10 Vendors to Visit @ OP Farmers' Market


Article by Heather Barlow

Photography by Jenn A Robbins https://www.jenniferrobbins.net/

As I'm sure a lot of you can relate, I've been feeling a little cooped up at home and desperate to find some sense of "normalcy" during this time of social distancing. What even is "normal" anymore? If you are anything like me, then you've probably been asking yourself that question a lot lately. To try to find the answer to that question, I've been looking for fun and interesting things to do outdoors to help me find a balance in my work-at-home life.

Living most of my life in Overland Park, I am embarrassed to admit that I had never made my way to the Farmers' Market until this summer. {insert audible gasp here}
I know.
So I decided to change that and venture to the downtown Overland Park Farmers' Market last weekend.

Check out 10 local vendor highlights, along with what social distancing precautions you can expect, as well as some tips for staying cool out in this KC summer heat.

1. Ki Koko Farms

Ki Koko, meaning "two Sisters" in their native language of Karen, is run by a sister duo who grow some of the most colorful veggies I've ever seen! Pay Lay and Beh Paw were delightful to speak with. I picked up some of their baby celery (perfect for topping salads!), along with some bright yellow tomatoes and some fingerling potatoes.

Visit their Facebook page for more info on how they got started and also how you can order online!

2. Yummylicious Cookie Company

The name says it all, but yummy cookies are not all they make! They also sell dry mixes, Käsekuchen (German-style cheesecakes), pancake mix and granola! I definitely bought a slice (or two) of their heavenly Turtle Käsekuchen. It's made with quark, which is an authentic German cheese.

Learn more about their products and how they give back a portion of their profits here.

3. The Pasta Pro

This uniquely flavored pasta is a delightful (and colorful!) addition to any pasta dish. With so many varieties of flavors of Pappardelle noodles from Roasted Garlic, and Sun-Dried Tomato, to Lobster Ravioli and even Red Hot Thai Orzo pasta - you really can't go wrong with any of their choices! Chris was so friendly and informative in helping me decide which pasta flavors I should try first. I will definitely be back to try more soon!

Check out even more flavors available and then head to the OP Farmers' Market and say hello to Chris!

4. Becky's Pies and Produce

They make the most mouth-watering baked pies and cinnamon rolls! Just 4 of their giant cinnamon rolls weigh over 2 lbs! Naturally, I had to pick up a pack of them for myself! Not only does Becky's Pies and Produce perfect baked goods, but they also have amazing produce as well! Experience their delicious baked goods for yourself the next time you are at the OP Farmers' Market!

5. White Tail Run Winery

Has so many award-winning wines to choose from! I was so excited to hear all about their unique sangria flavors too - like Watermelon Sangria! It is the epitome of summer in every sip! Learn more information on their varietals and their suggested pairings, like, prime rib or some that pair well with dark chocolate. Either way, as they say - "warm weather and good friends are sure to bring out the best of this wine."

6. Nitchals Family Farm

While chatting with Debbie, she mentioned that her and her family are going on their 36th year at the OP Farmers' Market - and it's not hard to see why! They have a wonderful and vibrant selection of heirloom and cherry tomatoes, as well as green peppers, jalapeños, blackberries, white peaches and more! Their giant heirloom tomatoes also make for the best BLTs! See below!

7. Juniper Hill Farms

The team at Juniper Hill Farms were in great spirits and were lovely people to chat with. They had some of the brightest produce and really great prices! I also loved learning that they are a young group of first-generation farmers!

8. Buffalo Ridge

BISON. JERKY. STICKS - need I say more? DELICIOUS! Buffalo Ridge has made great conservation efforts to restore bison to their local habitat here in the Midwest - increasing their herd from 13 to almost 100 bison! Try it for yourself and pair it with some yummy cheese for a quick snack!

9. Skyview Farm and Creamery

Did someone say cheese?! Okay, guilty! I could not stop myself from getting a few things from Skyview Farm and Creamery. I picked up a block of their Fairmount (similar to Havarti), Jalapeño Gouda, and a spicy Fromage Blanc spread. Sheri gave wonderful info about their cheeses to help me decide which kinds I would like best! 

10. Hmong Vaj Farms

Last, but certainly not least! My last stop of the day was this beautiful fresh flower stand. I couldn't wait to display these gorgeous flowers when I got back home.

These were just a fraction of the vendors participating in the OP Farmers' Market that I had the pleasure of meeting. I can't wait to make this a more regular outing so I can pick up even more new things to try!

Here are some tips for what social distancing measures to expect while at the Farmers' Market and how to stay cool in this KC summer heat:

  1. Go in the morning before the heat of the day sets in!
  2. Bring your own reusable grocery bag. Trust me, the bigger the better.
  3. Yes, masks are required and all booths have safety ropes or tables in place to keep a safe distance. (Vendors also hand-pick your produce for you, so you know it hasn't been touched by anyone else.)
  4. Wear breathable or flowy clothing. Whether that's a dress or active wear - be comfortable!
  5. Bring a hat and keep hydrated! Plenty of the vendors also sell water.

I want to thank Visit OP and City Lifestyle for this lovely experience at the OP Farmers' Market. You can read more on the social distancing precautions in place as well as where to park, and what payment methods are accepted here.

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