Thursday, July 25, 2013

To market, to market ... jiggety-jig

Scott Jones at Farmers Market  of the Ozarks
A while back, I raved about the virtues of farmers markets. For the past several years, I've enjoyed fresh fruits and vegetables, jellies and pickles, eggs and baked items from the wonderful Greater Polk County Farmers Market in my hometown of Bolivar, MO (open 8 a.m.-noon on Saturdays and 3:30-6:30 p.m  Tuesdays).

Now that Doug and I are living in Springfield, I often visit the Farmers Market of the Ozarks as well. FMO, which is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., has recently moved into their spacious new pavilion (at 4139 S. Nature Center Way). It's a wonderful, colorful, bustling place with more than 100 vendors, who, in addition to the standard fare, offer everything from meats and cheese to whiskey and craft beer to pottery and jewelry. In addition, food trucks parked along the edges of the pavilion sell coffee and smoothies and crepes and omelets--a cornucopia of delightful breakfast fare.

This past Saturday I discovered an extra-special treat for those of us with gluten issues: Scotty's Biscotti--an entire booth dedicated to gluten-free baked goods! By the time I arrived at the market--around 9 a.m.--owner Scott Jones had already sold out of his gluten-free hamburger buns, but I still stocked up on his delicious biscuits and biscotti. He also had some good-looking muffins, which I (temporarily) managed to resist.

The friendly Scotty and his charming wife are happy to share their story with the grateful "gluten-avoiders" who stop by their booth. They take special orders for birthday cakes and other baked goods and lend a sympathetic ear to those who want to whine about celiac disease, which Scotty understands first-hand. You can check out Scotty's Biscotti on FaceBook.

Now I have one more reason to drag myself out of bed on Saturday mornings. This week I'll set my alarm a bit earlier and race to Scotty's Biscotti to grab a few of those hamburger buns!

Other Springfield farmers markets to explore include Greater Springfield Farmers' Market (in the Battlefield Mall parking lot; open at 8 a.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) and the C-Street Market (at 321 E. Commercial; 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays).