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


 

 

 


 

A Plastic Society

Ariel view of Lawn-Corps from a United flight.

Ariel view of Lawn-Corps from a United flight.

A year ago I was on a United flight when, from the air, I was amazed at an unexpected site ... Lawn-Corps! It reminded me of a line from a Jason Isbell song: “From the sky we look so organized and brave." It rings true. We’ve all marveled at our earth from an airplane; the incredible patterned farmland in squares and circles, the neatly planned grids of neighborhoods with ribbons of road and highway. How spectacularly perfect our world looks from the air. From the ground, the reality that our city, our world, is not so organized and those that pollute it, not so brave. 

What's left behind after a compost screening.

What's left behind after a compost screening.

We bear witness daily; the senseless polluting of our earth, endangering wildlife, waterways and the air we breathe. Litter has made a home along our city streets, highways and in our parks where our children play; cigarette butts, pop cans, fast food wrappers, and plastic ... lots and lots of plastic. We see it at Lawn-Corps too, a water bottle in this bag, a flower pot in another, tennis balls and landscape netting. It may seem insignificant, but it adds up ...  it all adds up.

Recently, I came across a great video narrated by "The Dude" himself, Jeff Bridges. It was eye opening and a bit horrific. I found the statistics alarming and was so moved that I found it important to share its message with you.  I urge you to watch and share it with others in hopes that it will inspire all of us to do the right thing. 

Until next time ... have fun playing in the dirt.

 

 

 

Deep Summer Tips

Summer is here, however, as I write, Kansas City will be experiencing record low temperatures, a summertime version of last winter's "Polar Vortex". When the heat does arrive, it can take a toll on your lawn and garden. So far this summer, Kansas City has been fortunate with rainfall, but we've been waiting for the other shoe to drop … and when it does, here are some helpful tips to get you through. 

  • Water … do it early in the morning. Plants will be more receptive in the coolness of the morning and there will be less evaporation. Try to avoid watering in the evening to prevent mold and fungus growth. Also, a deep, penetrating soaking is much more effective than surface watering which can create shallow root systems and can stress lawns and gardens in time of drought . A good rule of thumb is an inch of water a week.
Water deeply, early in the morning

Water deeply, early in the morning

  • Mulch … this is a great way to keep plant roots cool during the heat of the day. Mulch is also an excellent way to retain moisture in the soil. There are a variety of mulches you can use such as grass clippings or chopped leaves. Some folks even use cardboard or newspaper, but I personally find it unattractive in the garden. The decorative wood mulches provide an attractive landscape and are effective in retaining moisture and preventing weeds. Also, as mulch decomposes it will add other beneficial nutrients to your soil. 
Janice uses pine bark mulch in her garden.

Janice uses pine bark mulch in her garden.

  • Deadheading … get the most out of your flowering plants by deadheading. You will extend your plant's life and allow it to produce more flowers all summer long. So, after the blooms have died and faded, simply pinch or snip the dead blooms off the plant. If done daily, it won't take any time at all.
Pinch or snip dead and faded blooms.

Pinch or snip dead and faded blooms.

  • Mowing … raise the cutting height on you mower to its highest level, no shorter than 3-1/2". Taller grass is more drought resistant and will grow deeper roots which are able to handle stress better. Mow regularly and don't wait till your grass gets too high because the clippings can smother your grass. An industry standard is not to cut more than 1/3 of the grass blades. As you do this, don't bag them. Let the clippings fall back onto the lawn for added nutrients. Also, don't mow in the heat of the day as the heat can burn your lawn.
Raise mower blade and let clippings fall.

Raise mower blade and let clippings fall.

Well, these are just a few tips for the deep summer. If you're new to gardening, I hope this helps. If you've been gardening awhile and have any gardening tips, please, feel free to share. 

Till next time … see ya!

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.