Farmers market open on Thursdays in St. John

Fran Brownell
Special to the St. John News
New vendors at the St. John Farmers' Market, Rhett and Sara Lambert of Lake City, present a tasting-table for shoppers to  sample their wares of grass-fed Red Angus beef, which is sold frozen in a variety of cuts. The weekly open-air market is held Thursdays from 4 to 5 p.m. on the east side of the park square in St.John.

The St. John Farmers’ Market is now open for its ninth year of business on the east side of The Square, every Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m., with vendors ready displaying wares of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with beef products, other natural food products, plants and flowers for sale. The weekly event will continue into August.

“We had a good turnout when the 2020 Market opened last week,” said Stafford County Extension Agent Amy Collins, whose office coordinates the event which was launched in 2012.

“Farmers markets are popular across the state of Kansas; both urban and rural residents jump at the chance to purchase locally grown foods,” Collins said.

With COVID-19 concerns in the media forefront, shopping at farmers markets is a healthy alternative, Collins said.

“When food can be purchased directly from the grower/producer, the less it’s been handled by others, which in turn is usually a safer and fresher product,” Collins said

A new vendor this year at St. John Farmers’ Market is family-owned Triple L Ranch of Lake City, now in its third generation, offering frozen lean grass-fed Red Angus beef in a variety of cuts, from hot dogs to steaks.

“We sell direct from our freezer to St. John market-goers, $6.00 pound,” said Lambert, who with husband Rhett, brings the beef to market after it is processed and packaged by Chieftain Meats in Kiowa. “We almost always sell out.”

“We’re at other regional Farmers’ Markets and we’re happy to be a new vendor at the St. John Market,” Lambert said.

Another new face at the St. John Farmers’ Market is Judit Hodges of Pratt, who  with husband Dennis Hodges market their own product Junula granola, which derived its name from the all-natural combination of ingredients based on ‘Just Nuts’ granola.

There are expected to be familiar faces as well at the St. John Farmers Market, which might include Spare Produce Garden, Osborne Fruits and Vegetables, DeVore Farms, Turkey Knob, Delp Farm and Busy B Place.

“Our job at K-State Research & Extension is to provide the correct information for our growers so they know the general food safety practices, can obtain proper licensing when needed and understand labeling requirements,” Collins said.