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Fall Farm to Table Dinner to Be Held in Branson

By | Farm Education, Farm to Table Dinner, Market Events, Press Releases | No Comments


Saturday October 15, 2016, Branson Landing, Branson, MO. – The Sky Deck at Parakeet Pete’s Waterfront Zipline on the Branson Landing along with the Farmers Market of the Ozarks (FMO), Branson Farmers Market, The Black Horse Pub and Springfield Brewing Company will host a Farm to Table dining experience on Saturday, October 15, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the Farmers Market of the Ozarks, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that manages the Branson Farmers Market.

“Farm to table dining is a way for our markets to connect consumers to food grown and raised across the region and we believe in supporting local family farms and keeping our dollars in the community,” explains Lane McConnell, the Executive Director with Farmers Market of the Ozarks. “This is the first dinner like this held in Taney County and we will ensure it’s a top-notch event and the use of fresh, local ingredients will be highlighted.”

Guests will arrive to the SKY Deck in the most unique way by Parakeet Pete’s Waterfront Zipline, where they will soar over Lake Taneycomo and enjoy spectacular views. Upon arriving, guests will enjoy complimentary cocktails from Copper Run Distillery and a four-course dinner beginning with a selection of appetizers, as well as beer pairings by Springfield Brewing Company. The dinner will be sourced from local farmers and ranchers and will highlight the harvest season.

“I am very excited to be partnering with the Farmers Market of the Ozarks and Branson Farmers Market for this event,” said Linda Peterson, Event and Media Manager for Parakeet Pete’s Entertainment Group. “It is important to us to be involved with projects that benefit our local community. We particularly like that this event will feature locally raised meats and produce from vendors of the Branson Farmers Market and that funds from the event are used to educate and help these vendors grow their businesses.”

The evening will include VIP transportation to the SKY Deck by Parakeet Pete’s Waterfront Zipline, spectacular views of the evening sunset, a delicious four course dining experience prepared by local Chef Jonas Romines of The Black Horse Pub with products from the farmers markets, beer pairings by Springfield Brewing Company and entertainment by Nashville recording artists, Makenna and Brock.

Tickets for the event are on sale for $65 per person, limited to 100 guests, and portions of the event will benefit the Farmers Market of the Ozarks.

For more information about this event or to book tickets, call Linda Peterson at 417-827-0061, via email at Linda@ParakeetPetes.com. Booking and information also available online at parakeetpetes.com and skydeckbranson.com.

Direct link to tickets here!

About Parakeet Pete’s Entertainment Group and FMO

Specializing in fun, cutting-edge and unique attractions, Parakeet Pete’s Entertainment Group features Branson’s first waterfront zipline, a world class urban adventure at Branson Landing where folks soar over Lake Taneycomo on Parakeet Pete’s Waterfront Zipline! Also at Branson Landing (and the first of its kind in North America) Parakeet Pete’s Steampunk Balloon allows visitors to float 188 feet up in the air while enjoying 360 degree bird’s eye views of Branson, Lake Taneycomo and the Ozark Mountains. The SKY Deck is THE place in Branson for parties, reunions, weddings, meetings, and celebration get-togethers, plus featuring a host of special events like Zip & Sip Evenings on Friday and Saturdays. Located next to Parakeet Pete’s Waterfront Zipline at Branson Landing is also Fast Shot Gallery. Also affiliated with Parakeet Pete’s Entertainment Group is Branson Zipline Canopy Tours, a world class eco-adventure just 7 miles north of Branson.

Farmers Market of the Ozarks is a non-profit organization that offers consumers a full-range of locally grown farm products from a 150-mile radius of Springfield. Items include: vegetables, fruits, pasta, meat, jams, jellies, salsa, eggs, cheeses, bottled milk, 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. For more go online to LoveYourFarmer.com, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @FMOzarks.


Linda Peterson, Email: Linda@parakeetpetes.com phone: 417-827-0061, Event and Media Manager for Parakeet Pete’s Entertainment Group

Lane McConnell, FMO Executive Director, email: Lane@loveyourfarmer.com or 417-766-8711


Branson Farmers Market Holds Squash Festival on Sept. 27

By | Double Up Food Stamp Program, Farm Education, Food, Market Events, Market Recipes, Press Releases | No Comments

thumb_DSC_0831_1024 The Branson Farmers Market is busting with fall color and a bountiful harvest of fall crops like apples, winter squash, eggplant, peppers, greens and more. To celebrate the fall season the 1st Annual Squash Festival will be held at the market on Tuesday, Sept. 27, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the southend parking lot of the Branson Landing.

