As customers entered the first Wednesday Columbia Farmers Market of the summer, they were greeted with the sounds of Missouri musician Mick Byrd and smells from several food trucks.
The farmers market will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. every Wednesday until Sept. 27. The farmers market will also continue on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon until October. The Wednesday farmers market will be held in Columbia’s Agriculture Park, located at 1769 W. Ash St.
Shoppers browsed at the Raw Roots Turmeric stand, where they could choose from four types of turmeric. Turmeric offers anti-inflammatory benefits, Ranjana Hans, founder, said. One of the turmerics was white, and Hans said white turmeric helps with digestion.
Attendees purchased a variety of empanadas from the Amore E Gusto stand, which included vegetarian options or ground beef and potatoes. Carmen Febres, who was working the stand, said it was her first year selling at the farmers market, and that she used to sell empanadas in Mexico.
A few tables down, Augie Cook, co-owner of Altai Meadows, presented fresh vegetables along with grass-fed beef and pasture-raised chicken. Cook talked about the process of moving pasture-raised chickens, and said she moves the chickens from one area to another to ensure they are continuing to eat fresh grass.
The Hickory Ridge Orchard table presented fresh jams, slushes and lemonade shakeups, which were being offered for the first time. Belle Graves, who was working at the stand, said the orchard wanted to see how serving lemonade shakeups would go.
Customers could also buy a cup of coffee from Fretboard Coffee before they walked to the other side of the pavilion where there were food trucks.
Corrina Smith, executive director of the Columbia Farmers Market, said the farmers market had tried selling on different days of the week, and at different locations, but after last summer Smith said holding the event on Wednesday seemed to be the right time.
Smith said the Wednesday market is a great opportunity for somebody that wants to experiment and see if the farmers market model is good for their business. She said Wednesday can serve as a starting place for a new vendor because it takes time for a new business to have enough product for a farmers market that features 5000 to 6000 people, like the Saturday farmers market.
Smith also said that the vendor fees for Wednesday are less than Saturday, and the farmers market on Saturday is currently sold out.
Smith said the long-term goal of the Wednesday market is to create something similar to the one on Saturday.