Our Local Farmers Markets

By now our gardens have been producing an abundance of fruits and vegetables, but if you don't garden or if your garden is more landscape oriented, don’t miss out on the wonderful flavors of summer crops. Patronize one of the many farmers' markets in and around the Kansas City area. Not only will you be treating you and your family with amazing produce, but you will also be supporting our local farmers.

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There is always a festive atmosphere at the market ... produce, baked goods, hand crafts, food trucks and music. It's also the perfect family outing, so bring the kids and their wagons ... you'll be glad you did. As with all farmers markets, the earlier you arrive, the better the parking and selections. Markets have such a wide selection of produce, from the obvious fruits and vegetables to honey and grass fed organic meats. Vendors are friendly and there is always the lingering aromas of kettle corn, roasted turkey legs or fresh roasted corn. It's a feast for the the senses.

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The bounty of summer is just minutes away for most of us. Listed below is a list of farmer's markets in the Kansas City area.

1. The Kansas City River Market at 5th and Walnut. It's the granddaddy of all farmers' markets since the mid 1800's and the largest in the  region.                                            Hours:  Saturday 7am - 3pm/ Sunday  9am - 3pm

2.. The Overland Park Farmers' Market at 7950 Marty St, Overland Park, KS                                                                                       Hours:   Wednesday 7:30am - 1pm/ Saturday 7am - 1pm

3. The Brookside Farmers' Market at  6321 Wornall Rd, KCMO                                             Hours:  Saturday 8am - 1pm

4,  KC Organics and Natural Farmers' Market at Minor Park 1235 E Red Bridge Rd, KCMO  Hours:  8am - 12:30pm

5. Belton Farmers' Market at Memorial Park at 998 Commercial St,  Belton, MO                       Hours:  Thursday 4pm - 7pm

6. Independence Farmers' Market at 200 S Liberty St Independence, MO                           Hours:  Saturday 6am - 1pm

7.  Lee's Summit Farmers' Market at 13 SE 3rd St, Lee's Summit, MO                                    Hours:  Wednesday and Saturday 7am - sell-out

8. Lenexa Farmers' Market at bottom floor of parking garage located at 17201 W. 87th St. Pkwy., Lenexa, KS                                                                                                    Hours: Tuesday and Saturday 8am - Noon

9. Rosedale Farmers Market at 4020 Rainbow Blvd. KCKS                                                    Hours:  Wednesday 3:30pm - 5:30pm/ Sunday 10am - 2pm

10. Original Town Farmers Market at TB Hanna Station Park, 214 S Washington, Raymore, MO  Hours:  Tuesday 4pm - 7pm


 

 

 


 

Repel Insects ... Naturally

Here it is, mid-June and by now your garden is established and producing an array of colorful blossoms.  If you're like me, there's always room for more. So, try to include plants that will not only add texture and color, but a purpose.

All of your hard work in planting your garden can be all for naught if you can't enjoy it. Those pesky mosquitoes and insects can ruin an evening in the garden or patio. This is the time to consider plants that will not only look lovely, but will also be productive ... plants that will help control insects naturally.
There are several that will produce the results you want and be eye pleasing in your yard. Here are just a few herbs and flowers that can help repel insects, produce flowers to add to your home, herbs to add to your cooking and beauty to your already existing garden.

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Lavender; for centuries it's been used for its fragrance. It should be planted in the sunny areas of your yard and areas that will you wish to be pest free. When dried and made into sachets, lavender makes a wonderful repellent against moths. 

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Lemon Balm; another mosquito repellent, grows well in this area, can be utilized dried as tea and is a lovely leafy plant that loves the sun. Though it is from the mint family is doesn't spread by underground runners, but rather by seed. It's best to trim down a few times during the growing season to prevent it from seeding and getting out of control.

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Marigolds; beautiful and in all types of varieties. Their distinctive aroma not only repels mosquitoes, but aphids, white flies and cabbage maggots. Marigolds are often used in companion gardening for just this reason. You want plants to work for you especially if they have these extra benefits for the gardener.

Lemon Basil; this variety of basil seems to be the favorite to repel mosquitoes. There are many different varieties of basil available. It wouldn't be summer without fresh basil and tomatoes or fresh pesto. Lucky for us, pesky insects are repelled by it's wonderful aroma no matter which variety you choose.

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Chrysanthemum; incredible colors and a truly hardy plant, bringing color to any flower arrangement. It produces pyrethrum which is a very effective bug repellent. Use as a companion plant to discourage aphids, leafhoppers, spider mites, ticks among others.  Tolerates high heat and early chills of fall.

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Lemongrass;  a close cousin to Citronella. Lemongrass is a natural repellent because it has a high geraniol and citral content. It can be applied directly to the skin by crushing the base of the stalk until the inside is mushy pulp. Twist and squeeze the oils directly to the skin. Another plus, it makes a great tea.

So, this is just a few of the herbs and flowers that help repel insects. Granted, if you are being overpowered by mosquitoes there may be other problems in your garden or patio. The big one is standing water....get rid of it! Just a small cap full of standing water enables mosquitoes to bred and make your life miserable. Below, I've added a few recipes for natural insect repellent that I found on the web. It might be worth trying it out...at least you'll smell like a million bucks!

