Tuesday, June 7, 2016 – Springfield, MO. –The season for summer fruit has arrived across the Ozarks and peaches and blueberries can be found at Farmers Market of the Ozarks (FMO) in Springfield and our new franchise market, the Branson Farmers Market. FMO is open on Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. from May through September and year-round on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at Farmers Park in Springfield, and the Branson Farmers Market is open on Tuesdays from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the south end parking lot of the Branson Landing. The market vendors sell fruits and vegetables, locally raised meats and eggs, goat cheese, pizza crusts, honey, breads and desserts, salsa, artisan products and even food trucks offer locally-inspired flavor.
Roberson Orchards of Omaha, Ark., has grown peaches for 38 years and offers nine different varieties. “This year’s crop looks very good and we starting picking one week ago,” said Scott Lambeth, with Roberson Orchards. “As long as there is no significant damaging weather we should pick peaches into late August.”
Roberson Orchards is located 10 minutes south of Branson, Mo., right over the Missouri/Arkansas state line, therefore the season starts a bit earlier to the south.
The peach season varies each year, but harvest typically takes place from June through August. Cling peaches are those whose flesh clings to the pit, generally ripen in June. Semi-freestones, are not quite as clingy, usually ripen in late June. And Freestones, whose flesh readily separates from the pit, generally ripen in late June and July.
The market encourages customers to ask farmers questions about their peach and blueberry harvest and variety. Both FMO and the Branson Farmers Market inspects all vendor businesses and farms that sell at the market, according to FMO Executive Director Lane McConnell. “The market provides vendors from a 150-mile radius of each market location the opportunity to bring the best from the country to the city. Our market inspects farms and businesses that sell at our market to ensure farmers are growing, raising and making the products using proper food safety measures,” McConnell said.
Additionally, consumers have the ability to “Put a Face to Their Food” each week with a visit to the market, and have easy access to purchase local foods at FMO, through the market’s wireless system, which accepts SNAP (food stamps), debit and credit cards. To use these forms of payment, please go to the Market Info Hub and the market management will swipe your card and provide tokens to spend with market vendors, just like cash.
There are both vendor and community booths available at both market locations and an application for membership to the market can be found online at LoveYourFarmer.com.
FMO and the Branson Farmers Market is structured through the Farmers Market of the Ozarks (FMO), which is a non-profit organization that offers consumers a full-range of locally grown farm products from a 150-mile radius. Items include: vegetables, fruits, pasta, meat, jams, jellies, salsa, eggs, cheeses, yogurt, baked goods, honey, artisan crafts and an assortment of concessions. Farmers Market of the Ozarks operates a vibrant farmers market that contributes to the success of local food growers and producers, strengthens the local food economy and serves as a community gathering place for the Ozarks region. The market accepts SNAP, credit and debit card transactions. For more go online to LoveYourFarmer.com, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @FMOzarks.