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Sep 27, 2007 09:16 AM

KC Farmer's Market

What's the best of your farmer's markets?

I see that you have several, as do we in St. Louis, but if I was going to send someone to one, and only one, on a Saturday, I'd send them to Tower Grove.

What's your Tower Grove?

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  1. That's a good question. I'm not the best person to answer your question, but I'll give it a shot.

    Visiting City Market downtown is a little bit like Soulard...a cool visitor experience, and well worth doing, but maybe not your first choice if you're shopping for dinner that night. My impression is that there are maybe more organic produce vendors or obscure Asian veggies or local cheesemakers at City Market than Soulard, but I may well be wrong on that, and I believe you have to really search for them at City Market.

    Brookside Market, on the other hand, is (one of?) the only all-organic market. They've got some beautiful produce every week, and it's the only market I've been to where you might get, say, 10 varieties of pear (not this year probably, due to frost, though I haven't been in pear season). It's small though, probably 10-15 vendors, and pretty expensive (though not necessarily for what you'd get). I'd visit here to shop for a nice dinner.

    1. Bob- Don't know if you saw this thread, but it has a good discussion on the markets, specifically, the City Market:

      Everyone has their favorites, that's for sure! My favorite is still the Overland Park market, but I would probably send a visitor to the City Market.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Katie Nell

        Overland Park is the one I actually go to most often, and it's a pretty good family market. Bustling and busy, a cute little old downtown (and Penzey's) nearby, usually live music, lots of families.

        There are some pretty decent sellers, but lots of not-so-decent too. Relatively few "interesting" items, different varieties, etc. that I think might make it a "tourist", but for sure a good place for residents. And good point on the City Market thread! I should have linked there....

        1. re: Aaron Deacon

          Thanks for the replies. Hopefully I'll get it together tomorrow morning to go. I even brought a cooler to get it back to the East side if I see anything I can't live without.

          1. re: Aaron Deacon

            The location is what makes it for me, I think... I just fell in love with that area the first time I saw it!

            1. re: Katie Nell

              Does anyone know if the OP farmer's market is still running this year? and if so, if any of them are selling pears?

              1. re: vsoy

                I was there last weekend and saw plenty of pears, none of them local. The best looking were from Iowa, if I remember accurately. I bought some Jonathan apples, and they're quite good. I'm not sure how late in the season the market is held?

                ETA: The historic downtown OP site doesn't have the market on its November calendar, so I suspect they're closed for the season. Sorry.

                  1. re: Aaron Deacon

                    I like the City Market for the ethnic markets that line the vendor area. Al-Habashi is my favorite. Hung Vuong has moved to a huge new place right across the street from the east parking area. It is pretty amazing.
                    Chinatown is across the north end at 2nd and Grand. There is also a place right east of Succotash that is an international market that sells hispanic, Latin and African items.

                  2. re: amyzan

                    Overland Park Farmer's Market does close for the season at the end of October.

          2. Kansas City has an abundance of farmers markets- too many in my opinion meaning that vendors are spread out all over the city, some markets only have 5-10 vendors total. I've been to some that only had 2-3 on a given Saturday morning. I am one of those that believe the markets should be closely regulated to make the vendors be providers of LOCAL products. At the OP market (my neighborhood market) many of the vendors are just produce vendors with all or most of their products being purchased from the produce dock at AWG. Many customers believe that when they purchase at a "farmers market" they're getting local and/or better priced produce, unforetunetly thats not always the case.

            1 Reply
            1. re: goroe

              It's up to the individual markets to make sure people are truly selling local if that's their aim. In St. Louis, a couple I go to, do their best to insure that is the case. There's even a little scandal at one market, because a couple vendors believe someone was passing off bought produce as their own.

              We went to Brookside and City Market both in the end. Brookside was preferable for me. There was a vendor from The Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture at that market, and the produce they had was astonishingly beautiful. I bought he best carrots I have ever eaten in my life from him -- it sounds so stupid, but they were just so carroty it was amazing; very sweet.

              Picture of carrots in use:

            2. Has anyone been to the 39th Street Farmer's Market? It sounds organic, local and interactive, which I love. Can someone recommend it?

              1 Reply
              1. re: jvergara

                39th Street Farmers' Market is what every neighborhood should have... Local people selling local food. It's got soul and all the stuff you'll get there is sustainably grown in the KC area. It's Wednesdays from 5-8 and has live music and kids' activities- a fun place to meet farmers and locals.