By LESLIE COLLINS
June 13, 2012
From soaps to salsa, Illus Davis Park featured a variety of products during the June 7 Downtown Farmer’s Market kickoff.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched the farmer’s market two years ago to connect Kansas Citians to more fresh fruits and vegetables. This year’s market will be open every Thursday at the park, 11th and Oak, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. through mid-October.
During the kickoff event, vendors from the urban core, as well as those from towns like Trenton and Excelsior Springs, set up shop, selling all homemade or self-produced items. Homemade bread and cinnamon rolls lined the tables along with jam, sweet and spicy pickles and of course, a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
A new component to this year’s farmer’s market is physical fitness. Once a month, Active Living KC will host a fitness activity in the park during the lunch hour.
“As part of the city’s Active Living KC initiative, we’ve been trying to do more to promote the idea of putting physical activity back into people’s everyday routines, as well as getting access to fresh fruits and vegetables. That combination helps out overall health benefits,” said Deb Ridgway, bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for Kansas City’s Public Works. “So, you may see us (in the park) with hula hoops or jumping rope or Zumba – just getting people out from behind their desks and doing something for 15 minutes.”
Ridgway said she hopes to attract area residents as well as downtown employees to participate in the physical fitness activities.
Dates and times are still being determined, she said. Activities will be posted on the city’s website, www.kcmo.org. Search for Active Living KC.
“I just encourage residents no matter where you live to seek out farmer’s markets and find ways to utilize your parks and trails as an opportunity to get out and get active,” she said.