You can't have too much of a good thing.

And that couldn't be more true than with the homegrown tomatoes, sweet corn, cantaloupe and other fruits and vegetables featured at farmers' markets.

Local shoppers looking for fresh produce and other homemade and homegrown treats can get started today, and have more choices moving forward.

With an already well established Saturday morning farmers' market on Fleming Street (which was due to start today), Garden City Downtown Vision plans to give people the option of a Thursday evening farmers' market.

The new, downtown farmers' market is scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. Thursdays on Heroes Way, south of Stevens Park, to begin June 10 and run through Sept. 9.

Downtown Vision, the organization working to revitalize the city's historic downtown district, sees the move as another way to lure more traffic downtown. Plans for the downtown farmers' market also came about as a result of citizen interest.

A recent city of Garden City comprehensive plan included a detailed downtown market analysis. Those surveyed listed a farmers' market among the top 10 retail opportunities they would like to see downtown.

In presenting the new farmers' market plan to the Garden City Commission, Downtown Vision Executive Director Beverly Schmitz Glass noted the weekly event wasn't planned to compete with the traditional Saturday morning farmers' markets, which run from 8 a.m. until noon.

Rather, they're offering a choice. The downtown farmers' markets should appeal to those shoppers interested in picking up items on their way home from work, or those who may not be able to attend Saturday morning sales.

Along with benefiting those with downtown storefronts by sending more people their way, another farmers' market promises to be a great opportunity for folks who produce goodies to reach more buyers.

Consumers who relish the selection of two separate farmers' markets may be the biggest winners of all.

With that in mind, the experience would be better yet if more downtown retailers took advantage with longer store hours to coincide with Thursday evening farmers' markets.

Many downtown merchants have been slow to extend their hours past 5 p.m. to accommodate shoppers who work during the day. As difficult as it might be for independent retailers to man their stores additional hours, they need to weigh the potential gain of keeping their doors open longer at least one day a week to entice a new stream of customers.

Downtown Vision continues to organize events intended to drive traffic in their direction, and make downtown Garden City an evening destination. More merchants need to get on board.

Adding another farmers' market also could pay off for others in the community. Perhaps it could expand opportunities for 4-H Club participants to offer their wares. Aging and adult care organizations in some communities even offer farmers' market vouchers to qualified, low-income seniors to encourage them to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.

There's plenty of positive gain in an abundance of farmers' market choices. And such support for local food growers makes sense for many reasons, not the least of which is healthier eating.

Add in the benefit of giving people from all walks of life another reason to take advantage of a wholesome, family-friendly gathering place in the heart of the downtown district, and it's a welcome recipe for success.

E-mail Editor-publisher Dena Sattler at