Twenty-three people gathered in Iola for Southeast Region Farmers Market Workshop on Saturday, December 3.
Morning sessions included “Production Techniques to Lengthen the Garden Season” with David Coltrain (KSRE River Valley District) and “Market Customers Eat With Their Eyes” with Katherine Kelly (Cultivate Kansas City). Debbie Bearden (Allen County Farm Bureau) prepared morning snacks and a splendid meal using local foods, including chili and chicken noodle soup, salad and veggie tray, plus homemade pies.
In the afternoon, attendees followed one of two tracks. Market growers and vendors enjoyed sessions entitled “Consider Marketing at Farmers Markets a Business, Not a Hobby” with David Coltrain, and “Post Harvest Handling” with Laura Christensen (Growing Growers Apprenticeship Program). Market managers, board members, and organizers benefited from the experiences relayed in “Confessions of a Small Town Market Manager” – working with vendors, volunteers and the community, with Eileen Nichols (Webb City, MO Farmers Market Manager), “Electronic Bank Transfer at the Market and Rapid Market Assessment” with Tracey Graham (Chapter Coordinator for Our Local Food - Twin Rivers).
Workshop partners include Allen County Farm Bureau, the Kansas Rural Center and the Our Local Food program with funding from Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops, and the USDA Specialty Crop Grant Program, through a sub-grant from the Kansas Department of Agriculture.