Farmers market season begins

Shoppers at Lyndon’s farmers market last summer select home baked goods offered for sale by a local vendor on the front lawn of the Osage County Courthouse. Courtesy photo


While Mother Nature seems to be confused about the seasons, local gardeners and farmers know spring tasks must get done. For some, those tasks include getting products ready for local farmers markets. And whether the weather is ready or not, next Monday the Lyndon Farmers Market begins at 4 p.m. on the front lawn of the Osage County Courthouse.

This year’s market will be the second year it’s been hosted by the city of Lyndon, and the third year in that location. With the market being held in the city’s downtown area, plans this year include making the market a weekly community event that will encourage people to gather in the town’s center, enjoy shopping at market vendors and downtown businesses, and possibly listening to live music.

Lyndon City Administrator Kim Newman said the market is open to everyone in the county and beyond who wants to sell Kansas-grown produce or homemade craft items. But more than that, she wants people to know the Lyndon market is welcoming local organizations that want to sell items for fundraisers, and local food vendors who might want to provide choices for a Monday evening meal.

Local businesses are also encouraged to stay open later on Monday evenings, so that market shoppers can also see what Lyndon retailers and other businesses offer.

“People can come downtown to shop and eat dinner,” she said.

She said last year the local Masons set up to sell hot dogs and hamburgers as a fundraiser.

“The Masons are coming back,” Newman said. “They’re planning to be here one Monday a month throughout the summer.”

There are specific rules for the types of items that can be sold at the market. Farmers Markets in Kansas are regulated by the Kansas Department of Agriculture, which sets the manner that vegetables and produce can be sold and the types of products allowed at the market.

According to the rules, most anything that is homemade or grown in Kansas is allowed to be sold at the market. This includes vegetables, eggs, honey, flowers and live plants. It also includes homemade crafts such as quilts, weaved items, candles and jewelry. Home baked goods are also allowed, although other prepared foods have restrictions.

“Almost anything made locally by hand is welcome,” Newman said.

And although the local fundraising groups and food vendors technically aren’t allowed to sell their wares in the farmers market, the city will be allowing these types of sales in the vicinity of the market. One local business has welcomed food vendors to its parking lot; fundraising organizations will be allowed to set up nearby.

Newman said the market is not only for Lyndon – groups, vendors, farmers, gardeners and crafters from across the county are invited to participate.

“It really is a great way for small groups to fund raise,” she said. “They don’t have to be from Lyndon, we welcome people from anywhere in Osage County.”

She said city staff is willing to help any market participants in sorting through the regulations, which include registration as a seller and collection of sales tax.

“There are forms to fill out, but vendors can sign up the day of the market,” Newman said. “We can help them through the process.”

The city has the proper forms available, but they can also be downloaded from the city’s website at http://www.lyndonks.gov/.

She said any vendor that plans to sell at the market more than three times a year will need to obtain their own sales tax identification number. Others planning to sell less often can use the city’s tax ID.

“If a local farmer or gardener has a good harvest of something, they are welcome to sell under the city’s tax ID,” she said.

As part of making “Market Mondays” a community event, invitations have been extended to local musicians that might want to provide entertainment for the three-hour downtown gathering.

The city offices will stay open late, until 7 p.m., on Market Mondays, partly due to the requirement that sanitary facilities are available. Restrooms and a handwashing location are in city hall.

Newman said city utility customers are welcome to pay bills or conduct other city business during the extended hours at the city office.

Market vendors can set up beginning at 3:30 Monday afternoon, with sales beginning at 4 p.m. They are restricted to using the courthouse’s front lawn; but encouraged to park vehicles along either side of the courthouse. Parking in front of the courthouse will be used as a loading and unloading zone for the market.

The market is to be held every Monday evening from May 6 through Oct. 21. For more information, contact the city of Lyndon at 785-828-3146.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas