Since the summer of 1986 the Chillicothe Farmers Market has traditionally operated from the first Saturday in May through the last Saturday in October, rain or shine, beginning at 8 a.m.
This year will continue that 27-year tradition on the Chillicothe Courthouse square with the “Ringing of the Opening Bell” this Saturday, May 4.
Market Master Beth Weidner is expecting a rather limited produce selection to include rhubarb, radishes, green onions and possibly greens. The selection of locally-grown produce is expected to expand greatly as the weather warms and the growing season really gets under way.
“The crazy weather, however, hasn’t affected the bounty of greenhouse plants, baked goods, jams, jellies, eggs, frozen meats and craft items expected on this opening Saturday,” Weidner said.
A new addition this year, the SALT Center will join the Market to offer barbecue smoked chicken quarters for sale as a community fundraiser. Dave, of Dave’s BBQ, will be manning the grill.
The Market will again be hosting Market Basket Giveaways every last Saturday of the month and at the 5th annual canner testing day in June. The Market has updated its Facebook page and group and will also have a Craig’s List presence along with our regular ads and features in this newspaper.
The Chillicothe Farmers Market offers many benefits for Market shoppers and the Chillicothe area community.
“The Farmers Market is the perfect choice for health conscious shoppers as the freshness maintained by growing locally ensures the highest levels of available nutrients,” Weidner said. “Buying local produce also saves the energy needed for shipping.”
Weidner said that Market farmers and producers keep up-to-date and informed about health and safety regulations and guidelines, adding another layer of confidence to a shopper’s Market purchase.
“Finally, Farmers Market shoppers and producers build and experience a unique relationship with their food, knowing firsthand how and where it is grown or made. These issues are making national news headlines and our local Chillicothe Farmers Market provides excellent choices in these areas for our consumers and community.”
The Chillicothe Farmers Market averaged 12 producers per Saturday, 38 total last market season and is the largest in north central Missouri. The Market is open to bonafide growers and craft persons from Livingston and the surrounding Green Hills counties, assuring customers a “Fresh from your neighbors” product.
Locally grown or made products offered by various producers at the Chillicothe Farmers Market include all locally grown, whole, fresh vegetables and fruits in season or extended season, herbs and spices, plants, flowers, specialty or value added products (honey, jams etc), fresh whole eggs, frozen meats, baked items and arts and crafts as long as the items are high quality, attractive, locally produced and consumer safe. Items such as cream pies and fresh/frozen dairy are not permitted due to health regulations.
Page 2 of 2 - “Market shoppers are notoriously loyal to the quality standards the Market has maintained and Market producers are some of the nicest farmers, bakers and craftspeople in Missouri,” Weidner said. “Shopper parking is available on the streets all around the square and in the courthouse’s second parking lot.
Shoppers and new producers with questions can contact Market Master Beth Weidner at 660-622-4289 or visit with any producer on Saturdays.