First farmers market starts Thursday


May 12, 2010 - 12:00 AM

The first Allen County Farmers Market will begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday on the west side of the Iola square.
Vendors should set up between 5 and 5:15 p.m. After 5:15, Washington Street will be closed between Madison and West streets to allow for pedestrian traffic.
As of Wednesday, about 20 vendors had signed up for the market, said coordinator Debbie Bearden of Allen County Farm Bureau.
The Farm Bureau, along with Thrive Allen County, SAFE BASE, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Allen County Extension Service, Elm Creek Community Garden and the City of Iola are collaborating to operate the market.
Each week, two community organizations will have informational booths at the market. This week, Allen County Animal Rescue Facility and Take Off Pounds Sensibly will be featured.
Market produce will include salad greens, bok choy, asparagus and fresh eggs. A more complete list will be broadcast on KIOL-FM’s Trading Post each Thursday morning.
Later markets will feature cooking demonstrations, entertainment and free recipe cards focusing on seasonal produce.
The market will be held rain or shine but will be canceled if weather is deemed dangerous.
Electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards, Vision cards and debit cards will all be accepted starting at the end of May.
Iola Area Chamber of Commerce’s Molly Trolley will provide free transportation to and from the market from the Parkford Apartments at 5:30 p.m., then River Valley Homes, Wilson Lane and Eisenhower Street.
Allen County Farmer’s Market is supported through grants from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s chronic disease risk reduction program and the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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