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Farmers markets prep for winter season

Farmers markets prep for winter season

October 22nd, 2017 by Philip Joens in Local News

Shelby Kardell/News Tribune Farmers sell fresh produce in the new winter farmers market location at 704 Madison Street in Jefferson City on Saturday, October 21, 2017.

Two of Jefferson City's farmers markets are looking ahead to winter markets after successful summer campaigns.

A third will not have a winter market, but said after changing locations this spring, it also had a good year.

The Capital City Farmers Market moved into its new year-round home and will operate a small bi-monthly winter market while the space is renovated. Lincoln University's summer farmers market is closed for the year and is preparing a bi-monthly winter market. Meanwhile, the Cole County Farmers Market reported a good first year at the Capital Mall after Kmart closed last year.

The Capital City Farmers Market moved from its downtown location to its new year-round home in the old Blattner Home Furnishings building at 704 Madison St. in mid-September as temperatures dipped and summer turned to fall. The group will have a temporary winter market in the front of the building while renovations are completed in the back.

Steve Smart, an organizer of the Capital City Farmers Market, said the renovations should be complete by March.

"If we get done sooner, we'll move in sooner," Smart said.

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The building has at least 20,000 square feet of space, and vendors will be on the 10,000-square-foot first level.

The winter market will run 9-10 a.m. the first and third Saturdays of each month. Because of the limited space, orders will be taken and picked up at the following session. Orders also can be placed online, and order forms can be found on the Capital City Farmers Market Facebook page.

The Capital City Farmers Market is the only farmers market in Jefferson City accepting Electronic Benefit Transfer and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program payments, commonly known as food stamps. Smart said the group does this to help low-income residents find affordable food.

"We wanted to make fresh and local food available for everybody in the community," he said. "And if you go to the grocery store, that money ends up going out of state."

Smart said a lot of the summer fruits and vegetables not in season aren't available. Still, he said, root vegetables like potatoes, carrots and onions, along with baked goods and meats like chicken, beef and turkey, are available.

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The Lincoln University Farmers Market held its last outdoor market Oct. 7. The LU market's outdoor season runs the first week in May to the first week in October each year. LU will also run a winter pick-up market 9-10 a.m. the first and third Saturdays of every month.

A list of each week's participating vendors will be posted at on the Friday before each pickup date. Orders can then be made to market manager Maria Isabel Jacome at

The Cole County Farmers Market will hold its last farmers market of the season 2-4 p.m. Saturday. After Kmart closed last year, it moved from its former location at 2304 Missouri Blvd. While turnout was good this season among farmers and patrons, organizer Kenny Anderson said, customer traffic slowed considerably in recent weeks.

"Once school starts, you start to see it decline," Anderson said.

While it will not have a winter market, Anderson said the group's first year at the Capital Mall went well.

"We had a good run," he said.