COLUMBIA — The vendors of pies, eggs, jams and meats hugged themselves, rubbed their hands together and bounced in place to keep warm Saturday morning during the year's first outdoor farmers market.
The Columbia Farmers' Market moved indoors for the first time in its more than 30-year history this winter to Rock Bridge Christian Church, setting up temporary shop inside from the end of November until the hopeful beginning of spring on Saturday.
But the sight of snowflakes beginning to fall 20 minutes before the market was scheduled to close for the day elicited gasps and shrieks from those who braved the chilly weather Saturday morning.
However, as a few of the market's veterans know, it could have been worse. Last year's opening outdoor market day brought more than three inches of snow by the time the booths were packed up by noon.
Vera Gelder of Walk-About Acres in Columbia replaced her usual hot-selling honey ice cream with hot chocolate and coffee. She said despite the cold, windy weather, she stayed busy.
Darlene Woodard and the three others in her car made a quick visit to the market in the half-hour before it closed.
"I heard they were open, and I wanted to get some natural local honey," she said.
The Columbia Farmers' Market is held in the parking lot behind the Activity and Recreation Center, 1701 W. Ash St. It's open from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays until Nov. 19.