 

HOMEMADE CITRONELLA SPRAY
1/2 cup distilled water
1/8 teaspoon Epsom salt
1/2 cup witch hazel
10 drops citronella essential oil
10 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
10 drops lemongrass essential oil
5 drops tea tree essential oil
5 drops cedar wood essential oil

DIRECTIONS: Pour the water into an 8oz plastic spray bottle. Add the Epsom salt and shake until the salt is dissolved. Pour in the witch hazel. Add the essential oils. Ready to use.

 

HOMEMADE CITRONELLA LOTION
2 to 2 1/2 tbsp emulsifying wax
1/2 tsp stearic acid (a plant-based stabilizer)
1/3 cup (75ml) grapeseed oil
1/2 cup distilled water or lavender floral water
1 teaspoon (5ml) vitamin E
10 drops grapefruit seed extract
10 drops citronella essential oil
10 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
10 drops lemongrass essential oil

DIRECTIONS: Stir grapeseed oil, emulsifying wax and stearic acid in the top part of a double boiler, warming slowly over a low heat until the wax is completely melted. Remove from heat and pour in the Vitamin E. In a separate pot on the stove, gently warm the water just until lukewarm. Slowly pour the water into the oil, stirring constantly with a wire whisk until the mixture is thick, cream-colored and smooth. Let cool slightly. Stir in the essential oils and the grapefruit seed extract. Pour the homemade bug repellent lotion into a clean, sterilized 8oz (250ml) dark glass or P.E.T. plastic bottle and allow it to cool before putting the lid on. Shake the bottle occasionally as the lotion cools to prevent the ingredients from separating. Store in a cool, dark place.

 

 

Compost

It's June and at Lawn-Corps, that means compost. The growing season gives us plenty of green waste coming into our Belton facility for recycling and that's just what we need to start producing our star product.

 

Compost Fields

Compost Fields

The mountain of dry leaves from last fall can finally be processed and it takes green to do it.  There are several factors to producing compost and certain chemical requirements are needed. Nitrogen, from green waste, carbon, from dried leaves, oxygen and water.

Brown and Green Waste

Brown and Green Waste

To begin the composting process, we build long windrows of brown waste (carbon) which provides microorganisms with a source of energy needed to decompose organic matter and add green waste (nitrogen), needed to accelerate composting.

Early stage of compost

Early stage of compost

The rows are turned and watered frequently. Turning the windrows adds oxygen which helps reduce odors. Watering gives life to the tiny microorganisms that break down the organic matter. When watering, we have to keep in mind that too much water will cause odors and loss of nutrients, too little water slows down the decomposition. 

Turning and watering windrows

Turning and watering windrows

The science of composting is far more detailed than what I’m talking about here. Basically, we cook our compost. It’s called thermophilic composting. A few days after combining all the browns and greens, the process slowly goes in to the thermophilic stage. Heat starts building and steam starts rising. It’s a great indicator that we’re on track when the temperature of the compost is measured between 140 - 160 degrees. The compost is rapidly decomposing and at those temperatures, killing weed seeds and disease causing organisms.

The compost is cooking!

The compost is cooking!

The entire process takes about sixty days. After the compost has cured it goes through the screener to remove any large woody items that might remain. 

Curing stage before compost enters the screener

Curing stage before compost enters the screener

It’s a beautiful product that we take great pride in. The color of the compost is deep and rich, the texture is soft and fluffy and it packs a punch in your garden!  

Finished product

Finished product

The impact it has on your garden is undeniable. Not only are you amending your soil but your plants thrive. Flowers pop with color, vegetables produce abundant crops and lawns become more lush.

Flowers grown in compost.

Flowers grown in compost.

Seeing is believing. Come visit us on the farm and see for yourself.

Mulch … for a healthier, more beautiful garden

Lawn-Corps takes great pride in the quality and variety of our mulch. We work hard to produce mulches in a manner that work in harmony with our environment. Mulch is one of the key ingredients for maintaining a sustainable garden or landscape. For that reason, it is important to note, all of the water based colorants we use in our colored mulches are eco-friendly, mold and fungus resistant and safe for children and pets. By selecting mulch, or any product, through Lawn-Corps, you are participating in improving our community, our environment and our planet.

Here is some insight on how Lawn-Corps processes your wood waste into organically colored mulches. 

Hogdzilla

Hogdzilla

Above, an example of a crude rough grind straight from the jaws of Hogzilla.

Above, an example of a crude rough grind straight from the jaws of Hogzilla.

All brush is deposited in a centralized location at the farm while waiting to be processed. When a workable amount is accumulated, we call in Hogzilla, a tub grinder....a very large 1200 hp tub grinder, with a diameter of 18ft. Hogzilla  will chew up a tree and turn it into grind within minutes. 

Screening Mulch

Screening Mulch

At this point, the grind is put through a 3/8” screener to remove excess dirt and saw dust. Lawn-Corps is one of two wood waste recycling facilities in the Kansas City area that do this. It’s an important step because approximately 240 lbs. of dirt and saw dust will be screened to produce one yard of mulch. This leaves you with pure mulch.

Coloring Mulch

Coloring Mulch

The next step is a final 2” grind, producing an evenly shredded product. It’s during this final grind that the organic colorant is added. 

Following this process, the mulch must cure for 48 hours then it’s off to your home.

 

It's a small step but, you can feel confident that in using our products, you're contributing to a sustainable environment. Wood waste, an otherwise useless material, has been repurposed  into a viable garden product to help restore our earth.

From this…..

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To this….it truly is a metamorphosis.

Sample Shack

Sample Shack

To see our assortment of mulches, stop by our Sample Shack at the farm.

Hope to see you soon!