Commercial Fruits, Vegetables and Nuts
The market for locally produced fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, and other products has been increasing consistently over the past several years. Making the jump from growing a home garden to growing for sale can be a challenge, as can diversifying your farm from row crops to specialty crops. We offer a range of programs and resources to help you get started or to increase the profitability of your operation.
Programs We Offer
The Central Kansas Market Vegetable Growers Workshop is held on a Saturday in early February each year. This workshop features speakers from successful fruit or vegetable operations and K-State specialists. Sessions vary each year and include growing methods, sales and marketing techniques, season extension, business management, and other related topics. Cost is $20. Pre-registration is preferred.
The Local Food Producer Entrepreneurship Workshop is held on a Friday in early February, usually the day before the above workshop. This workshop features speakers and sessions on business skills, marketing, and entrepreneurship for local food producers. Cost is $15. Pre-registration is preferred.
The Growing Growers Apprenticeship Program started in 2019 and is now in its second year.
The ICT Food Circle Producer Connections Newsletter is a monthly email newsletter that shares timely information, upcoming events, and interesting resources for local food producers. Contact Rebecca McMahon at email@example.com to be added to the mailing list.
One-on-one consultations are available to any aspiring or established commercial producer in the county. Contact Rebecca McMahon at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
The Great Plains Growers Conference is held in St. Joseph, MO each January. This conference is co-sponsored by K-State Research & Extension and is one of the premier conferences for commercial fruit and vegetable growers in the region.
How can I participate in one of the local farmers' markets?
There are several local farmers' markets, including the Old Town Farm & Art Market, the Kansas Grown! Farmers' Markets, and several others. The Extension office is not responsible for the organization or running of any of these markets, although one of the Kansas Grown! markets is held on our grounds. For more information on all of our local markets and how to participate in them, please visit our Farmers' Markets page.
Can I sell _____ at a farmers' markets?
Most fruits and vegetables that have not been processed in any way can be sold in Kansas at farmers' markets or at on-farm or roadside stands. The newly updated Food Safety for Farmers Market Vendors provides detailed information on the rules and regulations that govern farmers' market sales.
What is a high tunnel/hoophouse? Can I build a high tunnel in Sedgwick County?
A high tunnel or hoophouse is essentially a temporary, unheated greenhouse. As of July 1, 2015, you can build a high tunnel or hoophouse in Sedgwick County without needing a permit or engineered plans.