Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rolla has two Saturday farmers markets

We've been looking forward to the new Saturday downtown farmers market ever since the Downtown Business Association announced it back in March: Homegrown and Homemade.
If you click on that link, you'll see it was supposed to start on May 7 and run every Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. We went on May 7, opening day, which was my wife's birthday.

We knew there would be no produce, for it is too early in the season, but we figured there would be some plants and some crafts. Certainly there would be food and music, as advertised.

On that first day, though, there were simply empty parking lots.

Now, to be fair, there was some rain early that morning, so that must have kept folks away.

Instead, we went to the Big Lots Farmers Market, which has been our favorite ever since it sprang up a few years back with no sponsorship. It's a true grassroots market. The owner of the Big Lots property allows the farmers, gardeners and craftsmen to set up their tables and tents at no charge.

People show up and set up shop and stay as long as customers come by. By noon, some of them start tearing down their displays and packing up.

Well, we went back today to the downtown farmers market to see how it had progressed throughout the month of May. We went at 11 to give time for a crowd to develop and the bluegrass band to get into full swing. Here's a video of today's visit, shot at 11:

After enjoying our time at the downtown farmers market, we went out to the Big Lots Farmers Market. There were more than half a dozen tents, as well as people selling out of their pickups.

The grassroots group out at Big Lots is doing pretty well, even though they don't have the sponsorship of a group like the Rolla Downtown Business Association, or the support of the city government.

You've got to admire that spirited group out there on the highway.

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