The Great Bend Farmers Market is open from 7 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday now through November in the parking lot of the Great Bend Public Library, Williams and Broadway.
Gloria Eppley was like a kid in a candy store Thursday morning. The Hoisington woman couldn’t get to the first of the handful of Great Bend Farmers Market vendors fast enough.
“I’m so glad you guys are open,” she said. “I’ve been waiting all winter.”
Starting in the spring, the annual market has become a tradition. The area gardeners pitch their tents and tables, and peddle their fresh wares in the Great Bend Public Library parking lot.
The 2011 installment of the market opened about a month ago. It is open from 7 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday now through November.
There were only a few stands running Thursday with the selection ranging from potatoes to turnips to lettuce to radishes to beats to onions. There was also a selection homemade preserves.
However, participant Ron Wilson said, come Saturday, the lot becomes a tent city. In addition to the vegetables, baked goods and some crafts are available.
“There are a lot more folks here then,” he said.
As spring turns to summer and summer turns to fall, the assortment of items at the market changes, Wilson said. Water melon, cantaloupe and, eventually, squash will be on the menu.
“This is a heck of a way to make a living,” said vendor Larry Effenbeck. The rural Stafford County resident was half joking. Although retired, he stays busy with his garden. “There are not enough hours in the day and not enough of me.”
But, as he sat under his canopy at the market to get out of the hot morning sun, he said he enjoyed the experience. His garden has survived a series of spring storms that ripped through the area.
The market has been going for at least 20 years, Wilson said. In that time, it has been held at several locations.
It started behind Great Bend Fire Department Station 1. Since then, it took place at former Bogarts grocery store, on 10th Street and at the courthouse square.