Kansas Farmers Market Month Cost-Share Awards Announced
Almost $2,000 in Kansas Farmers Market Month cost-share funding was awarded to five markets across the state last week. The program provides matching funding for market special events and promotions occurring in the month of August. Markets receiving 2009 cost-share awards are: Downtown Lawrence Farmers' Market, Emporia Farmers' Market, Garnett Farmers' Market, Old Town Farmers' Market and Walnut Valley Farmers' Market.
The Downtown Lawrence Farmers' Market is receiving assistance for two special events- Salsalicious and Tasting Tomatoes. The Salsalicious event celebrates salsa and its ingredients and will feature two chef demonstrations, a customer salsa contest and sampling opportunities for shoppers. Tasting Tomatoes will highlight the diversity of varieties available at market and allow shoppers to find their new favorites as well as compare market tomatoes to ones purchases a a grocery store. The cost-share will assist with the purchase of sampling supplies, produce, signage as well as the printing of recipe cards and advertising expenses.
The Emporia Farmers' Market is receiving assistance for a pepper festival and tasting. The cost-share will assist with the purchase of sampling supplies (including biodegradable serveware) and equipment, produce, signage as well as advertising expenses.
The Garnett Farmers' Market is receiving assistance for three special events- the 2nd Annual Salsa Contest, a tomato tasting and vendor appreciation day, and Summer Sizzler-a hot pepper eating contest and ice cream social. The cost-share will assist with the purchase of sampling supplies and equipment such a tent, produce, signage as well as advertising expenses.
The Old Town Farmers' Market in Wichita is receiving assistance for a health and wellness project, watermelon festival and weekly chef demonstrations. The Farmers Market Health and Wellness Project pairs the market with the Sedgwick County Health and Wellness Coalition to provide recipes and a sample of a seasonal dish which utilizes market ingredients. at for different downtown Wichita locations. The watermelon festival, Chillin' at Market, includes watermelon samples and seed-spitting contests. The cost-share will assist with the purchase of sampling supplies and equipment, produce, signage as well as advertising expenses.
And last but not least, the Walnut Valley Farmers' Market in Winfield is receiving assistance to host three vegetable demonstrations. The demonstrations include: what to do with tomatoes with a local restaurant owner, what to do with summer and winter squash with a local dietician, and how to use herbs in everyday meals with a home cook. The cost-share will assist with the purchase of sampling supplies and equipment such handwash and sanitizing stations and a tent, produce, signage as well as the printing of recipe cards.
Kansas Farmers Market Month events will be featured on ksfarmersmarkets.org and the ksfarmersmarkets blog as well as in media releases. Additionally, a final report will be developed which outlines each market's activities to serve as a statewide market reference for future special event planning.
USDA's Secretary of Agriculture proclaims the first full week in August National Farmers Market Week. In Kansas, we've believe our farmers and markets are so sensational we need an entire month to celebrate.
The Kansas Rural Center's Farmers Market Month Cost-Share Program is funded through a Kansas Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Grant. The goal of specialty crop grant is to increase the sale of non-commodity crops in Kansas.