The Sedalia Area Farmers' Market will soon open for the 10th season.

Locally grown vegetables, fruits, eggs, meats, homemade baked goods, handmade soaps, and other products will be available.

The SAFM opens on May 4, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. on the State Fairgrounds just across from Kehde’s BBQ.

The market will kick-off its 10th Anniversary opening day by hosting a customer appreciation event. The first 350 customers will be treated to free hamburgers featuring locally raised beef from Morgan Farms, homemade buns from Cloud Nine, fresh greens and even mustard from other market vendors. Kempf’s Custom Butchering will be staffing the grill, while long-time sponsor MFA Agri-Services will donate supplies and lend a helping hand. Music and face painting round out the festivities.

“We are thrilled to be celebrating a whole decade of locally grown success,” said Anna Conroy, president of the SAFM board. “We are looking forward to another wonderful year. There was great turnout at our annual vendor interest meeting so we are hoping to expand the market for our customers’ benefit again this year.”

A press release from the Sedalia Area Farmers’ Market says it is the sole producer-only market in Pettis County, meaning that all vendors must grow or make what they sell at the market.

Market board members verify producer integrity by visiting their farms and homes, learning the story of their products, and sharing those stories through photos and words. All vendors reside in Pettis and its contiguous counties, with limited exceptions, according to SAFM.

“Farm and kitchen visits are one of the most unique things about our market,” Conroy said. “Our customers can feel good about purchasing food and other goods made in our communities, which support our local economy.”

The SAFM says that customers using SNAP/EBT benefits may again receive up to $25.00 in free matching funds for vegetables, fruits, and plants that grow food through the Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) program. DUFB is a grant-funded Healthy Food Incentive that helps low-income Americans bring home more healthy food while supporting family farmers and growing local economies.

On opening day, customers can also expect to see cool weather crops like lettuce, kale, arugula, French sorrel, Swiss chard, spinach, herbs, green onions, carrots, leeks, broccoli, asparagus, radishes, tomatoes, handmade soaps, baked goods, free-range eggs, pork, beef and goat, as well as crafts and wood carvings.

All patrons will have a chance to put their name in a drawing each time they visit the market for a chance to win the monthly Bag of Bounty, which includes $20.00 in market tokens and a reusable farmers’ market bag. The Bag of Bounty drawing takes place the first Friday of each month.

Military and first responders with photo ID will be honored every market day with a $1.00 coupon from the green Market tent. The coupon is valid at any one vendor. Various community groups will also be honored throughout the season in the same way. Healthcare workers will be honored in May, children in June, clergy and staff in July, older adults in August and October; and educators in September.

Customers may become a “Friend of the Market” to help defray vendor stall fees. For a $10.00 investment, the market friend will receive a reusable market bag and have their name listed on the Market’s website. The market will be open Tuesdays and Fridays through October 2018.

The SAFM accepts cash, debit/credit and SNAP/EBT.

sedaliaareafarmersmarket.com