Farmers markets extend seasons

bbashioum@demo-mo.comSeptember 13, 2013 

Two area farmers markets have announced that they will extend their seasons through the fall.

The Raymore Farmers Market, located in the 200 block of South Washington Street, was originally slated to conclude at the end of September.

But this week, Mayor Peter Kerckhoff said favorable weather has allowed area growers to produce and harvest much more food than usual so the market will continue through October.

The Raymore Farmers Market is open 4-7 p.m. on Tuesdays.

The new Harrisonville market, located on the Historic Square, is also staying open longer than expected.

Organizer Obie Carl said the Harrisonville Farmers Market, which runs 7:30-11 a.m. on Saturdays, was originally scheduled to end in August.

Due to the delayed growing season and successful patronage, the market has been given approval to stay open through the end of September.

Carl said the market has been successful in its first year.

“We’re having about 25 vendors every Saturday,” Carl said. “It’s taken off and we’re really happy.”

Farm Outreach Specialist Jeff Yearington of Lincoln University in Jefferson City, working out of the University of Missouri Extension Office in Harrisonville, said the growing season has been challenging but fruitful in Cass County, overall.

“It started out cold and wet. We were late getting things in, and produce has been late coming into the markets, but the quality has been pretty good,” he said. “I know both of the farmer’s markets in Harrisonville have done really well. There was a lot of good traffic and lots of vendor.”

Popular items to be available this month include squashes, watermelons, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, apples and possibly pumpkins, Yearington said.

“There is a good opportunity for people to get out and still get a variety of good produce,” he said.

Yearington expects gardens to be producing for about another month.

“We generally get a frost toward the middle or end of October,” he said.

Yearington did note that a particular insect is taking a bite out some gardens and fields.

The Spotted Wing Drosophila, an Asian fruit fly, has left some fruits and tomatoes rotten this season in Cass County and across the state.

“It just destroys (the produce),” Yearington said.

“You’ll have a nice, beautiful peach and you may sell it to someone, but when you cut it open, it’s rotten on the inside. The bad thing is you can’t see a blemish on the outside of it. It can be devastating”

Other seasonal crops, corn and soybeans, should be ready for harvest during early October, Yearington expects.

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