The Fort Scott Farmers Market group met Thursday evening to review 2017 and look to this season possibilities.
The market sets up stalls in front of the Fort Scott National Historic Site at the north end of Main Street starting in May on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. until noon and Tuesday evenings from 4-6 p.m.
It continues until October.
Market stall fees are $5 per day and there is a $5 application fee to reserve a vendor space. Or there is a discounted fee of $4 per day if pre-paid in the amount of $108 for the 27-week market space.
A new president of the market was elected, Stacey Atkins.
Beverly Brown was re-elected as treasurer.
Atkins was the secretary in 2017 and that position is still open.
In 2017 the group facilitated:
- Breakfast on the Bricks, where customers can purchase a breakfast on Saturday mornings while attending the market.
- Several demonstrations of interest to the community, such as CPR and rain barrels.
- Tuesday evening strawberry shortcakes social.
- Once a month raffle drawing, starting in June, with market vendors contributing goods for the prize.
- The Third Saturday Marketplace, working in collaboration with the City of Fort Scott, the market moved to historic downtown on Main Street once a month.
- Special music that entertains while customers stroll through the market.
- Children’s activities.
The group is looking for honey producers, at the request of community members.
Group member Vickie Shead said she has some honey but production has been difficult with the drift of herbicides that have helped to decimate her bee population.
Traditional offerings of this market are veggies, fruit, eggs, crafts, jellies/jams, baked goods, herbs, live plants, nuts, and pottery.
This year Fort Scott Kiwanis has offered to do Breakfast on the Bricks the first Saturday in May, according to Mickie Kraft, a group member.
Group member Ronnie Brown told about the Bourbon County Food Alliance that he is a part of.
“They were talking about how they could help us, possibly furnishing entertainment, breakfast, public relations, and help with the business part,” Brown said. “They want to see this farmers market extended.”
Brown also mentioned Project 17, which is a regional economic development and community engagement initiative in the southeast region of the state, according to a K-State website.
“Bob Marshall helped initiate it,” Brown said. Marshall was a Kansas Senator from 2009 to 2013.
“Local food is a by-word now,” Brown said. “There is a lot to look forward to, a lot of enthusiasm.”
Newly elected President Stacey Atkins told the group about a program through a Pathways Grant that is seeking input from local food producers.
“On May 3, a Buy and Sell-Meet and Greet will be at 5:30 p.m. at Memorial Hall,” Atkins said. “This meeting will be to bridge the divide between local gardeners and retail food sellers.”