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Farmers Markets in Johnson County, Kansas — 2018

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Zucchini at farmers marketThere are eight farmers’ markets in Johnson County, and at them you’ll find fresh-cut flowers, local honey, free-range eggs, baked goods and locally-grown produce (think: tomatoes that taste as they were intended to taste). Best of all, you’ll find neighbors, friends, and the farmers who dedicate their lives to growing and raising healthy food.

Given there are eight markets in the county, no matter where you live, you can almost certainly find one within a 15-minute walk or 10-minute drive. While there are so many health and social benefits to buying local at a farmers’ market, that’s another story. This article is to educate you on where the markets are located, when they’re open, and what each market has to offer.

Gardner

Location: Johnson County Fairgrounds: 136 E Washington St, Gardner, KS 66030

Day and Time: Thursday afternoons from 4 – 7 p.m. beginning May 24

About the Market: If you live south of Olathe or want to experience a kid-friendly community event, this is a great choice for you. Started in 2017 by the grassroots effort of two area couples in the Gardner Grange and ran by Grange members, this market has a true small-town feel. It is community-focused and family oriented; they incorporate opportunities for kids to learn where food comes from and how to grow it, and they even have frequent visits from a balloon man and face painter. All the products — fruits and vegetables, baked goods, local meats, flowers and even elderberry syrup — are grown or raised within 50 miles.

Payment: All vendors accept cash and many accept credit cards. 

Parking: Easy and free

Lenexa 

Location: 17201 W. 87th St. Pkwy., Lenexa, KS 66219

Days and Time: Saturday and Tuesday mornings, 8 a.m. – noon.

    • Saturdays open April 21
    • Tuesdays open May 29

About the Market: Ten years in the making, the Lenexa farmers’ market will open its doors for the first time on April 21. This market is very local, with the furthest of their 23 vendors located 125 miles west. The market offers over 250 products; everything from bok choy and grass-fed beef to kombucha. Everything is covered, so you can stay dry even if the weather isn’t cooperating (all while enjoying live music). The market is located next to an innovative 11,000-square-foot food hall and retail space called the Lenexa Public Market. It’s a pretty impressive place.

Payment: Lenexa accepts credit and cash, as well as SNAP EBT. Lenexa is one of three markets in Johnson County to offer Double-Up Food Bucks (DUFB), which is a program that matches SNAP participants’ spending on produce, up to $25 per day.

Mission

Location: 5635 Johnson Dr, Mission, KS 66202

Day and Time: Thursday afternoons/evenings from 4:30 – 8 p.m., June – October

About the Market: For the Mission Market, Thursday is the new Saturday. Their market not only features the typical farmers’ market goods — produce, honey, wildflowers, homemade goods and handmade art — but they also have live music and food trucks, making it a place you can visit to shop, eat, or simply enjoy a summer evening. The Mission market is also a market with a mission. They incubate new makers and growers, supporting the growth and diversity of our local and regional food system. Their market started in response to the community’s interest and it continues to creatively adapt to meet the needs of the community.

Payment: The market accepts cash, check, SNAP EBT and DUFB. (Double-Up Food Bucks (DUFB), which is a program that matches SNAP participants’ spending on produce, up to $25 per day.)

Merriam

Location: 5740 Merriam Drive, Merriam, KS 66203

Days and Time:

    • Saturday mornings from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. beginning May 5.
    • Wednesday evenings from 5 – 8 p.m. beginning June 6

About the Market: Located within a 36-vendor covered pavilion, the Merriam Marketplace sees an average of nearly 800 shoppers each Saturday. They have entertaining events for youth and adults, such as face-painting, making flower pots, a 5K run and more. While your kids are building vegetable robots (yes, they do that too), you can peruse the market for local produce, baked goods, crafts, or dog biscuits, which Rover can enjoy on the spot. Wednesday evenings have a twist of their own. While you can still buy the fresh produce needed to get you through the week, you can also grab a bite from one of many food trucks. On the first Wednesdays of June, July, and August, they bring out a local band and serve beer and wine for a fun evening out. 

