COLUMBIA - The Columbia Farmers Market added a new day to their weekly set list about a month ago

In addition to its Saturday market, the MU Health Care Pavilion is set up with locally-produced products Wednesdays from 3 to 7 p.m.

Wednesday will be the fifth week CFM will be open for shoppers to support local vendors. 

"Wednesday market has been helping the market overall. It's also a little more lowkey than our Saturday market. So it's a great space for people to come to that may be kind of overwhelmed by the Saturday market," CFM executive director Corrina Smith said.

Smith said the MU Health Care Pavilion will see close to about 1,000 shoppers on Wednesdays. Most recently, she said the turnout has been heavily dependent on the hot weather. 

According to Smith, vendors selling at the Wednesday market committed to the new schedule back in January, when they applied and paid their fees.

Last week, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by nearly three-quarters of a point, which followed an additional quarter of a point in March and half a point in May of this year.

This increase was the biggest hike in nearly three decades, causing gas prices to soar and grocery shoppers to stretch their wallets in stores.

The Fed benchmark expects rates to be at 3.4% by the end of the calendar year.

Federal interest rate increases may also impact agricultural land values, as land in the Midwest has experienced between 20% to 30% increase in land values. 

As the country continues to feel the impacts of inflation, Smith said farming in mid-Missouri during the COVID-19 pandemic taught farmers to buy early and plan ahead during times of an economic crisis.

Smith said farmers particularly learned to buy seeds to plant and raise their  animals early this year.

She also said the increase in "at-home" hobbies has given farmers in Missouri trouble. 

"It's been difficult to get certain things, especially with the kind of influx there seems to be. The new demand for people that want to garden at home or people stocking up," Smith said. 

Because of people buying in bulk, Smith said this created supply chain issues that negatively impacted farmers.

Though most commercial grocery stores start their sales on Wednesdays, Smith said buying with farmers selling on a small scale will get shoppers the greatest price benefit. 

"A small scale versus when you're buying something that hits all these different entities or businesses you'd buy at the grocery store, the [local] vendors have more flexibility in setting their own prices," Smith said.

Smith said gas prices are difficult for vendors to keep up because most are traveling 30 to 40 minutes to Columbia. She also said farmers are feeling the pain at the pump when they're fueling up their tractors, plows and other equipment. 

CMF will partner with Columbia Parks and Recreation to put on a food truck round up on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Smith said this offers a little more activity at the market.

"We really see -- especially at Columbia's Agriculture Park is so much more than just the market pavilion -- We want this Wednesday market to be this a family outing or a community outing," Smith said.

People can go to the Ag Bar, walk through the urban farm, listen to live music, grab dinner and shop for their groceries, all in one trip.

CFM vendors will be at the pavilion on Wednesdays through Sept. 14. After that, the CFM will go back to its normal Saturday-only schedule.

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Isabelle Marak contributed to this article.