Final farmers market caps off year of growth
A cool Sunday marked the end of second season for the Bella Vista Farmers Market.
“I’m very proud of what we’ve done this year,” market manager Samantha Mosher said, “we’ve grown.”
The main focus, she said, has been getting the word out with signs and by social media, among other methods.
The market has also gotten more vendors, she said, bringing a wider array of goods to the table. There has been live music every week, she said, with local performers playing in numerous styles for vendors and attendees alike.
One of those performers, Bella Vista resident Samantha Hunt, sang and played her guitar during the market.
“I love playing the farmers markets, being part of the community,” she said. “It warms my heart to be a part of this.”
She’s been playing in the area since 2009, she said, and also plays in a band called Honey Shuffle.
The market is especially fun, she said, because she gets to watch people while she plays. She sees vendors barter and trade their goods and it’s not uncommon for produce to turn up in her tip basket.
While Hunt played, Keith and Julie Stephens kept an eye on their son, 2-year-old Matthew Stephens, who was wandering around in a monkey costume.
They wanted to take him
trick-or-treating, Keith Stephens explained, but they also wanted to check out the farmers market, and this let them do both at once.
This is the family’s second time at a farmers market, he said, but he expects to come back as soon as the markets open again next year.
“We love it,” he said. “We’re encountering fruits and vegetables I’ve never seen before.”
He’s recently tried Jerusalem artichokes, he said, as well as Thai peppers — which proved particularly warm. Stephens said he loves to cook and it’s always fun to experiment with new foods.
It’s also important, he said, to expose his son to new and different foods. With any luck, he said, that could help him be less picky down the road.
“All the vegetables and stuff look good,” he said. “We’re going to pick some out here in a minute.”
Further down, Rogers resident Linda Woods sells homemade clothing alongside paintings by her late husband, Travis Joe Woods Jr.
“This is my fun job,” she said. “I waited ’til I turned 65 to get a fun job and this is it.”
She loves making clothing, she said, and the market provides a pleasant place to sell her wares.
She sells her husband’s paintings, she said, in part to help remember him. After he passed away, she said, she was the only one who saw his art.
“I thought I’d give it a shot and see what other people think,” she said. “And other people love it.”
The majority of the sales, she said, go to charity, particularly equestrian charities. He was a big fan of horses, she explained.
Woods said this is her first year at the Bella Vista market and she’s enjoyed it.
“I hope other people will come here, cause they’re missing out if they don’t,” she said.
Koua Xiong’s sunflowers were up for sale on the end of his table at the Bella Vista Farmers Market.
Matthew Stephens, 2, went trick-or-treating at the farmers market’s final weekend while his parents, Julie and Keith Stephens, browsed produce.
Linda Woods’ homemade clothing, some adorning dolls, was up for sale at the Bella Vista Farmers Market.
Samantha Hunt of Bella Vista stands with Halloweenthemed decor and plays her guitar during the farmers market.
Stephanie Hoffman tries a virtual reality pod, one of this year’s additions, during the farmers market’s last weekend.