Winter Farmers Market opening day

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COLUMBIA- The Columbia Farmers Market kicked off its winter season Saturday by moving its operation indoors.

The Market will be located inside of Parkade until March, when it will move back to its location at Clary-Shy Community Park.

With the use of greenhouses and high tunnels farmers are able to grow produce all year. Year-round production means year-round profits for vendors at the Columbia Farmers Market, according to the Executive Director Corrina Smith.

“Our vendors rely on this income, so it’s great that they can continue to sell their goods year-round,” Smith said.

Smith said keeping the market open reduces community members' carbon footprints, benefits their health and stimulates the local economy.

All vendors at the Columbia Farmers Market are located within a 50 mile radius of Columbia.

Brittany Sullivan, co-owner of Sullivan Farms, said the focus on locality creates a feeling of community.

“I mean, that’s one of the best things about the market. Getting to see your customers and getting to know them each and every week,” Sullivan said.

Kimberly Carpenter, a regular shopper at the Columbia Farmers Market, said she likes to bring her kids to the market for the same reason Sullivan enjoys selling her products there.

“It feels like buying food from your friend and not just somebody making money off of you,” Carpenter said. “I know their families and they know me and my family and it just feels good.”

The market is open from 9 a.m. to noon every Saturday, except the Saturdays after Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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