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The Guide: Find a farmers market

Produce doesn’t come much fresher than from the market

Missourian File Photo

Barbara Nobis organizes her baked goods for Grandma Barb's Pies at the Farmer's Market

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.

Columbia Farmers’ Market

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.
Founded: 1980
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
Call: 573-823-6889
Online: columbiafarmersmarket.org
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.

Fayette Area Farmers’ Market

Where: 117 S Main St. (South side of the historic courthouse square in downtown Fayette)
Founded: 2011
When it opens: May 1
When: Tuesdays, 4 to 7 p.m. Open through October
Call: 660-248-3791
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.

Boone County Farmer’s Market

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.
Call: 573-474-0405
Online: boonecountyfarmers.com
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!

Hallsville Farmers’ Market

Where: On the lot of Hen House Flea Market and Ketchum’s General Store, 13135 Rt. B.
Founded: 2009.
When it opens: May 5
When: Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon; Thursdays, 4 to 6 p.m. Open through mid-October
Call: 573-289-3127
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.

Boonville Farmer’s Market

Where: 1920 Main St., Boonville
Founded: 2009
When it opens: April 14
When: Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon. Open through October.
Online: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boonville-Farmers-Market/174322549319
Email: boonvillefarmersmarket@gmail.com
Market staples: Vendors sell vegetables, baked goods, honey, jams and jellies, herbs, plants, seeds, barbecue sauce, bread, fruits, flowers and craft items.

Coyote Farm and Home Market, Ashland

Where: The corner of Maple and Johnson streets in Ashland
Founded:
2008
When it opens: Currently open
When: Thursdays, 4 to 7 p.m. Open through October
Call: 573-489-0928
Market staples: Vendors sell a variety of plants, vegetables, fruits and local specialties.

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