Friday, March 26, 2010

Vendor Information Meeting

Who: All past and potential vendors are welcome to attend.

What: This meeting is for anyone considering selling at the De Soto Farmers' Market. Information will be provided about the market rules and regulations, sales & use tax, the new EBT machine, and increasing sales at the market.

When: April 13, 2010 at 6:30 PM

Where: St. Andrew's UMC

Other: Registration is not required. However, if you would like more information or are unable to attend that evening, please contact our Vendor Coordinator, Christie Jonas, at

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Information, Delivered as Promised

Not too long ago, we let you know about submitting recipes for the De Soto Farmers' Market Cookbook. Now, we have all the information for you. We are looking for recipes that are healthy, and we'd really like it if they included the use of local products. For more information about sumitting recipes, please check out the PDF below. If you would like to share the PDF with others, we won't try to stop you!

Cookbook Recipes Request

Thursday, March 18, 2010

HB 1864--Exemption for Farmers' Markets

The Missouri House Bill (HB) 1864 authorizes a state and local sales tax and use exemption for specified farm products sold at a farmers' market. That's good news if you are a produce vendor at the De Soto Farmers' Market.

The bill is currently working its way through the Agri-Business House Committee, and a hearing was held on March 2nd in Jefferson City. Wendy Miller and her son Rich went to Jeff. City to testify, and we are very proud of their efforts. Her and her family are regular vendors at the market, and we would like to share her testimony with you.

Good morning.

As a Farmers Market vendor, and customer, I would like to thank you all for supporting Farmers Markets here in Missouri. Without them, it would be hard to find local food that is fresh, and grown without the chemical mentality that is needed to grow the large quantities of food produced here in America.

Sir Albert Howard, stated in his 1940 classic, An Agricultural Testament: “Artificial manures lead inevitably to artificial nutrition, artificial food, artificial animals, and finally to artificial men and women.” Here in 2010, we live in a country that has
chosen to follow this path, and as a result, we are consuming animal products and produce, that without the chemical additives used in processing, no longer have the nutritional qualities necessary to help us maintain our health.

Because of your legislation, as more Farmers Markets open across the state, consumers will have the opportunity to choose whether they want food that has been sprayed with chemicals to increase production, treated with chemicals to increase shelf life, inoculated with chemicals so that large numbers can be raised in confinement settings, or whether they want food that has been grown locally by people they can see face-to-face; people from their community, farmers and friends who bring fresh food to the Farmers Markets, food that often has a story behind
its production, food that is usually raised with a minimum amount of chemicals and
food that is produced by people who welcome their customers to visit the place where their produce and animals are raised. Your support of these markets has
given consumers a choice. As a consumer, I want to thank you for this.

As a market vendor, I have come today as a representative for the many vendors, asking for your support in another area, that of making market vendors exempt from state and local sales and use taxes on the products that they sell at the Farmers Market. These taxes presently act as a road block for many would-be producers considering getting involved with the Farmers Market movement. They also present problems for both the present producers and consumers.

Producers must carry large amounts of coins to make change; keep records of sales on items that vary in tax status, while selling in an open air setting; and try to maintain accurate records while selling items that don’t always fit into specific parameters for a sales description, all of which contribute to the challenges that face sellers.

Customers also often complain when they are asked to pay different amounts of tax on separate items. (In our area, every non-food item is taxed at 7.85% and every food item is taxed at 4.85%). These customers would much rather pay $1.50 for a pound of tomatoes than $1.31. If I am selling my tomatoes for $1.25 a pound and with tax, at $1.31, as a seller then, do I charge the $1.50, but record my tax on the $1.25 sale with the 6 cents tax, and throw out the other 19 cents, or do I charge my customer the $1.31 and frustrate him as he looks for the three dimes and a penny, or myself, as I try to come up with the uneven amount of change needed?

I know this probably sounds petty, but when one is outdoors dealing with whatever
elements the weather presents, selling out of a car or truck, and trying to move customers through the stand, small things like figuring percents of purchases and making change can become large.

These same things can overwhelm those other individuals who might consider
getting involved once-in-a-while, in order to sell extra produce from their garden, but are scared off by the thought of getting a tax number and keeping records. Small things can keep folks from getting involved and from allowing great things to happen.

