Cindy Chapman grabs some pea pods at a farmers market Tuesday, June 24, 2008, in West Allis, Wis. The floods that damaged farms in southern Wisconsin earlier this month are likely to result in fewer fruits and vegetables at farmers markets this summer and help boost already high prices for organic eggs and meat in the fall. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
TOPEKA -- At the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, you can pick up good literature and groceries. Starting May 16th, customers can pick up much more than books and DVDs. They can buy food directly from Kansas farmers.
The Monday Farmers Market offers local growers another opportunity to set up shop in the library parking lot to sell their goods each Monday from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. beginning May 16th through October 10th.
Customers can purchase items such as farm-fresh vegetables, herbs, flowers, bedding plants, eggs and other seasonal produce, and they can ask questions of the vendors, who include Shane Root of T&S Root Farms and William Randall of Last Stand Brand.
The Monday Market is a Capital City Wellness initiative, a state program that aims to promote healthy eating and exercise, especially among Downtown Topeka employees. Carol Mongold, co-organizer of the event, said customers appreciate the convenient location.
“Customers are encouraged to walk to the market, if possible, though the library provides plenty of free parking,” she said.
Mongold emphasizes the farmers market’s tie to the library’s Health Information neighborhood, where more than 5,000 books and DVDs on living healthy are shelved together for ease of browsing. The newly opened Cooking and Lawn & Garden neighborhoods also have a tie to the market.
Mongold directs market customers inside to discover more information, whether it’s a new recipe from our collection of cookbooks or a gardening book on what herbs grow best in Kansas’ soil. Customers can also pick up recipes at the library’s booth at the market and also talk to librarians about how to get the most out of their library experience.