Monday, March 31, 2008

Historic Downtown Liberty Farmers Market Welcomes New Producers

The twenty-year old Downtown Liberty Saturday market is undergoing some changes this year. The changes promise to be good for both farmers and Liberty citizens.

What is unchanged is the setting of the twenty year old Downtown Liberty Saturday market, which is the attractive downtown courthouse square in the suburban county seat of nearly thirty thousand people. But for the first time, all four sides of the courthouse square have been set aside to be used by the market as the number of participating producers increases. The market opens May 3 and continues every Saturday until the end of October.

Responsibility for the market has been delegated to Historic Downtown Liberty’s “Main Street” organization, Historic Downtown Liberty, Inc. (HDLI). The goals of the market this year are threefold: 1) to be a profitable outlet for the farmers who sell there, 2) to increase the number of customers in the downtown business district, providing potential additional sales and economic stability for downtown businesses and 3) to provide a predictable, ample selection and variety of high quality fresh, locally-grown produce for customers.

The eligible distance for participation in this market was increased last year to 100 miles from the previous local five county limit. In response to customer demand, the market will allow re-sale of produce items grown within 100 miles of Liberty in order to have greater abundance and variety. But producers who can boast of “100% grown local, by us” will be recognized with special signage and will be grouped together. Producers with re-sale items will be expected to have “disclaimer” signage encouraging customers to talk with them about the source of the produce they are selling.

Once again, the Historic Downtown Liberty Farmers Market will have an “entertainment plaza” to provide additional reasons for Liberty area citizens to shop at the market. Last year, various seasonal themes were followed bringing special entertainment to fit the time of year. The market will be advertised in the local press as well as with curbside signs in nearby Kansas City neighborhoods in an attempt to attract more customers.

The cost of participating in the market for the full season includes a membership fee of $25 and an advertising supplement fee of $25 and the space rental fee of $100 per space. The fee for seasonal participation will not increase later in the summer as it has in the past. Monthly and weekly participation will also be allowed, as will crafts vendors who produce their own crafts and live within the 100 mile range.

Farmers interested in participating in the Historic Downtown Liberty Farmers Market should contact HDLI Program Director Rich Groves by phone at 816-456-9339 or by e-mail at

Information is also available on the HDLI website

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