COLUMBIA — The Columbia Farmers' Market will extend its season into December for the first time.
"It's a good way to invest in local businesses and keep the local economy diverse and strong," market board member Eric Reuter said. "Any money spent on local foods stays in the area."
Because of demand from customers and vendors, the market will be open from 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 5, 12 and 19 behind the Activity and Recreation Center, 1701 W. Ash St. Although the market is held outdoors, cold weather is not expected to deter customers.
"We've had bad weather in March. It's a concern, but the potential benefits outweigh one day of bad weather," Reuter said.
The Farmers Market is also raising funds to build a permanent home so the market can run year-round. Because there are food products available in winter, Reuter said, weather is the only barrier for the market.
All products must be sold directly by the grower or producer and be produced within a 55-mile radius of Columbia. Expected products include lamb, pork, beef, eggs, vegetables, honey, baked goods and locally-made chocolate.
If weather conditions are not suitable for an outdoor market, an announcement will be made on the Columbia Farmers' Market Web site and on its voicemail at 823-6889.