Manhattan City Market celebrates 35th anniversary

Jeff Cannzzo, of Wakefield, MO, buys some fresh vegetables at the farmer's market from Tim Heward of Weiche's Vegetable Garden from Greenleaf, KS. The farmer's market had many fresh foods from local producers giving customers a wide variety to choose from.

Homemade jelly, fresh produce and decorative and wearable goods filled up tents in one of the state of Kansas’ oldest markets. That market, according to its website, is the Downtown Farmers Market of Manhattan.

Last Saturday, vendors and patrons celebrated not only Halloween, but also the market’s 35th anniversary.

All morning, children trick-or-treated and played games in the crisp atmosphere of Manhattan’s traditional market. Manhattan resident and teacher at Fort Riley Melissa Parker has made the Downtown Farmers Market her summer tradition for three years.

“It’s something fun for people to get out and get to see a lot of the same people every week, week to week, and support our local community,” Parker said.

Some vendors took the day off to celebrate instead of staffing their normal booths. Jams and Jelly vendor Delores Beal embraced the famers market from the consumer side.

“There’s a variety of vendors, the prices are good and when we are vendors, we do trading with each other, and it’s always fun,” Beal said.

Alison Bjerke grows organic produce locally, 12 miles away from the town. She celebrated her first season at the farmer’s market this year.

“Growing vegetables and selling it at the farmers market is an important part of helping people understand where there food comes from and creating a healthier food system,” Bjerke said.

Kim’s Prairie Kitchen, a Wamego bakery owned by Kim Donoho, is famous for its scones and old-fashioned baked goods. Donoho had traditionally been a buyer from the market, but since there were no bakers at the time she decided to change that. She perfected her recipe over the course of many years and is now a fixture at the market.

“It’s very enjoyable for me,” Donoho said. “It’s kind of a dream that’s been on the back fire simmering, after 20 something years.”

Crafting vendors also contributed their homemade goods to the market. Betty Enochs, owner of Ann’s Addiction Jewelry, makes handmade jewelry. Enochs has been a vendor at the market for two years now.

“Manhattan has been good to us,” Enochs said. “(The market is) something I got interested in and addicted to.”

The Downtown Farmers Market of Manhattan is open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Currently, the vendors are based in the parking lot at the corner of Third and Leavenworth Streets. In November, the market will move to CiCo Park.