Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita farmers markets will conclude outdoor seasons this weekend with food to share

October is almost over, and so are bearable Saturday morning temperatures.

That means it’s time for Wichita’s two big farmers markets, which have been open Saturday mornings since early April, to wrap up their outdoor seasons, and both will on Saturday with special dining events.

The Old Town Farmers’ Market will be open from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday and will be marking the final outdoor market of the year with a big community potluck.

Organizers are inviting attendees to bring a favorite dish to share with vendors and other shoppers. Paper goods will be provided though people should bring serving utensils. There’s a $5 suggested donation for those who want to partake, and money will benefit the market’s food nutrition assistance programs.

The market will starts its winter season, which will again happen inside the Wave venue, 650 E. Second St., on Nov. 9. Over the past couple of years, the winter market has happened on Sunday mornings. But this year, it will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.

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The winter market features more arts and crafts goods plus meats and cool-weather crops. Food and drink also will be for sale. There will be 16 total winter markets: Nov. 9, 16 and 23; Dec. 7, 14 and 21; Jan. 4, 11 and 18; Feb. 1, 8, 15 and 22; and March 7, 14 and 21.

Saturday also will be the final outdoor market this year for the Kansas Grown Farmers Market at the Sedgwick County Extension Center, 7001 W. 21st St. It will be open from 7 a.m. to noon.

That market traditionally dubs its final day Stone Soup Day, based on a famous fable. Market organizers take end-of-the-season offerings from vendors and turn the ingredients into four big pots of soup, which it shares with its customers and vendors. The soup should be ready around 10 a.m.

The Kansas Grown Farmers Market also puts on one indoor market a month at the Sedgwick County Extension Center until the outdoor market resumes. They’re scheduled for Nov. 23, Dec. 14, Jan. 11, Feb. 15 and March 14. The winter markets run from 8 a.m. to noon.

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Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.
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