Monday, July 30, 2007

Fair Grove Market Success

Located right off of Hwy 65, right before Springfield is Fair Grove, population 1,107. This small community is home to a past award winner in the Missouri Farmers’ Market of the Year Awards.

(Photo: View larger image.)

The Fair Grove Farmers’ Market is a booming place to be on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 7:00 pm on the grounds of the historic Wommack Mill on Hwy 125 and Main Street. The market opens the last Wednesday of April and runs though the middle of October.

There are more than 20 vendors that sell everything from annual and perennial plants to home grown produce. (View another vendor photo.)

One unique feature of the market is the Growing Kids Club that Market Manager Peggy Schletty started. The club is hosted during market hours and is run by a local master gardener. Many plant varieties are brought in each week for the kids to plant and take home with them to plant and watch grow. There are over 100 kids that have signed-up for the club at the Fair Grove Market thus far. Besides teaching the students the importance of caring for plants there are also lessons on forestry and gourd workshops for the students.

Peggy said that the most important part of running a successful farmers’ market is achieving community support, which she says, their market has obtained. “When you go into a small town you have to know your community and what the community wants. [The community] they have to sick with you to make a market a success,” said Peggy.

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