Carrot Party! ~ photo courtesy Steve Shogren
One of the tender mercies afforded us by life here in the beautiful Ozark Mountains is access to fresh, local food all year round. No, we're not able to get locally grown tomatoes or eggplant in January, but we can have carrots, turnips, radishes, salad greens, and a medley of other natural and organic foods that include free range chicken, eggs, and fresh baked goods.
Where can we get them? At the Eureka Springs Farmers Market every Thursday morning until about noon at Pine Mountain Village. As you drive by on Highway 62, look for a small village off canvas tents in the parking lot--and stop by to shop and drink a hot cup of free coffee.
The Eureka Winter Market was started on an almost casual basis three years ago by Patrice Gross, who vended alone in an empty parking lot near a Mexican eatery on the way out of town. Patrice did so well that he encouraged other growers to step up winter production and join him; last year the winter market attracted enough vendors--and customers--to warrant the well attended attraction we see every Thursday.
"Our farmers are having a great year," says Market Manager Frank Rebiejo. "Most of them sell out every market and customers are really, really happy to get fresh, local, and affordable food all year long.
"We're proud of the work we're doing here," he continued, "and we are so glad to be part of such a supportive community. Eureka Springs is not just a market, it's our home town."
The Eureka Springs Farmers Market is open every Thursday morning at Pine Mountain Village.