Payment: They accept cash, check and some vendors accept credit cards.

Parking: For both the Wednesday and Saturday markets, the parking is easy.

Olathe

Locations:

    • Stagecoach Park: 1205 E. Kansas City Rd., Olathe, KS 66061
    • Black Bob Park: 14500 W 151st St., Field One, Olathe, KS 66062

Days and Time:

    • Saturday mornings from 7:30 a.m. until items are sold, beginning April 21.
    • Wednesday mornings from 7:30 a.m. until items are sold, beginning May 9

About the Market: Olathe is the only city in Johnson County to offer two markets. Easy parking is a marked benefit of both markets. They are hassle-free, in-and-out. Eighteen vendors serve the two markets, and whether its beef or scones, all of their products are grown, raised or made within a 250 mile radius.

If you have the Sunflower Health Plan, you should definitely attend the Black Bob market on July 21 and the Stagecoach market on July 28 (they may also be back in September). On these days, a Sunflower Health representative will be handing out free vouchers ($10 per household member) for Sunflower Health Plan members to use on fresh produce. So, if you have 5 household members on Sunflower Health, that’s $50.

Payment: They accept cash; some vendors also accept credit card.

Overland Park

Location: 7950 Marty St, Overland Park, KS 66204

Days and Time:

    • Saturdays 7 a.m. – 1 p.m., April 14 -September 29; and 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. from October 6 – November 17.
    • Wednesdays 7:30 a.m. – 1pm from May 16 – September 26.

About the Market: Overland Park’s market is the largest, and oldest, in Johnson County. This year alone, they are expected to receive 190,000 visitors. Their market is vibrant, engaging for kids and adults, and a true social gathering. From conventional to certified organic, they have more than 85 vendors with products ranging from locally-produced wine to high-tunnel tomatoes. They even have gluten-free products, which you can enjoy while listening to a live band. 

On May 16 and August 25, the Sunflower Health Plan will be passing out vouchers to use on produce for plan members only ($10 per household member).

Payment: The market accepts cash, check, SNAP EBT and DUFB. (Double-Up Food Bucks (DUFB), which is a program that matches SNAP participants’ spending on produce, up to $25 per day.)

Parking: There are several public parking lots in addition to on-street parking within one to two blocks of the market.

Shawnee

Location: Shawnee City Hall, 11110 Johnson Dr., Shawnee, KS 66203

Day and Time: Saturdays from 7 a.m – 12pm beginning in May

About the Market: The Shawnee Farmers’ Market has 10 –12 vendors on a given Saturday that offer an eclectic mix of handmade goods and locally-grown produce. Located at City Hall, the market it surrounded by numerous shops, making it convenient to drop by the local hardware store or grab a bite to eat after you shop. Shawnee Town Museum and Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City are both just a 6-minute walk from the market. So, after you grab that local tomato you can head over to see live chickens at Shawnee Town or visit the children’s Farm to Market exhibit at Wonderscope. 

Payment: cash and check, with some vendors accepting credit card.

Parking: City Hall offers plenty of parking as well, so you won’t have to worry about circling any parking lots.

My final closing thought is this: markets change with the weather, and so does the product availability. Don’t go in April or early May with sweet corn, cauliflower and peppers on your shopping list, they simply aren’t in season. Instead, build your spring meals around seasonal produce such as radishes, arugula, lettuce, kale, cool-season herbs, green onion, microgreens, Swiss chard, asparagus and strawberries, to name a few. You may even find some tomatoes earlier than you expect if they’re grown in a high tunnel or greenhouse. There is something for everyone at farmers’ markets of Johnson County, so venture out, support a farmer, and eat delicious food!

Information presented on our website does not constitute an endorsement of a vendor, product or service, and does not constitute or imply K-State Research and Extension’s endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of such item, service or organization. Any such material presented is for informational purposes only and may change at any time.

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