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Featured Vendor: Swan Creek Crafts

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This week we are excited to feature one of our artisans, Swan Creek Crafts, as Vendor of the Week. Swan Creek was voted 2016 Artisan of the Year for both our Springfield and Branson markets and will be selling their products at our upcoming Pop-up Holiday market on December 22nd.

Wood carving began as a hobby for artisan and owner Mike Weber that stemmed from a longstanding love and appreciation for trees and wood. In the 1980’s Mike began to play around with wood carving and made his first spoons – he described the spoons as something a “caveman might have turned his nose up at”. Years later after retiring from the Marine Corps,  Mike & his wife Susan settled down out in the hills east of Branson. Looking for a creative outlet to enhance their “retirement” experience, they set up a workshop with proper tools and began learning how to make beautiful, functional wooden utensils. Susan augmented their products by sewing chopstick pouches, quilted hot pads and crocheted dish cloths among other textiles.

Their shop is home to over 70 species of wood that are both domestic and exotic. All the domestic woods are sourced locally while the exotics are purchased from professional sources that follow strict guidelines to ensure the  protection of endangered species. If you purchase one of their products, look closely and you will notice the wood type burned into each wood piece as a special touch for each customer.


When it comes to the process itself, Mike says that “every spoon is an individual creation that goes through an 18 step process to final completion. My objective is to present beautiful products that showcase amazing woods from around the world and provide useful function for decades. I also believe strongly in continual improvement and strive to evolve my art to a higher level over time.”

This was Swan Creek Craft’s first FMO season and they were able to sell over 1,000 spoons, 270 sets of chopsticks and 600 stirring sticks. Mike’s creations are available at market every Saturday year-round from 8am to 1pm. They also sell via email (swancreekcrafts@gmail.com) and showcase weekly production via Swan Creek Crafts on Facebook.



2016 Vendor of the Year Awards

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We celebrated our 2016 season on Nov. 15 at our Annual Fall Membership Dinner & Meeting.  At the dinner we presented our Corporate Sponsor, American National Insurance, with a Foodie Appreciation Award for the company’s commitment to agriculture and local foods.  Plus, we celebrated our vendors at both our markets in Springfield and Branson with our Vendor of the Year Awards.  Check out the big winners!

Vendor of the Year: Parker Farms

Most Improved Market Business: Parker Farms

FMO Awards

Best New Vendor: Edgewood Creamery

Best All-Around Must Eat at FMO: Cubano from Cecil’s To Go

Best Artisan: Swan Creek Crafts

Best Baker or Value-Added Vendor: Grove Salsa

Best Rancher: Grandview Bison

Best Concessionaire: Firelight Pizza

Best Specialty Crop Vendor: Parker Farms


Branson Awards

Best New Vendor: McDowell Land & Cattle

Best All-Around Must Eat at Branson: Shrimp Tacos from Sarah’s Food Truck

Best Artisan: Swan Creek Crafts

Best Baker or Value-Added Vendor: Rhonda’s Fried Pies

Best Rancher: Brittian Farms

Best Concessionaire: Spork Express

Best Specialty Crop Vendor: McKenna Family Farm

Meet Edgewood Creamery

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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!

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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!


The Grove Salsa Company – Sharing the Salsa Love

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At FMO, we love our farmers, bakers, artisans – and our salsa!  Have you met our friends from The Grove Salsa Company?

The Grove Salsa Company is a family business, owned by Sean and Shaunda Killingsworth and their three children, Kaedance, Kye and Kaymbria.  Their love of creating and sharing fresh, homemade salsa goes back seven years and since 2015, they have been crafting and selling their salsa to the public.  Sean and Shaunda kickstarted The Grove Salsa Company at FMO, and since then they have expanded to selling their product in 18 different stores, including Price Cutter and Mama Jean’s Market.

Photo credit: The Grove Salsa Company

Photo credit: The Grove Salsa Company

The Grove Salsa Company produces seven different varieties of salsa, ranging from hot to mild.  Their best selling recipe is their Cilantro Lime salsa – but make sure you try the Salsa Verde, the Mango Habanero and their other varieties too!  Sean and Shaunda use local produce from Fassnight Creek

Shaunda Killingsworth (left) and Sean Killingsworth (right) Photo credit: The Grove Salsa Company

Shaunda Killingsworth (left) and Sean Killingsworth (right) Photo credit: The Grove Salsa Company

Farms here in Springfield to make their salsa.

