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Vegan Bounty Already at the Farmers Market

Cilantro, parsley, and flowers from the farmers market
Cilantro, parsley, and flowers from the farmers market
© 2013 Alice M. McCart. All rights reserved.

Even in mid-April and despite the freezing, wet, gloomy weather here in northeastern Kansas this past week, the Historic Downtown Overland Park Farmers Market was open today for the second time this season. And it was a gorgeous day to enjoy the fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts, flowers and herbs. If you have not yet stopped by the farmers market on Saturday morning down the hill south of Santa Fe under the clock tower west of Metcalf, it is now time.

For example, at least one vegan’s favorite asparagus growers, Ed and Debbie Samyn of Mound City, already have asparagus (well, green asparagus, but no purple asparagus yet), in addition to luscious spinach, kale, green onions as big as leeks, and strange garlic that looks like scallions.

Also, at least one vegan’s favorite heirloom tomato grower, Jarred Juhl of Wathena, has luscious herbs to set out, such as the cilantro and parsley in the accompanying photo, along with basil, dill, and so forth.

Further, Pat Teeter of Haling’s Greenhouse offers “Beautiful Flowers, Locally Grown” at 75th and Lamar in Prairie Village, such as the planters of geraniums and so forth in the accompanying photo.

One of the best things about the farmers market is the opportunity to talk to the growers about whatever you are contemplating buying. You can ask which onions are sweeter and which are more savory, how to fix the strange garlic, how to cook beets, and so forth. If you are a new vegan and trying to add more fruits and veggies to your life, develop relationships with the farmers that grow what you are interested in. You will learn what is in season and how best to prepare it. At least one vegan, who has been a vegan for more than two decades, still learns something new every Saturday morning at the farmers market.

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