“Come on down and “squash around” with your farmer friends at the Branson Farmers Market for our Squash Festival and learn unique ways to prepare winter squash,” said Lane McConnell, Executive Director with the market. “Butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash are available at market and we want to show you how to prepare and cook these delicious vegetables.”

McConnell said that many consumers aren’t as versed on preparing fall squash, as they are the traditional yellow crookneck squash, seen at market during the summer months. Market management and University of Missouri Extension will provide cooking demonstrations on ways to incorporate fall squash in weekly meals as part of the festival and tasty samples of recipes will be offered.   In addition, Maple Hill Ceramics, a vendor at the market, will provide a children’s pumpkin painting area. Children can pick out a baby boo pumpkin from McKenna Family Farm, paint the pumpkin and take home their gift from market.

Even the market’s food trucks and other vendors will be highlighting fall squash in their products during the festival.

Fall is the perfect time to shop at the farmers market according to McConnell, as the crop diversity includes end of the summer crops and fall produce.

“Our producers provide a harvest perfect for your family’s table,” said McConnell. “And, SNAP participants can now double their food dollars spent at market through our new Double Up Food Stamp Program.”

The market was awarded $20,000 by Wholesome Wave to provide SNAP (food stamp) participants the opportunity to double their dollars on fruits and vegetables purchased at the market. Participants can stop in at the Market Hub, which is the green tent at market and ask how to double their dollars at market using their SNAP card.

Farmers Market of the Ozarks, FMO, is a non-profit organization that offers consumers a full-range of locally grown farm products from a 150-mile radius of Springfield. Items include: vegetables, fruits, pasta, meat, jams, jellies, salsa, eggs, cheeses, bottled milk, 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. FMO manages the Branson Farmers Market which operates on Tuesdays from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., April through October. For more go online to LoveYourFarmer.com, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @FMOzarks

Meet Edgewood Creamery

By | Farm Education, Food, Meet A Vendor | No Comments

13248410_1754203984803365_6872003385959728132_o copyBy Jessica Poisal, FMO Intern

One of the things that I love about the market is that you have the chance to meet different vendors who add a twist to their product. Edgewood Creamery is a vendor that does that. They do everything on the farm, allowing them to make all of the decisions that can affect the product.

The whole process, from milking the cows to making the products, is done on site. The creamery produces varieties of aged and fresh cheese, as well as non-homogenized milk. Non-homogenized milk does not go through the high pressure that breaks down the fat in milk, so naturally the cream will rise to the top.

The family sells their products at FMO and also at their store located on their farm in Purdy, Missouri. Along with their dairy products, the store also sells local jams and jellies. The store is open on Mondays through Fridays from 9 am to 6 pm and on Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm. Edgewood also sells their products through their website and at different grocery stores and restaurants around the Ozark area.

To celebrate National Dairy Month, Edgewood Creamery hosted a farm day on June 25th, at Edgewood Creamery in Purdy, Missouri. Guests came and took tours of the farm and listened to live music, featuring Ozark Mountain Revival. Edgewood served-up fried cheese curds and grilled cheese sandwiches made with the farm’s local products.

More information can be found on their Facebook and their website at edgewoodcreamery.com.

Meet Our Interns!

By | Farm Education, Meet A Vendor, Things to Know When Visiting FMO | No Comments

The summer interns for Farmers Market of the Ozarks are excited to get started this summer! Meet Sara and Jessica, and don’t be afraid to say hi on Wednesdays or Saturdays at the market, they would  love to get to know everyone!


Sara WikoffScreen Shot 2016-05-13 at 9.43.01 AM

Hometown: Hume, MO (very small town) population of 300

Education: Bachelor’s of Science in Health Services in December 2015 from Missouri State. I am now pursing my Master’s in Public Health at Missouri State.

Q: Why did you want to work with FMO?

A:I wanted to do something this summer that I thought would be fun, and after I heard about the internship positions offered at FMO I was hooked. I also am from a farming community and grew up on a farm so I’m really looking forward to being around that type of community.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of the market?

A:I love meeting the vendors and the customers. I also really enjoy seeing what all the vendors have to offer at the market.

