Rural Missouri - May 2022 - 47

Above: Yoeun Yin of Columbia sells a sack of fresh vegetables to a customer at the Columbia Farmers Market. Previous page:
The vibrant colors of fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and plants draw visitors into the market located in the city's Agriculture Park.
by Jack Wax |
A
info@ruralmissouri.coop
photos by Drew Piester
t 8 o'clock on Saturday mornings, the bell
rings and shoppers pour into the Columbia
Farmers Market. The vendors are behind
their counters, stacked high with a cornucopia
of fresh vegetables, fruits and homemade foods.
Shoppers and their families beeline it to their favorite
vendors then begin milling around, chatting among
themselves and with the farmers and artisans. Similar
scenes can be found in the nearly 200 farmers
markets held throughout Missouri. But there is more
- much more - to the Columbia Farmers Market
scene than meets the eye.
The market, which is sheltered beneath the MU
Health Care Pavilion, is the most visible part of
a many-layered community project, Columbia's
Agriculture Park. Although everyone recognizes a
farmers market when they see one, the features of
the Agriculture Park aren't as familiar. It takes a
leisurely stroll to take in its many facets. One thing
visitors can't miss are the vegetables growing in neat
rows in the acre field in front of the pavilion. There's
a playground, a greenhouse on the side of a storage
barn, a one-room schoolhouse, arbors, gravel
walking trails that lead through lush native plantings,
an outdoor classroom area, a food forest and a
stormwater retention area. It's a lot to take in, not to
mention the pavilion, which will cover 34,900 square
feet when finished later this year.
But the most important part of the Agriculture
Park is its roots, which spread from its site on the
corner of Ash Street and West Boulevard throughout
a 50-mile radius of farms and small towns.
Adam Saunders, chief fundraiser for the park and
co-founder of the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture
(CCUA) has helped nurture those roots and
build the community of organizations that supports
the park's mission. " Columbia's Agriculture Park is
designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and an appreciation
of nature and agriculture, " he says. " Also, we
MAY 2022 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP 47
http://www.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Rural Missouri - May 2022

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Contents
Rural Missouri - May 2022 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - May 2022 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - May 2022 - Contents
Rural Missouri - May 2022 - 4
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Rural Missouri - May 2022 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - May 2022 - Cover4
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