During the shutdowns and widespread quarantines of COVID in 2020, the world had a unique experience that showed many of us how necessary connection and community were to a fulfilling life.

Many stepped forward in the Four State area to get meals delivered, drive-by food pantries organized, and goods to those in need. Teachers and staff volunteered to bus meals to students and their families. Area Chambers of Commerce promoted local businesses and organized restaurant meals “to-go” to support the ones running those businesses. And many food joints pitched in to bring food to frontline workers as well.

A common goal our communities had during the pandemic, despite political differences, was to support local, eat local, and love thy neighbor.

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As we continue forward into a world post-pandemic, farmers markets are back at it bringing the community together to educate, nourish, and support the local economy. These markets provide communities with a direct source to obtain their meat and produce, support local farmers, artisans, and makers of goods, with the peace of mind knowing where these products come from.

So, we asked locals in Southwest, Mo. where their favorite markets to attend are.

  1. Joplin Empire Market

Located inside a historic location in Downtown Joplin, the Joplin Empire Market is one of two of the only farmers markets in the area to be open all year long. Every Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. you can find a variety of vendors offering produce, meat, bread, artisan creations, and more.

The unique ability to browse over 300 different products and place a curbside order is available online. You can place an order and check out the official Empire Market website here.

2. Webb City Farmers Market

Buy directly from the producer at Webb City Farmers Market in King Jack Park. The open-air pavilion market is open three days a week all year ‘round. Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

This market offers free meals made from locally sourced ingredients for youth ages one through 18 years-old during the summer. SNAP/WIC benefits are also accepted. Both programs are available to the public, not just Webb City residents.

Follow this link here for more information.

3. Neosho Farmers Market

Located off the Historic Neosho Square in a vacant lot is the Neosho Farmers Market. The ring of a bell means the Market is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. and Tuesdays between 4 and 7 p.m.

Their Facebook page shows a wide variety of vendors, updates on different themed markets such as Artisan Day and the Handmade Holiday Market, and highlighted goods from vendors.  

4. Carthage Farmers Market

Central Park in Carthage is not only home to Food Truck Fridays, but it’s also home to the Carthage Farmers Market.

Meet the farmers and vendors as you stock up on fresh in-season produce and homemade goods. This market is open Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 8 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Their Facebook page highlights deals, handmade goods, locally grown produce, and meats. The page also posts updates on frequent vendors. Check it out here.

5. Pittsburg Farmers Market

Vendors offer handmade crafts, homemade goods, and locally grown produce at Farmers Market Pavilion in Pittsburg. The Pittsburg Farmers Market also accepts EBT, Vision, and SNAP cards.

This market hosts a variety of different events that are updated on its Facebook page such as Kids Day and a Seed Spitting Contest with free watermelon.

The Market is open on Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

6. Galena Farmers Market

Located right off the iconic and historic Route 66 is the Galena Farmers Market. Here you will find a variety of produce, honey, handmade items, bath products, and more. The market Facebook page showcases many different vendors and updates. Check out the treasure here.

7. Quapaw Farmers Market

Also located on Historic Route 66, The Quapaw Farmers Market is open to all community members regardless of tribal status. This market is an agricultural operation to retain Native cultural identity through food sovereignty: the right to produce food.

The market is located indoors and is open June through October, twice a month. It accepts SNAP and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) benefits. The Quapaw market’s Facebook page highlights a variety of products that are available.

For a full list of market dates and more information about the agricultural operation follow this link here.

8. Bella Vista Farmers Market

The Bella Vista Farmers Market is one that operates on Sundays between April and October. The hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This outdoor market aims to foster a sense of community in a family-friendly atmosphere. The city encourages attendees to bring a basket or reusable bags for their items. You can check out their address and photos on their Facebook page here.

9. Bentonville Farmers Market

Bentonville hosts two farmers markets Downtown on the Square. One on Thursdays between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., the other on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

All meat and cheese are USDA and FDA-inspected/certified. The Benton County Health Department approves all food products to make sure it is within state guidelines. This market also accepts SNAP, WIC, and SFMNP benefits.

Mobile ordering is available through the app. You can find photos of produce, upcoming events, location information, and a link to download the app here.

10. The Original Rogers Farmers Market

This market has been serving the Rogers community and the surrounding areas for 30 years. It is located on the east end of the Frisco Station Mall parking lot. It is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A variety of produce is offered between the spring and fall growing seasons as well as different artisan/handmade products and baked goods. For more information, you can check out their website here.