Q: What is one goal you have this summer?

A:I love to travel, so I hope to travel to at least one new place this summer.

Q: What is an interesting fact about you?

A:I graduated high school with a class of 11 and I’m left handed.

Q: What is one thing that you want to tell the vendors and customers?

A:I would like to say thank you all for being so welcoming and nice!! I am excited to get to know all of you better this summer!


IMG_6759Jessica Poisal

Hometown: Harrisonville, MO

Education: A Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Business with an emphasis in marketing and sales. I am also minoring in nutrition. I just finished my first year in college.

Q: Why did you want to work with FMO?

A: I first visited FMO back in 2013 as a sophomore in high school through the Missouri Agribusiness Academy. I was involved with FFA and 4H, but there are not a lot of farmers markets in my hometown. When I found out about the internship program I was really excited, it has been a dream of mine to work at a market that I have loved for so long.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of the market?

A: I love the interaction between the vendors and the customers. My family raises beef cattle so I know the production process, but we never had the chance to meet the customers. I believe that the social interaction between consumer and farmer helps customers ask questions about how their food is produced.

Q: What is one goal you have this summer?

A: To train and prepare to run my first 5k in the fall!

Q: What is an interesting fact about you?

A: I love to try new recipes, my dream job would be to own a bakery!

Q: What is one thing that you want to tell the vendors and customers?

A: Thank you for letting me come and work with you in the summer and I can’t wait to meet all of you!


Mushrooms and More – A Recap from a Vendor Workshop

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At FMO, some of our vendors hold educational workshops, classes and farm field days throughout the year that are open to the public.  This weekend, some of the FMO crew had the opportunity to attend one of these workshops, hosted by Matt and Nora Trammell of Trammell Treasures Mushroom Farm in Humansville, Mo!

The mushroom growing workshop was held at Matt and Nora’s store/mushroom fruiting facility.  Matt and Nora explained to the workshop participants how they first became involved in growing mushrooms, and how their business grew to incorporate the store, and mushroom sales at three farmers markets: the Overland Park Farmers Market, Farmers Market of the Ozarks, and the Branson Landing Farmers Market.  Matt then gave an informative presentation on what mushrooms are, the benefits of growing and eating mushrooms (turns out mushrooms can help clean up oil spills, and are being used medicinally to try and treat dementia!), and some tips on how to grow tasty ‘shrooms at home.

An inoculated shiitake plug

An inoculated shiitake plug

Drilling the plug holes

Drilling the plug holes

After the presentation, the group headed outside for some hands on mushroom inoculating!  Matt and Nora provided each participant with their very own mushroom log – everyone drilled holes on each side of their log, 4 inches apart, that were then filled with inoculated shiitake plugs (the plugs were wooden dowels cut into small pieces and coated with shiitake spawn).  After tapping a plug into every hole, the plugs were then coated with melted soy wax to seal them in tight.

Sealing the mushroom log with soy wax

Sealing the mushroom log with soy wax

After learning how to inoculate the logs, Nora did a demonstration of how to plant mushrooms in a garden bed using grey oyster spawn, straw, sawdust, and newspaper.  Her demo was followed by a delicious five course meal that featured many local ingredients, including Matt and Nora’s mushrooms!  Each participant went home well educated and fed, with an inoculated mushroom log and a bag of grey oyster spawn to plant.

Learning some mushroom facts

Learning some mushroom facts

You can find Trammell Treasures Mushroom Farm at the Branson Landing Farmers Market on Tuesdays, and Farmers Market of the Ozarks on Saturdays.  Visit their website at www.trammelltreasures.com and find them on Facebook and Instagram!

The Importance of Soil Sampling

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By MU Extension Agronomist Jill Scheidt
Obtaining a quality soil sample is vital for receiving accurate nutrient recommendations for your field.

“In a 20 acre field, there are 40 million pounds of soil. Of those 40 million pounds, you send 1 pound to the lab for results,” said Jill Scheidt, an agronomy specialist with the University of Missouri Extension.

Soil samples need to be obtained every 3-4 years; sampling costs range anywhere from 14-20 dollars depending on where you go and which nutrients you want to test. The average soil test assesses nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, organic matter, neutralizable acidity, cation exchange capacity and pH levels. Micro nutrients are not tested for unless the producer requests it at an additional charge.

