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Deep into winter, farmers’ market offers variety

by Adam Reider | March 19, 2023 at 4:03 a.m.
Joe Gamm/News Tribune photo: Mike Dodson, (left) of Mighty Micros, a vendor of young, basement-grown plants, cuts the succulent tops off of young plants - broccoli and "spicy greens" - Saturday, March 18, 2023, during the Lincoln University Winter Farmers Market. Phillip Stout said he and his wife intended to use the fresh produce to add flavor to sandwiches.

The Lincoln University Farmers' Market continued its winter season during some chilly weather Saturday.

The farmers market is the only year-round farmer's market in Jefferson City, according to Chris Larson, who is the Specialty Crops Program Assistant and Outreach Worker, informally known as the farmers' market manager.

It is open from 9-11 a.m. the first and third Saturday of every month during the winter. It is held at 900 Leslie Blvd., Suite B.

Up to 50 customers show up to purchase from a variety of vendors, according to Larson.

Vendors, he added, have products available year-round and hope to offer them at the market. The vendors, he said, reach out to him to stay informed about whether he thinks customers will be available.

Ozark Yankee, a local farm that produces grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and eggs, heirloom tomatoes, fresh seasonal produce, soaps and other products, offered a wide variety of products that don't rely on a growing season. They had things such as beef bones, which dogs could use as chew toys.

Vendor Mighty Micros offered a variety of very young plants that mimic the flavor of adult plants, according to owner Sara Dodson. She said that while very flavorful, the nutritional value of the young plants is not as great as the seeds from the same plants. Seeds, she said, have anywhere from five to 40 times the nutritional content of young greens. Her company was offering freshly cut greens Saturday.

Dodson's micro sunflowers went early. Despite the tasty sunflowers running out, shoppers were still able to enjoy some of the company's other products, such as peas, broccoli and spicy salad mix.

Susie Stonner, a customer, said there are "good finds" and loves to support local farmers. She was able to select from preserves, nuts, eggs and soaps.

Janette Brenneke, a local farmer, said, "the pecans are delicious."

"Anything that can be canned" for the winter is what is usually offered, Jill Lackman said.

However, there are certain regulations to what can be canned. Salsa can't be canned unless it is in a pressurized container, otherwise the pH affects its preservation, Brenneke said.

As for what can be grown, it usually doesn't come from a greenhouse at this farmer's market. The micro plants are grown in a grow basement. Greenhouses are used to kick-start the gardening process that begins in May and for anything that loves heat in the winter, according to Lackman, Brenneke's partner.

  photo  Joe Gamm/News Tribune photo: Colleen Meredith, (left) of Ozark Yankee, a vendor of fresh farm products, on Saturday, March 18, 2022, discussed soaps with Agness Scott, during the Lincoln University Winter Farmers Market.

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