Eat fresh, eat local thanks to Columbia Winter Farmers Market

People of all ages filtered through the doors of Parkade Plaza Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, at Columbia’s Winter Farmers Market.

The recent snowfall that hit the city might have caused a lower turnout, but producers set up shop nonetheless. In fact, the previous week’s Farmers Market had been postponed due to inclement weather.

The welcoming odor of fresh baked goods, as well as the sound of live music (provided weekly), could almost overwhelm customers numbed by winter’s chill. Vendors offered free samples to by-standers and invited them to peruse their booths.

Near the entrance stood Jeannie Nobis of C & J Baked Goods whose friendly demeanor and delicious looking breads drew customers in. Nobis cooks from the certified kitchen in her home and travels an hour every Saturday morning to offer Columbians a taste “made just like grandma used to make,” as noted on her business card. She has participated in the Columbia Winter Farmers Market all four years it has been in existence.

“People get used to it and want it all year round,” Nobis said. “Every year it gets bigger and bigger.”

As the market continues to grow, so does the opportunity for the residents of mid-Missouri to get their hands on fresh food while supporting the use of sustainable agriculture practices.

“It’s great for the community,” Janet Nuse of Fayette, Mo., said. “It’s a good way to provide local produce and it’s nice that people have access to it.”

Nuse and her husband have been coming to the market for years and plan to continue doing so in support of local farmers and producers.

The Columbia Winter Farmers Market is located at 601 Business Loop 70 West every Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon, from Nov. 2 through March 15 . For more information visit


Betty Thomas

About the Author Betty Thomas

Agriculture began to influence my life at a young age. My father is a sixth-generation farmer, so it only seems right to pass on the tradition. I’m from a small, rural community where a large portion of the local economy is centered around agriculture. I was born and raised on a farm outside of Oakford, Ill., and wouldn’t have had it any other way. A friend took a college visit to the University of Missouri one weekend, and I decided to tag along. I immediately fell in love with the hospitality and beauty of the campus. With such a strong agricultural school and journalism school it seemed to be the perfect fit. Looking back there is no place I would rather call home.