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It wasn’t a typical day at Farmer’s Market of the Ozarks—with temperatures only in the 40s and light rain and sleet falling, vendors were set up in only one tent. But tomorrow, with highs expected to be in the 70s and sunny, FMO will have many more vendors and, likely a lot more customers, too.
The market has 110 members this year. Market manager Lane McConnell says they never expected to grow so quickly…
"It's taken a lot of community support--a lot of our customers that come and support us on a regular basis and then, you know, doing a lot of recruitment from across the region in other communities and going to producer conferences, but it's grown and it's like a nice big family that we have here now," she said.
You can find lots of things for sale at Farmer’s Market of the Ozarks including seafood, locally-raised meat, baked goods, cheese, granola and lots of produce—71 out of the 110 members are produce vendors.
Sondra Noroian with Ozark Granny Ladies Pie Company in Reeds Spring sells a variety of pies, cakes, brownies and even dog biscuits. The business started selling at FMO a couple of weeks ago after it came highly recommended…
"A lot of people we know who live in Springfield said, 'this is the place to be,' and I had some children that lived here, and they always came here last year, loved it, said it was very progressive, honorable place to be and just kind of word of mouth," she said.
Katie Kring is also a vendor at the market and is president of the board. Katie Made sells baked goods and marshmallows. She explains why she thinks the market has been so successful…
"We have fabulous vendors who have really high quality products and then the community has really taken to that, you know. We're bringing people things that they want and providing a really excellent atmosphere. You know, we've got music--it's a place where you can spend the whole morning with your family, and that's something that people want--community and a real sense of place," she said.
A celebration of the market’s one-year anniversary is set for tomorrow (4/6) from 8 to 1. And Lane McConnell says there will be a lot going on…
"We're gonna have meat sampling from all of our local ranchers, beer and wine sampling from Springfield Brewing Company and also with Spring Oaks Vineyard. We'll have cooking demonstrations from Mama Jeans, the Farmers Gastropub and also Metro Grill. We'll have two children's booths going on that parents can bring the kids out, they can plant a seed. They can also learn kind of about some different agricultural projects that we'll have going on as well, too, so there's really something for everyone," she said.
There will also be live music by three local bands.
Farmer’s Market of the Ozarks is located near Republic Rd. and James River Freeway at 4139 S. Nature Center Way. For more information, loveyourfarmer.com.
For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.