Winter Farmers Market Has Room to Grow

7 years 9 months 4 days ago Monday, January 17 2011 Jan 17, 2011 Monday, January 17, 2011 8:50:32 AM CST January 17, 2011 in News
COLUMBIA - This is the first year the winter farmers market has taken root, but vendors agree they'd like to see growth in coming years.

While the summer farmers market is wildly successful with about 3,000 people on an average day, the winter farmers market has room to grow.

"In the winter market, now of course this is a trial, but we have had up to 350 people come here in this 10-2 space," said Mark Mahnken, President of the Columbia farmers market.

The winter market is possible thanks to a grant - and if it's successful enough, it can continue on for years to come.

Some of the goodies available during the winter time are tomatoes, potatoes and spinach (if it's not sold out). There's even something for those with a sweet tooth.

"Besides ice cream, we make our own creamed honeys. Right now we have cinnamon pecan, which is the biggest seller," said Art Gelder, owner of Walkabout Acres.

Gelder owns his own honeybees and has about seventy hives throughout Boone County.

The next issue for the winter farmers market is simply getting the word out. Ben Mason, a first-time winter market customer, noticed a sign and followed it to the market.

"We were just coming on our way back from the gym and we just saw the signs. We decided to stop off and see if there was anything good to buy," said Mason.

Susie Everhart has her own stall selling her grass-fed lamb. She says just getting the word out there can help not only her business, but the entire market, grow.

"The selection of stuff is just not enough to bring tons of people out like in the summer...and people don't know about it either. I think it could grow," said Everhart.

The winter farmers market is open Saturdays from 10:00 A.M-2:00 P.M at Rockbridge Christian Church.

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