The Kansas City Farmers Market!
During growing season, this is where I get my produce, bread, and sometimes eggs and cheese. Some of the farms are certified organic, others use organic practices but cannot afford the certification process. I get to buy my food from the people who grew it or made it and I can talk with them about it. I get to see their families and their children and know that my money is going directly to a farmer. It's an amazing experience! Over the years I've built relationships with my favorite farmers and cannot wait to see them again in the spring, filling my counters and refrigerator and freezer with their bounty.
Here are some of my favorite farmers and stalls at the market!
Bread of Life Bakery - Organic, preservative free breads, sweets, tortillas, pizza crusts and spreads. My favorites are the jalapeno bread and the spinach asiago bread - and the cinnamon rolls. Sooo fresh and preservative free, they go bad within three days unless you freeze or refrigerate them... that is, unless you don't eat the whole loaf when you get home!
Brysons Farm This is my FAVORITE stall at the market. I can easily spend $50 a week here (which is a lot at a farmers market!). They have the BEST tomatoes, the BEST potatoes of all colors (purple is my favorite), the BEST onions and garlic, the BEST bell peppers, the BEST peaches and the BEST BERRIES! I double and sometimes triple up on the berries every week and freeze them to last me through the winter... but it's only the beginning of January and last season's have already run out. I will have to buy more next year ;)
Goode Acres - Heirloom tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, squash and greens are good from here! Later in the season they offer many kinds of decorative and edible gourds and squash
Hun's Garden This is my second favorite stall at the market. I have purchased from everyone in the family, from the great-grandparents the children. They have the best fresh herbs, including up to six varieties of basil which make a killer noodle dish or pesto sauce. I also go to them to try new vegetables - through them I have discovered purple amaranth leaves, long noodle beans in various colors, other various unknown leafy vegetables, many varieties of eggplant and odd looking squash. I often don't even know some thing are, as some of the older farmers they only know the name in their native language. Their fresh flowers are also amazing, arranged beautifully!
The Community Mercantile
I've recently moved from Kansas City, MO to Lawrence, KS, and this small college town has a co-op! We quickly bought an ownership share and now this is where we do most of our grocery shopping. It is very easy to shop local here, as they stock produce and other products from all sorts of local companies and I can get them all at the same time. The Merc also usually donates food for the events that my college program holds... so that is very awesome!
Phoenix Herb and Tea Company
This is the place where I buy most of my herbs, spices, seasoning mixes, teas and tea blends. I also buy my incense here and essential oils which I use as perfume. This is easily my favorite shop, ever, and I live about two blocks away from it. The staff is very knowledgeable about the items and are always able to make recommendations, if you're looking to ease a cold or want to sip the most delicious tea ever.
Al Habashi Mart
Small Middle Eastern grocery in the city market area of Kansas City. They have a very good spice selection, as well as spiced nuts and many types of canned and jarred goods from their region of the world. I buy tahini, besan (chickpea flour) and pita, lavosh and naan from local bakeries. The adjoining restaurant is one of my favorite eats, also - they use the most delicious olive oil. I dream of their food. On market Saturday mornings I like to indulge in the fresh made pastries and sweets!