In the early 2000s the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council, received a small grant to work on fighting childhood obesity, which then led to the creation of gardens, classes, and a small farmers market. Supported by small backyard growers, the farmer’s market and the ensuing urban farming rush in the area was part of a series of decisions that the neighborhood and neighborhood council made, says Dina Newman, a former Ivanhoe Council member currently the director at UMKC’s Center for Neighborhoods.
“Not long ago, Ivanhoe was one of the largest Black neighborhoods in KC without a full-service grocery store, so when we started growing, it was out of a need,” says Newman.
The Ivanhoe neighborhood is 77% Black and has a median household income of just under $33k. Interim Executive Director of the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council, Alana Harris, says that once the need was identified, the neighborhood was able to develop a thriving stretch of urban farms.
Deemed the “Woodland Greenway” by Neil Rudisill, who used to be on the council and now runs Woodland City Urban Farm, the Woodland Greenway is a collection of urban farms all along or near Woodland Ave, including Young Family Farm, Dirt Beast, Ophelia’s Blue Vine, City Roots Nursery, and others. The Ivanhoe neighborhood even has a community garden at 3700 Woodlawn, where neighbors can try their hand at gardening.
There are now two farmers markets in Ivanhoe, one held every second Saturday, and another held every fourth Saturday. Both offer a place to buy fresh produce and other locally-made products. But they also allow those strapped for cash to stretch their dollar.
Ivanhoe farmers markets accept SNAP, EBT, and senior’s vouchers but go a step further. The markets utilize a Double Up Food Bucks program that allows you to double your SNAP or EBT benefit. Meaning you could spend $25 of your benefit dollars and get $50 worth of fruits and veggies.
Ivanhoe Farmers Market(s)
Second Saturday of the month, 3700 Woodlawn Ave., KCMO, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Fourth Saturday of the month, 3209 Woodlawn Ave., KCMO, 9 a.m. to Noon