Local garden centers and farmers’ markets are open, but note changes
By Jill Draper
Spring is in full swing, and sprucing up your yard or growing your own vegetables is a great stay-at-home activity. Most south Kansas City garden centers are open for business and will make curbside deliveries upon request. Some farmers markets are open, too, although the situation is fluid—follow individual markets on Facebook or check their websites for last-minute changes.
Suburban Lawn & Garden’s Martin City location on 135th Street is open for shopping, but changes have been made to keep customers and employees safe. Golf carts are available now only for staff use, and cashiers are spaced farther apart at the register stations. Also, the free popcorn machine is temporarily shut down.
Matt Stueck, vice president, says the coronavirus couldn’t have come at a worse time for garden centers, which typically do 65% of their sales in the next 10 weeks. While walk-in business is slower, he says online orders have zoomed up from about one per day to 50. And the store is delivering plenty of mulch and topsoil to homeowners. “People still want their flowers, and they’re doing a lot of lawn and garden projects now,” he says.
Rosehill Gardens opened its Garden Center April 24. Customers may order plants for curbside pickup or delivery at 816-941-2332. Meanwhile, design and maintenance work continues. According to Curtis Stroud, owner, designers are available to drive to a homeowner’s yard and take photos, following up with a phone conversation about landscape plans. He says events for May, including the outdoor wine bar, are still on schedule, but that could change if the mayor’s stay-at-home order is extended past April 24.
Stroud also said his business expects to need more employees soon, and anyone interested in landscape maintenance or irrigation work can apply on their website or by calling 816-941-4777.
Under new ownership, Waldo Greenhouse at the northwest corner of 85th Street and Wornall Road behind Price Chopper is open daily. Cara Mullen and her husband purchased the operation in November, and on sunny days “business is terrific.” She offers flowers, shrubs, trees, organic vegetables and tropical plants—both for walk-up customers and delivery (free for a minimum sale of $10). She also offers disposable masks and gloves, and keeps a hand-washing station and hand sanitizer on site.
Soil Service Garden Center at 7130 Troost Ave. is open, but is encouraging customers to use curbside pickup (especially for in-store items) and has temporarily stopped accepting cash payments. A limited number of customers ages 16 and older are allowed to purchase flowers at outdoor registers on the patio.
Euston Hardware is selling plants and garden supplies both to walk-in customers and for curbside pickup. “We’ve been crazy busy,” says Derek Etheridge, assistant manager at the Red Bridge location. He says many homeowners are now finding time to accomplish tasks that have been on their to-do lists. The Red Bridge store is currently closed on Thursdays, and the Waldo store is closed on Tuesdays.
Johnson Farms in Belton is closed while the stay-at-home order is in effect.
The annual Thyme for Kids Plant Sale will be entirely online this year, with options for delivery and curbside pickup. Proceeds from the sale support the Cornerstones of Care Build Trybe program, a mentorship community empowering youth with employable skills in three career paths: culinary, construction and horticulture. Online ordering takes place April 15-May 14, with pickups beginning April 25. A variety of plants, flowers and herbs are offered, most selling for $2 to $8, plus dish gardens, flowering baskets, ready-to-go planters and Mother’s Day gifts. See cornerstonesofcare.org/plantsale.
Brookside Farmers Market is open Saturdays from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. The market provides hand washing stations and has new protocols on food sampling and money exchange. On May 2 a special event, Get Your Garden Growing, is scheduled for home gardeners looking for native, healthy transplants, compost, and gardening advice. Live music, food trucks and children’s activities are included. The market is at Border Star Montessori School, 6321 Wornall Rd.
The Waldo’s Farmers Market at 303 W. 79th St. is scheduled to open May 4 from 3-7 p.m., but customers should confirm the date. In addition to fresh vegetables and herbs, vendors will offer baked goods, ice cream and nuts. SNAP dollars are accepted, and shoppers should bring their own bags.
Benedict Builders Farms in the southeast corner of the Red Bridge YMCA parking lot will be open from 9 a.m.-noon on Saturdays beginning in May. The market specializes in fruits, vegetables, cut flower bouquets, jams, soap and meats. Fresh chicken will be available, but pastured pork will be sold only by the half-animal.
Grandview’s Farmers Market is currently closed.