Beyond vegetables: Array of food, other offerings at farmers market opening for the season on Saturday


Photos by Nick Krug and Richard Gwin

To market, to market: Meet four of the vendors at the Lawrence Farmers Market ready to help set your table this season

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Go beyond by taking a deeper look at the vendors who will be at the farmer's market this season. Click here.

The Lawrence Farmers Market opens for the season on Saturday, and in case you haven’t noticed there’s a lot more than vegetables to be had there.

“We’ve got a really well-rounded market with a lot of different commodities,” said market board Chairwoman Amanda Cook, who with her husband Matthew is also a vendor. “It’s a fun market to come to.”

The market runs each Saturday through Nov. 22 in the parking lot in the 800 block of New Hampshire St. Hours are 7 to 11 a.m., changing to 8 a.m. to noon in September. The Tuesday market runs from 4 to 6 p.m. May through October in the same lot.

More information on vendors and scheduled live music is online at

Fresh produce offerings are thin this early in the season but become more plentiful as the weather warms.

But as a rule it’s easy to pick up everything you need for a whole meal at the market — even the centerpiece. Meet four of the many vendors ready to help set your table.


Vendor: Irick Farms

Home base: Linwood

Who’s in charge: Kevin Irick, with help from fiancee Debbie Sue Fey.

Specialty: Fresh produce, specifically “everything that’s in season,” Irick said. Hothouse tomatoes should be available before April’s end, Irick said, followed by beets, swiss chard, sugar peas, cantaloupe, watermelon, field tomatoes, blackberries and more.

Other offerings: Cut flowers and arrangements, which Irick Farms also provides for several local businesses. For the first few weeks of the market, Irick will sell bedding plants.

Years at market: This will be Irick’s 21st season.


Vendor: Peters Family Farm

Home base: Baldwin City

Who’s in charge: Galen and Marcia Peters. Their sons Bryan and Nolan help.

Specialty: Sourdough bread — naturally leavened and baked in a wood-fired clay oven. “No one else has a bread like ours,” Marcia Peters said. “Our sourdough is a heavy, hearty bread because it doesn’t have any commercial yeast in it, it’s all relying on natural properties.”

Other offerings: Cinnamon rolls and other baked goods, jams and jellies made with local fruit, honey, apples, blackberries and black raspberries, spring greens, heirloom tomatoes and other vegetables.

Years at market: About five. Before that they sold about eight years at the Tuesday market and for 18 in Baldwin City.


Vendor: Sundance Emu Ranch

Home base: Lawrence

Who’s in charge: Ann Merkel

Specialty: Emu meat, completely homegrown. “I do everything from hatching the eggs to raising the chicks to having the animals processed,” said Merkel, who has anywhere from 20 to 60 emus at a time on her ranch. She sells the low-fat meat frozen, in ground form, steaks, summer sausage and even pre-cooked, pre-sauced roasts — just thaw, microwave and serve.

Other offerings: Pure emu oil and other body products made with it. Merkel said the oil is noncomedogenic and naturally anti-inflammatory.

Years at market: This’ll be 15.


Vendor: The Yeast We Can Do

Home base: Lawrence

Who’s in charge: Judy Gilman and son William Beeson

Specialty: Sweets, including chocolate-covered toffee (cooler weather only — it melts!), scones made with local blueberries and other fruit, caramel corn, pies, jams and jellies. Many options are gluten-free. “There seems to be a lot of interest in that in Lawrence,” Gilman said.

Other offerings: Flowers, plants and vegetables as available.

Years at market: This will be their fourth.


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