Every Wednesday, I wake up giddy to start my day knowing that I get to go to my weekly “oasis”: The Overland Park Farmer’s Market! I love supporting and getting to know local farmers, buying fresh produce, meeting up with friends, watching my kids dance to the live music or run through the water fountain and meet new people. There is a true sense of community in downtown Overland Park! All the vendors greet you with a smile, they love talking about their products and are so friendly and inviting. The Overland Park Farmer’s Market is located in downtown Overland Park (7950 Marty Street) on Wednesdays (7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and Saturdays (6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m).
As a holistic health coach and healthy mama, I love bringing my children shopping with me to the Farmer’s Market in order to share with them the importance of eating fresh fruits and veggies and to get to know these farmers/vendors so that they can have an appreciation of where their food comes from. One of my favorite customs is to give my four-year-old a few dollars so that he can pick out the veggies for dinner that night. He also loves finding a veggie or fruit he has never had before. His face lights up as he hands them the money and waits for the change.
Every Wednesday from 10:30-12:00 p.m., a live children’s band entertains the crowd. It is so fun to watch all the kids dance and sing to the music or play in the water fountain. My kids love playing in the water so I have learned to always keep a towel and change of clothes in the trunk of my car. A few times this summer, the city has hosted an evening farmer’s market; the next one will be held on Aug. 11th from 4-7 p.m … it is similar to the daytime market, but with alcohol!
There are so many vendors, each with a story and passion to share. I have gotten to know a handful and would love to introduce you to these “gems”:
Two Sisters Farm: This is where I get my favorite hydroponic lettuce. Ryan from Two Sisters Farm (located near Lawrence) is so friendly and knowledgable. Hydroponic lettuce is awesome because the roots are still attached, which means it has higher nutrient levels and can stay fresher longer. I put a wet paper towel around the roots, store it in my fridge and it stays fresh even a week later! Because the lettuce is so flavorful, I use a little olive oil and lemon to dress it and the taste is exceptional. Two Sisters Farm is a small, family-run farm proudly owned and operated by the Eddinger family.
Pastimes Farm and Bakery: This is where I get my organic, cage-free eggs. I love saying Hi! to the Clevengers and their 7 children. This mama always has a smile on her face while she is baby-wearing and selling her goods. They have a wide selection of grass-fed/all-natural meats, breads, baked goods (gluten-free options, as well), jams, eggs, etc. They are big advocates of GMO-free farming and are located in Lincoln, MO.
Kiko Farms: I buy a lot of my veggies from this lovely lady! Everything is homegrown in Kansas City, Kansas with no spray. She has such a loving energy and puts a smile on my kids’ faces when she hands them a carrot to snack on! When we get home, we love making kale chips with her beautiful kale; to make your own, just take the kale off the stem and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, garlic and nutritional yeast (optional) and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
The Tasteful Olive: Incredible olive oil from around the world and aged, naturally-flavored balsamic vinegars from Italy – right here in Kansas City! The greatest thing is you can sample as many flavors as you like. I never thought I would say to my kids, “if you are a good listener, you can get a sample of olive oil.” Their olive oil is high quality and out of this world!
Each week, I discover something new and learn so much at the Overland Park Farmer’s Market. Connecting with people and seeing all the strollers, baby-wearers and children just makes my day! Whether we’re learning about the wonders of the natural remedy Neem from Nutressant or how to grow mushrooms from Tramell Treasures Mushroom Farm or the different ways to cook and use green tomatoes …
every trip to the farmer’s market is a true adventure and the gems are countless and easy to find!