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April 6, 2012 | 1:01 p.m. CST
There are plenty of stores in Columbia that sell natural or organic food, but why not go straight to the source? Farmers’ markets are a great way to get fresh produce, homemade baked goods, meat completely free of “pink slime,” plants, and craft items. Due to the early onset of spring, many of them are opening few weeks early this year, so plan on checking out some of our local markets soon.
Where: The Activity and Recreation Center parking lot, 1701 West Ash St. There is also a Thursday market at Forum Christian Church, 3900 Forum Blvd. at the corner of Nifong across from Walgreens.
When it opens: April 7. The Thursday market is currently open.
When: Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon; Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Open through Nov. 17
Market staples: Vendors sell beef, pork, goat cheese, trout, watermelon, mushrooms, grains, lettuce, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, honey, eggs, flowers, baked sweets, homemade ice cream and more than 200 tomato varieties. Alpaca wool products such as gloves and socks will be sold later in the season. All of the produce can be bought with debit or Electronic Benefit Transfer cards.
Fresh finds: Because of the warm weather, Senior Market Director Caroline Todd says the fresh produce is about a month ahead of schedule, meaning peaches and strawberries will be available soon—yum. The market hosts live music on Saturdays, from a variety of genres. The River Ghost Revue, a folk and bluegrass band, will perform on April 14. Also, the market is conveniently located on a bus route.
Where: 117 S Main St. (South side of the historic courthouse square in downtown Fayette)
When it opens: May 1
When: Tuesdays, 4 to 7 p.m. Open through October
Market staples: Vendors will sell meat, eggs, bread, vegetables, crafts, jams and jellies.
Fresh finds: A grand opening will be held May 1, featuring a band, a bounce house, pony rides and a bike parade, organizer Cathy Johnmeyer says.
Where: 1005 W. Worley St. in the Sanford-Kimpton Health Department building parking lot
Founded: It began as the Direct Marketing Association in 1980 and reformed in 2002 as the Boone County Farmer’s Market.
When it opens: April 7
When: Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon. Open through Oct. 27.
Market staples: Vendors offer a variety of vegetables, bedding and potted plants, meats, barbecue sauce, baked goods, eggs, pork, lamb, chicken and soaps.
Fresh finds: The market is opening three weeks earlier than last year. Love that spring weather!
Where: On the lot of Hen House Flea Market and Ketchum’s General Store, 13135 Rt. B.
When it opens: May 5
When: Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon; Thursdays, 4 to 6 p.m. Open through mid-October
Market staples: Local photography, baked goods, jams, jellies, relish, pickles, plants, trees, herbs, walnuts, meat, fresh fruit and vegetables, all from northern Boone County. Also offered are cow pots, which are manure-based flowerpots that require minimal fertilizer and no root-bounding.
Fresh finds: Organizer Terri McHugh says they are seeking more vendors, so there is still time for people to bring new things to the market, such as produce and crafts.
Where: 1920 Main St., Boonville
When it opens: April 14
When: Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon. Open through October.
Market staples: Vendors sell vegetables, baked goods, honey, jams and jellies, herbs, plants, seeds, barbecue sauce, bread, fruits, flowers and craft items.
Where: The corner of Maple and Johnson streets in Ashland
When it opens: Currently open
When: Thursdays, 4 to 7 p.m. Open through October
Market staples: Vendors sell a variety of plants, vegetables, fruits and local specialties.