Saturday, July 7, 2012

Lawrence, Kansas Farmers' Market

Stephanie Thomas shares a seed story about her Greely Nesting Onions.

We sputtered into Lawrence, Kansas yesterday during the record breaking heat wave. It was over 106 degrees and continues today to be nearly too hot to breathe. We decided to stay overnight, not because we like saunas, but because the oldest Farmers' Market in Kansas is held here every Saturday. The Downtown Lawrence Farmers' Market. And...we were excited to find some local, fresh, fruits and veggies.

Along with the local produce we were hoping to meet some folks with seed stories to share.  As we asked around about local seed saving efforts we were told that the Kaw Valley Seed Project is currently underway, with a spring seed swap, monthly meetings, and intentions to save, promote, and share local, heirloom varieties.

Berrigan Willmott shared his story, emphasizing the role of strong relationships and community.

We met some amazing farmers and ate some fantastic fare. One producer of Purple Hull Beans, shared her fantastic bean salsa with us.  Zingy and Zangy!

Avery Lominska insisted that farming was real work, but not regular.....he emphasized the fact that farmers give everything they have to this commitment of growing food and do not always have the luxury of labor to make space for a practice driven by passion and ethics.

Market producers generously shared thoughts on seed saving and the challenges of doing this while trying to grow for the market.  We also heard seed stories from several people, reminding us of why seeds and local food engenders friendships, memories, and abundance to be shared for a lifetime.

One story was recollected several times among different people....and unfortunately I managed to erase it from the audio sd card....but maybe I can try to recollect it here:

Jessica Pierson, from Red Tractor Farm told us about a specific tomato variety that was grown during World War II at a German Prisoner of War, Internment Camp, in Lawrence, Kansas.  Since then, it has been shared throughout Lawrence and prospered as an heirloom beefsteak type - delicious, hardy, and reminding us of a tragic history which seems so very far away.

We plan on having all these Seed Stories posted in the next couple days, so keep an ear out for our next blog posting and check out the Seed Story Broadcast page, as we continue to compile these Seed Stories from across the country.

Thank you Lawrence Farmers' Market and all the people we met, for sharing your local food and seed stories with us.......and thank you Tom for tending that giant tomato and keeping the skunks from eating it.  We ate the whole thing for lunch!

1 comment:

  1. The Lawrence, Kansas downtown farmers' market is one of the best in the region, making it clear that this town takes local food seriously (while having a lot of fun).All while shoppers get to know the farmers from whom they're buying their produce, meat, eggs. Heck, they might even be neighbors! Some farms are within the city limits or only a mile outside of town.
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