Granted, several years ago the city had some problems with the management of the market, but from what I can tell, they seem to have ironed out those problems by changing the management team. Sadly, some of the old standby farmers who were always there with their vegetables and fruits, are no longer present., but I have met some of the newer vendors and they are every bit as nice and informative.
My first stop was Justin’s Produce. Justin is a young man who has a warm smile and seems to be quite the businessman! His slogan is “Bringing the freshest produces right to your door” Yes, Justin will deliver to you!
Justin’s Produce, founded in the summer of 2006, and has been a quality vendor to the Overland Park Farmer's Market since 2004. The various fruits and vegetables offered by Justin's Produce have several unique benefits to the consumer. The produce will help provide its customers with the freshest in fruits and vegetables, which are local to the Kansas City area when in season. At the beginning of each week Justin’s Produce will send out an e-mail, regarding the different produce that it has to offer for the week along with the prices. You may also call to acquire this or any other information you may need. If there is a specific item you are looking for feel free to ask and we can see about acquiring it for you. Now that is SERVICE!
On down the way, I met a delightful young couple, Brian and Monica Boutte of Spoon Creek Organic Farm in Gardner, Kansas, here in Johnson County. Brian explained his last name, Boutte, was Belgian. His Grandfather was a farmer, I suspect his father was a farmer, and Brian is a farmer, and has good reason to be proud of his heritage and his produce!One of Brian and Monica’s selections was a small yellow tomato with a sign “Longkeeper Tomatoes, $3.00 per pound” ….of course I had to ask. Brian had me hold one of the little yellow-orange orbs and feel its weight and firmness. What I felt was an under-ripe tomato, but Monica explained they are ready to eat now, but when stored in a single layer in the basement, they will stay fresh and ready for your table for months! Wow! How cool is that?
My next stop was the booth of my good friends from The Tasteful Olive. The market is directly behind the Tasteful Olive shop, so they offer tastings of their oils and vinegars. The pairing of their wares and the farm fresh vegetables and fruits is a natural. One of my favorite foods this summer has been big juicy cantaloupe with a drizzle of the Olive’s Chocolate Balsamic (I can’t have gelato 3 meals a day!). And have you tried some of those cantaloupes that are the size of a watermelon? Delicious! I truly have not had a bad cantaloupe all summer. Yet another benefit of a hot summer along the Kansas and Missouri Rivers. Oh, and don't forget those amazing Missouri peaches....with Chocolate Balsamic!
Due to the heat, and my tomatoes in the car, I had to call it quits and head for home. It may have been a hot day, but it was a good day……until I went to the studio and did serious damage to not just one, but 2 paintings! Some days, I simply should not be allowed to pick up a paintbrush! In the words of David Gross…”Kay, what were you thinking?”…then he rolled his eyes. Damn, I hate it when he is right!