I can't believe summer is over and winter will be here before we know it. I probably will not be inspecting any new farms or current vendor farms until next year. We have had a very busy year and I have inspected 87 farms since April.
This week I visited Rocking Z Ranch in Mountain Grove, Missouri. Rolly & Megan Sauls currently sell at the Springfield Market but would like to add another market and have chosen the City Market. Rocking Z Ranch is a sustainable family farm raising Angus Beef which are free from growth enhancers and antibiotics. Each animal is born on their ranch and are free to graze and roam as nature intended. Dale and Megen showed me around their ranch driving me out in the pasture to get an up close look at their operation. Currently the Sauls have about 200 head of cattle. For more information about their wonderful ranch and upcoming activities visit their web site at www.rockingzbeef.com If all goes well they should be at the market fairly soon.
My next stop was Carthage, Missouri and a visit with Craig and Kendra Hansen. The Hansen's grow Elephant Garlic. I always like to meet a new vendor who specialises in one thing. It was very interesting to hear how garlic is planted, harvested, dried and packaged. I have never seen or eaten Elephant Garlic and can't wait for Craig and Kendra to start coming to the market. The garlic is in the ground now and covered with straw, they will start harvesting in the spring and should be ready to sell at the market starting in July. Craig has quit the operation and it is very apparent that he takes great pride in what he is doing. I think they will be a great addition to the City Market.
Just a reminder the City Market is open year round. We are very lucky to have an enclosed heated farmer pavilion for our vendors to use during the winter months. Our winter farmer market hours are Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.