Farmers Market of the Ozarks (FMO) opened in April 2012 to more than 6,000 customers from across the region. The market has grown over the past year to become the largest farmers market in the region, with more than 100 vendors from within a 150-mile radius of Springfield, MO. To celebrate the market’s successful year, FMO is hosting a One-Year Anniversary Party and Spring Gardening Kick-Off on Saturday, April 6 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at the marketplace, located right off Republic Road and James River Expressway.
“The market combines farm fresh goodness, hand-crafted products and local eateries, all in one location that is easily accessible to the Ozarks community,” said Marker Manager Lane McConnell. “Customers can shop for their weekly groceries, find unique gifts that are made from local artisans, enjoy musical talents of local artists and enjoy breakfast and lunch, all within the market’s laid back atmosphere.”
Cooking demonstrations, festive music, food sampling, two children activity booths, a children ID booth and the FMO nutritionist, Rachel Kunzler are reasons to join in the celebration of all things local in the Ozarks this weekend. Beer and wine sampling will be provided from Springfield Brewing Company and Whispering Oaks Winery and Vineyard and meat sampling from local ranchers will also be part of the festivities. Community partners for the day include: New York Life, Mama Jean’s Natural Food Market, University of Missouri Extension Greene County, Springfield Urban Agriculture Coalition (SUAC), Springfield CVB, Children’s Enrichment Program, Spangle the Clown with balloon art, face painting and many more.
In addition, FMO wants to help raise awareness during the day for the University of Missouri Extension- Greene County Office, who is currently raising funds to supplement the shortfall from the County Commission Budget. Funds are being raised to enable the program specialists to provide services to the citizens in Greene County. Programs affected by the budget include 4-H, Master Gardeners, Horticulture, Nutrition and Education. The community can learn more about MU Extension and the Friends of Greene County Extension at the April 6 event.
Market management will be found at the Market Info Hub booth to answer questions about the construction of Farmers Park, the development that the market’s permanent pavilion will be housed within, and the amenities of the development. In addition, customers wishing to use their SNAP benefits, credit and debit cards can do so at the Hub to make shopping easily accessible for everyone in the Ozarks.