Different soil types and soil needs are in the same pasture or field. Several samples bags need to be collected if the land is uneven. For example, if a pasture was once 2 pastures, separate samples should be taken on either side of the old fence line. Hillsides and waterways should be sampled differently as well. If a pasture has been converted to a crop field, separate samples need to be taken if a pond or tree line has been removed.

Sample cores need to be at least 6-8 inches deep. Every core should be the same depth and quantity. If using a shovel instead of a soil probe, dig a hole and slice off one side. Collect 10-20 cores in a bucket, crumble and mix them well. Then remove sticks, rocks and grass and place about one pint of soil into a plastic bag or soil sample box. Always label the bag in reference to where the sample was taken.

Interpreting soil tests are the most difficult part of the process. The first section of the soil test represents the current level of nutrients. Macro nutrients are expressed in pound per acre and micro nutrients are expressed in particles per million (ppm) and rated on a scale of very low, low, medium, high, very high, to excessive.

The lower section is the recommended additions of the nutrients expressed in pounds per acre according to the desired yield goal. Limestone tonnage recommendations can be calculated by dividing the Effective Neutralizing Material (ENM) by the guarantee of the limestone dealer. ENM guarantees are usually 400-450.

Bio-Security on the Farm

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How simple safety measures can go a long way towards protecting your investments

By Klaire Howerton
If you have spent time in and around the agriculture business, chances are that you have heard the phrase ‘bio-security’ used before. Just what is bio-security?

“Bio-security is the precautionary measures taken on a livestock operation to prevent the introduction of new diseases,” said Dr. Craig Payne, Associate Professor of Veterinary Medicine for MU Extension.  “A component of biosecurity is bio-containment, which refers to the actions we take to prevent the spread of disease if it’s already present on an operation or there is an accidental introduction.”

Keeping your farm or ranch disease free should be a top priority as a livestock producer. With a little preparation and preventative measures, you can put bio-security to work for you.

“With proper bio-security a farmer reduces chances of disease or parasite infestation to their livestock.  Diseases can be brought in on contaminated footwear and clothing, perhaps even on our hands,” said Ann Horsman, of Meadowlands Farm in Niangua, Mo.

She advocates that “all ranchers and farmers should make an effort to educate visitors and also at minimum, apply a disinfectant to all footwear before allowing any access to barn yard areas.” Disease transportation can cause devastating losses on livestock, or very expensive veterinary treatment if good bio-security measures are not adhered to.  Crop loss can also be a major issue without preventive bio-security measures – ensuring that visitors have clean footwear and clothing before entering crop areas can help limit the spread of seeds and disease from aggressive non-native or exotic invasive to your fields.

There are several ways that you can implement good bio-security practices on your own farm or ranch to ensure disease prevention. “Maximize herd immunity by providing adequate nutrition, minimizing stressors, controlling parasites, and implementing a vaccine program designed by your herd veterinarian,” Dr. Craig Payne suggested. Quarantine is also a very effective bio-security measure, one that Ann Horsman uses regularly in her poultry operation. “I follow strict quarantine programs for incoming stock,” she said. “New fowl are penned separately for a month to observe their health status.  All new fowl are de-parasitized immediately before being placed in a quarantine pen.  I apply a liquid Ivermectin to the skin of each new bird.  They are then placed in a suitable pen where they cannot have physical contact with the other fowl on the property.” Ann observes the new fowl daily to make sure they exhibit no signs of illness, and are eating well and remaining hydrated.  Only after they pass a quarantine period does she release them to the designated flock and pasture area on her farm. Dr. Craig Payne recommends testing stock for high impact diseases such as Trichomoniasis or Bovine Virus Diarrhea Virus (BVDV) after the quarantine period.

General cleanliness is also vital to maintaining a solid bio-security program within your livestock operation. “Keep feeding equipment, housing facilities, and animal handling facilities as clean as possible,” Dr. Craig Payne said. Ann Horsman recommends maintaining dry bedding areas and roosting areas for livestock to help prevent the spread of disease. Making a simple disinfectant solution of household bleach and water for shoes, clothing and other supplies that have or could have come into contact with contaminated animals can also aid in disease prevention.

“No disease program will be effective without biosecurity,” said Dr. Craig Payne. Making sure you have good bio-security practices in place can save you a lot of time, trouble and money down the road.