Rural Missouri - May 2022 - 51

Above: Liz Graznak helps a market-goer select organic greens grown at her Jamestown-based Happy Hollow Farm. Top left: Jacque Laboile
lets a visitor sample some of the honey from his Bonne Femme Honey Farm. Bottom left: Saturn peaches are just one of the many fruits Sandy
Creek Farm in Franklin specializes in growing. Owner Rhonda Thiessen makes change for a customer.
have been assembled under the pavilion. To enter the MU
Health Care Pavilion, parents and kids must first pass by
the agriculture-themed playground with its giant metal
sunflowers and corn stalks, slides and climbing equipment.
Nearby, vegetables and flowers are growing, some in
planters and raised beds along pathways, others around
the various buildings. A brief walk from the playground
leads to the rows of crops in the teaching and demonstration
garden, each row supported by donors. Crops are harvested
by volunteers and staff from the Columbia Center
for Urban Agriculture, then sorted, washed and donated
to the Columbia Food Bank Pantry. In a good year, the
demonstration garden supplies more than 20,000 pounds
of fresh vegetables to low-income families.
Adam credits a large network of local businesses, individual
donors, nonprofits and government agencies for
making the Agriculture Park part of the lives of thousands
of Missourians. Columbia school children regularly take
field trips to the park's teaching garden and continue their
lessons about nature in their school gardens. Low-income
families and refugees are mentored in gardening skills
through a link with the Heart of Missouri United Way.
Church groups, Scout troops and other volunteers learn
how to garden and serve the community.
Farmers not only appreciate being part of the market,
they also value the entrepreneurial resources they can tap
into. " We offer vendors business coaching, website development
and marketing assistance, which lots of our farmers
and artisans use, " Adam says.
The combination of business resources and increased
traffic make the Columbia Farmers Market a choice venue
for farmers, one that Bill and other vendors have come to
rely on. But it's not all business. Bill enjoys meeting and
getting to know his regular customers. And the conversations
he has with them help his customers get a bigger
picture of the world than city life provides.
" People who live in the city may have no connection
to the land and the hard work it takes to grow our food, "
Adam says. " Besides getting to know their farmers, people
who come to the park get a greater appreciation
of our agricultural heritage and
fresh, local food. "
Columbia
For more information, go to
www.buildthistown.org and www.
columbiafarmersmarket.org.
Wax is a freelance writer from
Columbia.
MAY 2022 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP 51
http://www.columbiafarmersmarket.org http://www.buildthistown.org http://www.columbiafarmersmarket.org http://www.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Rural Missouri - May 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - May 2022

Contents
Rural Missouri - May 2022 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - May 2022 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - May 2022 - Contents
Rural Missouri - May 2022 - 4
Rural Missouri - May 2022 - 5
Rural Missouri - May 2022 - 6
Rural Missouri - May 2022 - 7
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Rural Missouri - May 2022 - 51
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Rural Missouri - May 2022 - 53
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Rural Missouri - May 2022 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - May 2022 - Cover4
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