Spotlight on Emporia Farmers Market

      Posted On: June 12, 2018

Dear FMC virtual market-goer,

Greetings from the Emporia Farmers Market! We’re taking over FMC’s Instagram this week to share with you a look into our market. The market is loved by our community, and for good reason!  As a new “visitor”, there are a few things you ought to know to fully appreciate the market that surrounds you. 

The Emporia Farmers Market is nestled in the rolling green Flint Hills of eastern Kansas, a region rooted in agriculture, conservation, and local food production. Since 1982, our market has been the primary direct-to-consumer food sales outlet for dozens of area growers, backyard gardeners, and local artisans in a four-county area. We are located in heart of our vibrant downtown district and feature year-round markets.

You may have heard about Emporia through our famous Dirty Kanza gravel bike race or the Glass Blown Open, one of the biggest disc golf tournaments in the U.S. With world-class events in our small town of 24,000+, we work hard to promote our market through regular posts on Facebook and Instagram where we’re able to track customer engagement & generate the most “buzz” for our events.

Our non-profit organization also forges unique community partnerships to increase visibility and market participation. We’re gearing up for our second year of Summer Concerts with Kansas Free for Arts, a local non-profit focused on accessible arts and live music for our city, which will bring several well-known artists to the stage during our Wednesday evening markets.

The Emporia Farmer Market also partners with our local extension office and public library to provide community workshops related to local food production, gardening, and cooking throughout the year. We’re preparing for a summer workshop on Vegetable Pests and Diseases with a local horticulture expert, in addition to a farm tour with one of our area growers. We believe the more opportunities folks have to strengthen their relationship to their food, where it’s sourced from, and how it’s grown increases support for a local food system.

Additionally, our market strives to make fresh and healthy foods accessible to all community members through a variety of “special shopper programs”. The Emporia Farmers Market is a member of Heartland Double Up Food Bucks, a 2-for-1 match program for SNAP users, the Kansas Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, a market money program for low-income seniors, and From the Land of Kansas, a branch of the Kansas Department of Agriculture that helps promote and support farmers markets and local food businesses. Locally, we are generously funded through a variety of community partners that allow us to provide “market bucks” to low-income families, Veggie Power Club kids coupons and activities, live music, food samples, and more.

As you can see, we’re a small but mighty market! Our organization operates outdoor markets May through October, and also features an indoor market season November through April. We’re currently working with our local health coalition to identify local-food solutions for rural food deserts, along with finding out the best ways to increase vendor participation. As many of our original vendors begin to retire or slow production, we’re finding it increasingly challenging to replace them with younger growers. Our market will continue to explore and strengthen community partnerships to address these challenges, while promoting and enjoying the friendly atmosphere and delicious foods found at our downtown location.

We are so excited to take over FMC’s Instagram account because  the Emporia Farmers Market is working hard to preserve our long-standing market and we believe the work we’re doing to promote local foods is worth sharing!

We hope what we share transports you to our market and makes you feel truly welcome!

Spreading our Local,

Tammy Byars