Eating Fresh in Missouri

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Spring brings many pleasures, including an ever-growing abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. Add some flowers, baked goods and locally-raised meat, and you’ve got the perfect farmers market.

While several of the state’s largest markets operate year-round, many others open when the weather turns warmer and early crops – lettuce, spinach, asparagus, peas, strawberries and more – are ready for harvest.

The Missouri Grown program offers a directory of farmers markets across the state. For information about individual markets, call or visit the market’s website or social media site.

One of the best ways to enjoy fresh-from-the-garden fruits and vegetables is to pair them with locally raised meat. Many farmers markets include meat producers offering beef, pork and poultry.

Another option is to purchase fresh produce and meat directly from farmers. The Missouri Farm Bureau offers a county-by-county directory of meat producers and processers that sell to individuals. Known and Grown STL provides information about farmers in the St. Louis area who sell their products directly to the public.

Here’s a sampling of farmers markets located throughout the Show-Me State:

Columbia Farmers Market, Columbia – The Columbia Farmers Market is a mainstay for locals to buy fresh foods – all of which is produced within 50 miles of Columbia. The market is open every Saturday and also hosts musical performances, educational sessions and special events throughout the year.

Historic River Market, Kansas City – Get a taste of global flavors at Historic River Market, the largest farmers market in the area with history dating back to 1857. Open daily, the market showcases regional growers, small businesses and a variety of restaurants.

Farmers Market of the Ozarks, Springfield and Branson – Browse the bountiful offerings of the Ozarks and enjoy musical performances in Springfield and Branson at the Farmers Market of the Ozarks. Farm-fresh foods and hand-crafted products are on offer year-round.

Soulard Farmers Market, St. Louis – Located in an Italian Renaissance-style “Grand Hall,” the Soulard Farmers Market features a whopping 147 vendor stalls. Shop for fresh produce, meat, seafood, cheese, baked goods, flowers and more every Wednesday through Saturday.

Cape Farmer’s Market, Cape Girardeau

Chillicothe Farmers Market, Chillicothe

Fulton Farmer’s Market, Fulton

Central Park Farmers’ Market, Hannibal

Brookside Farmers’ Market, Kansas City

Empire Market, Joplin

Downtown Lee’s Summit Farmers Market, Lee’s Summit

Historic Downtown Liberty Farmers Market, Liberty

Downtown Sikeston Farmers’ Market, Sikeston

Greater Springfield Farmers’ Market, Springfield

St. Joseph Farmers’ Market, St. Joseph

Tower Grove Farmers’ Market, St. Louis (three locations)

Washington Farmers’ Market, Washington

Missouri farmers, livestock producers and meat processers selling directly to consumers include:

Knowlan’s Family Farm, Burfordville

Covered-L Farm, Centralia

Pasture to Plate Co., Chillicothe

Stuart Farm, Gerald

2M Beef, Hallsville,

Swiss Meat and Sausage Co., Hermann

Where the Redfearn Grows Natural Farms, Kansas City

Barham Family Farm, Kearney

Stonie’s Sausage Shop, Perryville

Of the Earth Farm + Distillery, Richmond

Fed from the Farm, Sedalia

Bee Simple City Farm, St. Louis

Coyote Creek Ranch, Stover

Odd Bird Farm, Weston

Marshall Family Farms, Wright City