America is getting a wake up call as people are becoming aware of what has happened to the food industry. Citizens need to know that they can make wise food choices. Farmers Markets are one of the venues available to help educate consumers. People can establish relationships within their communities, and begin to get involved with understanding where their food is coming from, and just exactly what is in it, or on it. I would like to encourage you to do everything you can to keep the market movement gaining in popularity with both producers and consumers. It is going to take both to make these markets a success in changing the way people look at food, and it is going to take both to give people the freedom of choice they deserve. America’s health depends on it!

We think Wendy did a great job of testifying and are very proud. She described everything that is good about our market, including the atmosphere that it creates.

The bill is sponsored by Marilyn Ruestman, a Representative from the southwest part of Missouri. There are also 13 co-sponsors for the bill, one of which is our very own Belinda Harris. If you would like to find out more about HB 1864, please check out

Friday, March 12, 2010

Master Gardener Training

Classes Now Forming!

This will be 12 Wednesday Evening Classes Starting April 14th and Completing June 30th
Class hours are 6:30 – 9:30pm
Classes will be Held at Kress Farm’s Training Facility
5137 Glade Chapel Road in Hillsboro

Classes will include:
  • Flowering Plants - Annual and Perennials
  • Lawn Care
  • Weed Control
  • Rain Gardens
  • Worm Farming
  • Plant Growth & Anatomy
  • Care of Trees and Shrubs
  • Plant Disease
  • Landscaping
  • Vegetable Gardening
  • Soil Anatomy
  • Tree Identification
  • Insects & Pesticides
  • Bee Keeping

This is a Level I class, so prior knowledge is not required.

For more information, call Univ. Missouri Extension at 636.797.5391.

Jefferson County Social Event of the Year

If you are looking for something to do on Saturday, March 20th, I hope you will consider attending the 86th Annual Jefferson County Soils & Crops Conference held at Hillsboro High School. There will be all sorts of exhibits, and the event draws several hundred people. It is a great family affair with lots of 4-H kids on-hand to facilitate a silent auction.

Of course, this is also the time when the Soil and Water Conservation District holds its annual meeting, but there's much more that goes on. With your $7 registration fee, you get to see the presentation of the Jeferson County Farm Family of the Year, view pictures from this year's three Century Farms, and have a fabulous dinner that includes dessert and great conversation. You simply can't go wrong!

They do like to have a headcount for dinner, so you need to call the Jefferson County Extension office at (636)797-5391 if you'd like to attend. For more information, see the invitation in the Jefferson County AGNews letter:

The De Soto Farmers' Market will have a booth in the exhibit hall, so make sure you come find us. We'll have Vendor Applications and 2010 Rules and Regulations for potential vendors, and we'll also have a giveaway. You'll want to put your name in the bucket for that one!

Registration is due by March 18th, and the doors open at 5 PM with the program beginning at 6 PM. We hope to see you there.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sponsorship Opportunities

If you would like to become a sponsor of the De Soto Farmers' Market, there are several levels from which to choose. For more information about each level, please see the benefits and options that are available to you or your business by clicking the image below. If you would like more information about donating, please contact us at or by calling Debby at (636)586-4570.

De Soto Farmers' Market Cookbook

It's time to dust off your mother's recipe box and dig through your old home economics book that you kept but can't remember just why.

The De Soto Farmers' Market is planning to put together a cookbook this year, and we want you to submit recipes of all sorts for consideration. We will most likely begin accepting recipes in April and May; maybe even later this month. The details about submission haven't been ironed out yet, but we will let you know as soon as details are available. Most likely, we will be looking for healthy recipes that include some of the produce that can be purchased at the market and other fruits and vegetables. (I've got a great recipe for mashed sweet potatoes that is fabulous.)

Of course, until the final submission details are worked out, we'll just pretend we're in NASCAR with a yellow flag. We'll do laps around our kitchens gathering up good recipes until the pace car leaves the track and the green flag emerges. And for the non-NASCAR fans, please forgive the ridiculous analogy.

Gather your recipes.

(Note: Swerving through your kitchen to "keep your tires warm" may not be acceptable in some households.)