lee Muller at the Emporia Farmers Market on Saturday, starting at 8:00 AM.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Farm Tour via Bike & L-CAT, Saturday, June 29

Like farms? Like bikes? Join us on June 29 for a bike tour of several local farms! (And for those who don't feel like riding, there's also an L-CAT option!)

Click here for details.

Fried Taco Fundraiser at the Farmers Market to Benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

A fried taco fundraiser will take place at the Emporia Farmers Market on Wednesday, starting at 5:00PM. All proceeds will benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Jana Ortega is running the Wichita half-marathon in October in honor of her 9-year-old daughter who was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 5. The Ortega family will be selling tacos for $2 each.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Roller Derby, Neighborly Brothers and Veggies at the Market on Saturday

Join members of the Veteran City Rollers at the farmers market starting at 8AM on Saturday. They will be at the market checking in vendors, ringing the bell, and helping customers carry the heavy loads of produce purchased at the market. Shoppers can take this opportunity to wish the team luck on their bout Saturday evening against the Salina Sirens.

Live music at the market on Saturday will be by The Neighborly Brothers. This three-part harmony group (and one guitar) performs doo-wop and assorted melodies.

The Emporia Farmers Market takes place every Wednesday and Saturday through October. See their website for news and event

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Celebrate the Flint Hills Saturday with Knitters at Emporia Farmers Market

Emporia Celebrates the Flint Hills sponsors another Emporia Farmers Market on Saturday, June 8, starting at 8:00AM. Show us your produce, Emporia. Earn discounts at area downtown businesses by shopping at the market this week. Simply show a volunteer at the market kiosk what you’ve purchased at the market that day, and you will receive a coupon for qualifying specials with Main Street merchants.

We also invite you to celebrate Knit in Public Day. Visit with area knitters, view products and demonstrations. Bring your own chair and a pair of knitting needles and knit along!

The Emporia Farmers Market is now taking place twice weekly, Wednesdays at 5:00 PM and Saturdays at 8:00 AM. Complete event details and market updates can be found at

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tour: Tallgrass Custom Wood Products

Kevin Church says he is probably the first person to move from Idaho to Kansas to start a career in the forest products industry. Though most people think of Kansas as flat and treeless, that picture isn't entirely accurate. Church has started his business, Tallgrass Custom Wood Products, on 10 acres north of Emporia with the goal of applying the principles of conservation biology to a more sustainable application of forest ecology in Kansas and the wise use of area wood.

I was able to visit Tallgrass Custom Wood Products with the Small Farm Management students of the Flint Hills Technical College Sustainability Program on a cold day in February. Church has now joined the Emporia Farmers Market. He brings a selection of local wood to each market and talks with shoppers about the products and services he offers.

Kevin shows students a solar wood kiln he is building. The structure is made from recycled utility poles, hackberry, ash and cottonwood. Two electric box fans will circulate the hot air through the lumber. Wood can take up to 2 months to air dry to 20% moisture. For inside carpentry work, 5-6% moisture is the preferred level.
Kevin says that Kansas is about three times more wooded than it was 80 years ago. About 10% of Kansas is forested, and most of that is contained in the eastern third of the state.

Students examine Kevin's wood pile -- all locally sourced. 

Church says now is the time that Kansas needs to be doing long-term conversation planning. The challenge for Kansas is maintaining a diversity of trees in both age and species.

The saw mill at Tallgrass Custom Wood Products.

As well as an educational display, Church sells small wood products at the market such as these Tomato Towers .

Tall Grass Custom Wood Products website.

We provide high-quality wood products for wholesale and retail with a focus on environmental sustainability.

We offer a full line of services from strategic conservation planning and timber management to logging and milling.

We emphasize and foster the wise-use of more than 20 local native tree species and reclaimed lumber.

Farm Tour: Sweet Haven Fields

Tim and Onnalee Nicklin: Sweet Haven Fields
Tim and Onnalee Nicklin began selling with the Emporia Farmers Market in 2012. Their product list includes peas and purple passion asparagus. Strawberries, black raspberries, radishes, kale, lettuce, spinach and rose orach, a colorful spinach substitute. The Nicklins also grow burgundy okra, sweet peppers, snacking and slicing tomatoes as well as a variety of herbs. They make a low-sugar strawberry jam that became very popular with market shoppers.

Sweet Haven Fields is about as sweet as country living gets. Arriving at the Nicklin farm, I felt as if I'd entered a wonderland. The hillside was blooming with purple flowers. The house and gardens are nestled within a grove of trees, a shady creek running nearby.

 They utilize raised beds, compost, mulch ( no till or chemicals), sodded garden aisles, and narrow growing beds. Because they live in a low-lying area highly populated by deer, the gardens are fenced and surrounded by berms. Fencing keeps the deer out, though Onnalle says they have been known to test the gates to see that they are truly closed, and the berms keep the flood waters from doing too much destruction in the garden areas.
The gardens are abundant with a variety of berries. Tim says the more acidic soil of their little valley is better suited for growing berries. An orchard includes a variety of fruit and nut trees. 

Because they live in a flood plain, but as Kansans are subject to years of drought at a time, the Nicklins work to find plants that can survive the range. Like many gardeners, they are always experimenting to figure out what works best. "We'll try something for several years and if it can't handle the extremes, it's gone," Onnalee says.

New gooseberries line the driveway. The jugs are buried to help conserve water.  Rather than allowing the water to run off or evaporate, the perforated milk container leaks the water slowly to the roots of the plant.
Milk jugs also serve as mini greenhouses for starting plants right where they will grow. Tim prefers this method to starting plants and then transplanting later. This bed contains sweet potatoes and pepper plants.
The Nicklins lost many of their strawberries last year to the drought.  Beds have been started this year in recycled pallets. The red stone strawberries, in theory, teach the birds that there is nothing good to be found here before the real strawberries begin to grow tasty.

The purple plant is rose orach, a colorful spinach substitute. 
Note the fences which are built primarily to keep out the deer. Only asparagus is grown on the outside as it  is one plant deer aren't especially fond of eating. Here you see yellow sedum on the outside, asparagus, and black raspberries along the fenceline.

Note the fences which are built primarily to keep out the deer. Only asparagus is grown on the outside as it  is one plant deer aren't especially fond of eating.

Tim begins a garden with grass in mind. Sodded walkways give the gardens more of a park feeling and one can imagine spending hours outdoors at Sweet Haven Fields, enjoying the open spaces and the rush of the breeze through the surrounding trees.