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At a time when grocery shopping serves as entertainment, why not make the chore more entertaining and delicious?
Springfield and the rest of the 417 area offers an abundance of options for gathering the freshest seasonal fruits and vegetables along with delicious baked goods, local honey and handcrafted items.
Whether you only have time to dash across town or the luxury of making a Saturday out of it, we can point you in the right direction.
In no particular order, we present a sampling of some of the area’s best picks for produce:
- Greater Springfield Farmers’ Market, 2825 S. Glenstone Ave., 8 a.m.-noon Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday through October, noon Saturday November-March: This long-running farmers market features products grown or created by the vendors themselves. You’ll find everything from the expected fruits and vegetables to locally raised meats, baked goods and so much more. This weekend and next (Aug. 29 and Sept. 5), visitors can look forward to an abundance of crafts as well at the market’s Fall Crafters event. Go to springfieldfarmersmarket.com or call 417-708-1909.
- Farmers Market of the Ozarks, 2144 E. Republic Road, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday: This open-air covered farmers market at the Farmers Park development features all the locally grown goodness you’d hope for and, in non-pandemic times, often feels more like a party than a shopping event. But all of the basics remain even in the era of distance. On that note, all shoppers over the age of 11 are required to wear face coverings. Older and other at-risk members of the community are invited to shop early, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and anyone with a medical mask exemption is welcome to shop from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Go to www.LoveYourFarmer.com or call 417-323-2655.
- C Street City Market, Commercial Street and Jefferson Avenue, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, 4-8 p.m. Thursdays: This market on Springfield’s historic Commercial Street features an eclectic array of items to choose from. Yes, you’ll find plenty of yummies, but you can also look for fresh cut flowers from Ozark Mountain Flower Truck, art, jewelry and more. Go to www.historiccstreet.com or call 417-812-5545/
- Fassnight Creek Farm, 1366 S. Fort Ave., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday: For 30 years, Dan Bigbee has been farming on the banks of Fassnight Creek smack dab in the middle of Springfield. Stop by the farmstand to see what’s in season or pick out an ornamental (mums, anyone?), vegetable or herb plant to grow at home. Look for Fassnight Creek Farm on Facebook or call 417-866-5011.
- Urban Roots Farm, 823 W. State Street, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday: This one-acre farm in the heart of Springfield produces fruit and vegetables year-round. Community Supported Agriculture subscriptions are available, or you can pop by the farm stand to see what’s in stock. Go to www.urbanrootsfarm.com or call 417-597-4858.
- Millsap Farm, 6595 N. Emu Lane, self-service farmstand open daily: This 20-acre farm north of Springfield offers an abundance of organic produce throughout the year. While you can find Millsap at Farmers Market of the Ozarks, you can also take a short scenic drive out to the farm to see what’s seasonally available at the farmstand, where you weigh and pay on the honor system. The farm is also hosting occasional Twilight Farm Walks. Go to www.millsapfarms.com or call 417-839-0847.
- Sunshine Valley Farmstand, 8011 State Highway AD, Rogersville, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, closed Sunday: If you’re looking for fresh-from-the-orchard apples, Sunshine Valley is a sweet spot to stop. Tucked into the rolling hills east of Springfield, the farm also has ornamental plants such as sweet potato vines for sale. In the spring, it’s bursting with berries. Go to www.SunshineValleyFarm.com or call 417-753-2698.
Looking to make a day trip out of it? Here are a few farmers markets a little farther afield:
- Ozark Farmers Market, 844 Finley Farms Lane, 3-7 p.m. Thursday through September: Here you’ll find produce, artisans and food trucks. Go to www.OzarkFarmersMarket.com or call 417-848-5618.
- Nixa Area Farmers Market, West Mount Vernon Street and Main Streets, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday: This parking-lot market features all locally grown produce and locally made crafts. Go to www.nixozkfarmersmkt.weebly.com or call 417-622-8202.
- Ash Grove Farmers Market, 101 E. Boone St., Ash Grove, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday: Find all the veggies you crave along with goodies such as home-canned salsa, pies and even hot chocolate mix. Look for the page on Facebook.
- Greater Polk County Farmers Market, 320 Market St., Bolivar, 7:30-11 a.m. Saturday, 3:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday: This is another growers-only market, so you can count on the produce being freshly picked and locally grown. You also can find eggs, meat and crafted items. Find it on Facebook or call 417-298-1764.
- Marshfield Farmers Market, 900 W. Washington St., Marshfield, 2:30-6:30 p.m. Friday: Also open to growers only, this market allows you to do the weekend shopping while having a fun Friday night. Find it on Facebook or call 417-380-2159.
- Buffalo Community Farmers Market, 1323 S. Ash St., Buffalo, 2-6 p.m. Tuesday. Look for the market’s Facebook page to see what’s in season.
- Forsyth Main Street Farmers Market, 115 Shadowrock, Forsyth, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday: Find fresh produce and fresh art at this weekly market. Look for it on Facebook or call 818-358-5374.
- Murphy Orchard, 255 N. Highway 60, Marionville: This family-owned orchard has a roadside stand filled with fruits in season — peaches and apples — and produce. Do not leave without an apple cider slush. That alone is worth the drive. Go to murphyorchard.com or call 417-258-2353.
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