Farm­ers Mar­ket set for third an­nual Farm to Ta­ble event

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Michael Burch­fiel Staff Writer mburch­fiel@nwadg.com

Siloam Springs’ Farm­ers Mar­ket is gear­ing up for a night of fresh food and fun with the an­nual Farm to Ta­ble event this Sun­day. This will be the third an­nual farm to ta­ble event. Last year, the event was hosted by one of the Farm­ers Mar­ket mem­bers, R Fam­ily Farm, in Cane­hill.

This year’s it­er­a­tion of the Farm to Ta­ble din­ner will be held at Twin Springs park in Siloam Springs on Sun­day from 6 p.m.

to 9 p.m. Twin Springs park is lo­cated at the cor­ner of Broad­way Street and East Main Street in down­town Siloam Springs.

Tick­ets for the event are avail­able for $50, and ticket sales will close on Fri­day night.

Par­tic­i­pants will eat a din­ner made from lo­cally sourced food from Farm­ers Mar­ket sup­pli­ers, pre­pared by Ed­i­bles by Zoe. Din­ner en­ter­tain­ment will come from Fayetteville Old Time Mu­sic and Dance, and Creek­side Tap­room will op­er­ate a cash bar.

“The pur­pose of the Farm to Ta­ble event was to share the hard work that our farm­ers do,” said Stacy Hester, who over­sees the Farm­ers Mar­ket for Main Street Siloam Springs. “We wanted peo­ple to taste what a meal is like that comes from a farm to the ta­ble.”

“This year we’re hold­ing the event in Twin Springs park as a way to bring it back to the com­mu­nity,” said Hester. “Last year, the farm thing was great, but we heard from a lot of peo­ple that they wanted it to be more lo­cal.”

Last year’s funds raised from ticket sales went to­ward mini-grants for farmer’s cap­i­tal costs. The event raised $1,500 for lo­cal farm­ers last year, and Hester said there would be a sim­i­lar rein­vest­ment in the mar­ket this year.

Fresh­ness, nu­tri­tion and a con­nec­tion be­tween farm­ers and the con­sumers are a few of the ben­e­fits to the event, Hester said. Food from a farm­ers mar­ket is fresher and has lost fewer nu­tri­ents be­cause it has less dis­tance to travel be­tween harvest and the din­ner ta­ble, Hester said.

Giv­ing pa­trons of the Farm­ers Mar­ket a chance to in­ter­act with the mar­ket’s grow­ers and ven­dors also has an­other ben­e­fit. Cus­tomers who get to talk to the farm­ers at the mar­ket get a chance to learn what they grow, why and how they grow it, and they can ask if they could grow some­thing new if there’s some­thing they are look­ing for that is not at the mar­ket. Hester has seen dif­fer­ent herbs and sea­son­ings reach the mar­ket be­cause of this re­la­tion­ship.

“The com­mu­nity’s needs are met by this re­la­tion­ship with the farmer,” Hester said.

Hester said there are be­tween eight and 15 farm­ers at each mar­ket event, though they cy­cle out as the sea­son pro­gresses and dif­fer­ent pro­duce reaches peak sea­son.

The Farm­ers Mar­ket’s last week for the sea­son will be the Home­grown Fes­ti­val on Oct. 7. There will be a Kids’ Day at the mar­ket this Satur­day, which will also fea­ture Siloam Springs RC Mod­el­ers.

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