Be sure to like them on Facebook, and stop by their booth at FMO to try some samples, and pick up a jar (or two, or three!) of The Grove Salsa the next time you shop!

Meet Your Management Team

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At FMO, we have a lot of friendly faces around the marketplace.  You’ve met the wonderful vendors and our dedicated Market Hub staff, and we want you to get to know our management team too!


FMO Executive Director, Lane McConnell

Lane McConnell, FMO Executive Director

Lane McConnell has had a passion for telling the story of agriculture from a young age.  She was raised on her family’s cattle farm deep in the heart of southwest Missouri and grew up showing registered Charolais and Angus cattle and was an avid FFA member- serving as the Missouri State FFA Association’s Vice President in 2000-2001.  Lane wanted a career in agriculture and attended the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she majored in Agricultural Education, Leadership and Communications and minored in Agricultural Economics.  

Lane has worked as a freelance writer and Editor for Ozark Farm & Neighbor, as the Promotions and Marketing Coordinator for the Brownfield Farm Radio Network and as a Marketing Specialist and Local Foods Program Manager for the Missouri Department of Agriculture in the areas of local foods, farmers’ markets, organics and agritourism.  In her previous role at the Missouri Department of Agriculture Lane was responsible for implementing statewide producer workshops, assisting communities in organizing farmers’ markets, developing local food marketing and promotional activities, grant writing and supporting small farmers with  marketing and business planning.  

In 2009, Lane started Agri-Comm Services where she works as an Agricultural Marketing Consultant, focusing on sustainable farming and local food projects.  Lane has more than 10 years of social media marketing experience, has presented more than 125 presentations regarding Local Foods and specializes in business and marketing planning for producers and agricultural businesses. In addition, she is a freelance journalist that focuses on sustainable agricultural and rural living.  Lane created and organized FMO in 2011 and was a founding FMO Board Member.  She was the market manager of the market from 2012-2014 and now serves as the Executive Director for FMO focusing on fundraising, marketing and promotions and FMO branded programs. 

Lane, her husband Charlie, son, Caston and daughter, Cora, reside in Branson, Mo. Lane is the author of the cooking blog, 417localista.com where she includes a variety of locally-inspired recipes from FMO vendors.  

FMO Market Manager, Klaire Howerton

FMO Market Manager, Klaire Howerton

Klaire Howerton, FMO Market Manager

Klaire Howerton spent most of her childhood on her family farm in southwest Missouri, riding her horses in the surrounding countryside, playing in the creek with her younger siblings, and learning how to grow her own food in her parents’ garden.  At 14, Klaire began training horses for clients and her horsemanship career led her to Texas and Montana to train working ranch horses, and resulted in her CHA Riding Instructor Certification.

Klaire also has a passion for writing, and freelances for Ozarks Farm and Neighbor, FARM SHOW, Thousand Hills Hotel and Golf Resort blog, and other publications.  When she is not managing and promoting market or writing an article, Klaire’s other side job is taking care of indoor plants at offices and hotels through local company Urban Jungle.

Klaire attended College of the Ozarks, where she met her husband, Caleb.  The two spent their first year of marriage managing a bison ranch, and they currently reside on their urban mini farm in Springfield, Mo, where they raise meat rabbits, chickens, quail and a garden.  Klaire still rides her two horses from childhood and enjoys cooking with farm fresh ingredients, reading, working out, exploring the Ozarks Greenways trails with her husband and training her Pyrenees, Venus, to perform tricks and to (sometimes!) walk on a loose leash.

Dear Caramel – Made With Local Love

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At FMO, we pride ourselves on being a market created by integrity and trust.  This is why FMO conducts annual inspections with our vendors to ensure food safety and integrity behind our product brand.  Our inspections take us over the river and through the woods, and into the barnyards, kitchens and workshops of some great local people – like Yvette Wynne of Dear Caramel in Springfield, MO!

About Dear Caramel: The smooth, creamy, delicious caramel treats from Dear Caramel are created by Springfield local Yvette Wynne and her family.  Yvette has always had a unique and artistic style, and she transfers this to her rich caramel goodies.  FMO had the privilege of visiting Yvette at her home kitchen and learning the finer points of cooking this confection.

Caramel is made with very basic ingredients – sugar, butter, cream and salt – by melting and blending them together on the stovetop in a heavy duty saucepan.  Yvette patiently and loving cooks small batches of caramel that she then bottles in fun, decorative jars, and adds her signature Dear Caramel labels and tags.  Not all of the caramel goes in jars though – some of it is destined to become individual caramel chews, or to coat pecans to make praline bites!

You can find Yvette and her Dear Caramel products located in the food truck alley at FMO on Saturdays – look for her beautiful black and brown caramel cart!  If you just can’t decide which caramel treat to take home with you, Yvette offers samples so you can find which type of caramel speaks to you the most.  Caramel cart

Products: Caramel sauce (sea salt and original), caramel chews, praline bites

Jenna Cakes – Keeping It Simple and Delicious

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Jenna CakesAt FMO, we pride ourselves on being a market created by integrity and trust. This is why FMO conducts annual inspections with our vendors to ensure food safety and integrity behind our product brand. Our inspections take us over the river and through the woods, and into the barnyards, kitchens and workshops of some great local people – like Jennifer Walker of Jenna Cakes in Springfield, MO!

About Jenna Cakes: Jennifer Walker and her family are cake aficionados – walking into Jennifer’s sparkling clean home kitchen, the smell of sweet and tasty cakes can really make a person’s mouth water. One of the best parts about purchasing local baked goods from Jenna Cakes is that you don’t have to commit to a whole cake – you can buy it by the slice! Of course, if you happen to fall in love with a particular flavor, you do have the option to order the entire cake.

Jennifer’s philosophy regarding cake is to keep it simple – she offers a handful of proven flavors to FMO customers, with a seasonal flavor or two every now and again to keep it interesting. She uses quality ingredients combined with time honored recipes and baking techniques that create moist, layered cakes with rich frostings; she uses minimal decorating on the finished cakes, letting the flavors speak for themselves – it truly is a beautiful creation!

You can find Jenna Cakes under the pavilion on Thursdays and Saturdays – look for Jennifer’s nostalgic cake counter display! She also offers samples of her scrumptious cakes to help you decide which slice you just can’t live without.

Products: Old fashioned cakes by the slice, with flavors including strawberry, coconut, choc-nilla and birthday cake

Meet Ozarks Natural Foods

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OFN pic

Ozarks Natural Foods is a longtime member of FMO – it all started with Alan and Meera Scarrow, both founding members of the market. Alan and Meera both work in the medical field – Alan as the President of Mercy Hospital and a neurosurgeon, and Meera as an OBGYN – and they share a passion for healthy lifestyles. The Scarrows loved the idea of a farmers market that invested in both the customers and the farmers, and have been involved with FMO’s mission since the market first began. They connected with mutual friends Weston and Beth Walker over a shared passion for human health, and animal health and welfare. This cohesive partnership became Ozarks Natural Foods, a business with a mission to provide consumers with nutritious and healthy local meat.

The Scarrows and the Walkers raise their meat for Ozarks Natural Food on two different farms – Alan, Meera and their three children reside on their farm in Rogersville, where they raise grass-fed Angus cattle. Weston and Beth, along with their three boys, live on their farm in Dadeville and raise Angus cattle, Berkshire hogs, and hair sheep. Ozarks Natural Foods markets their sustainably and humanely raised meats through FMO, restaurants such Metropolitan Farmer, and wholesale at Mama Jean’s and Horrmann Meat Company.

The goal of Ozarks Natural Foods is not only to provide customers with responsible, healthy local meat choices, but also to help other farmers raise and market sustainable products, and give back to their community. Alan and Meera Scarrow are helping to meet this goal by partnering with the Ozarks Food Harvest and the Glean Team. Meera is an active member of the Ozarks Food Harvest Board and helped start the Glean Team, where Food Harvest volunteers glean produce from local farmers to help the hungry. The Scarrows also donated an extensive gardening set up to Ozarks Food Harvest as a headquarters for the Glean Team on their Rogersville farm, complete with a green house, raised gardening beds and irrigation systems, where volunteers can grow substantial amounts of local, nutrient dense produce to distribute within the community and fight hunger. “Our goal is to provide quality AND quantity,” said Meera. Learn more here.

Products: Beef, pork and lamb products

Best Sellers: Ground meat, Apple Bratwursts and bacon