The all-too familiar bell will be ringing early Saturday morning as the new season opens for the Independence Farmers Market. Fresh produce, lots of home baked goods, cheeses, crafts and more … that is what you will see this Saturday on the streets of downtown Independence, and organizer Carolyn Torrance is excited about the new season. The market, located on Myrtle St. between Penn Ave. and 8th St., offers shoppers a wide variety of items to purchase and offers vendors a place to sell their wares at a low cost. 

The Farmers Market is open every Saturday through September from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. and absolutely no sales are allowed before the opening bell. Torrance said market vendors must raise their produce or produce the products they sell although an exception would be if a person is assisting a vendor who cannot be at market that day, a form must be filled out. Vendors are only charged $2 each time they participate in the market and although they do not have to participate each week, Torrance said customers do have favorites and are loyal to them.

Torrance reminds readers the American Soda Fountain will be open Saturday mornings selling biscuits and gravy to hungry shoppers and vendors. "Terry (Scott) is a great asset to the Farmers Market," she said. 

Other information necessary for vendors to know are they cannot sell something they purchased or was raised by someone else, they must live within 75 miles of Independence and must provide producing location as well as allowing a representative from the market to inspect if so requested. 

"We do not 'police' tax compliance," Torrance said. "We only provide materials for application." She said for food and other product or livestock sales to consult the Kansas State University Extension Office website for "Best practices and regulations of farmers markets in Kansas" 2019 edition. Absolutely no domesticated animal sales are allowed and livestock must be small enough to be caged. 

Torrance noted on change which was added this year, "There is no smoking allowed anywhere inside the Farmers Market area for the comfort of shoppers and vendors." To find out more about the market, contact Torrance at ctor51@hotmail.com or call 620-331-7831. There is no need for a vendor to pre-register but Torrance will gather a contact information form for first-time vendors.

"Please join us, most of our vendors are doing so well and we have expanded to the whole length of the block," Torrance concluded.