Farmers Markets are the Heartbeat of a Community

Shopping at the Bella Vista Farmers Market means knowing where your food comes from. It’s talking to artists who made the product you’re buying with their own hands. It’s listening to talented musicians and chatting with other market-goers. It’s breathing in fresh air and soaking up Vitamin D. It’s the community heartbeat.You can experience it from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays, mid-April through mid-October. In its third year, the Bella Vista Farmers Market is one of the few markets in the Northwest Arkansas area that operates on Sunday.The market has a new location for 2018 at Sugar Creek Center parking lot, just north of the intersection of Highway 71 and Mercy Way. Look for new banners marking the entrance.“We are excited to bring the market to a new spot, which will be highly visible and easy for shoppers to get in and out,” Market Coordinator Samantha Mosher says.She adds that the market has great new vendors for 2018 as well as returning favorites. “I was super excited about the influx of new applications for new vendors,” Mosher explains. “We’ve definitely seen a lot of growth over the last year.”

banjo player and family -farmers market

The outdoor market was established to help promote community health and wellness, while also supporting local farmers, artists and small businesses.“We like to brag that we offer a wide variety of local and fresh products,” Mosher adds. “Our farmers are our pride and joy.”Farmers selling at the market represent the close-knit region. For example, a certified organic farmer comes from nearby Gravette. Others are located in Bentonville or Farmington. “We do try to keep it as local as possible,” Mosher explains. “We’re extremely proud of our farmers and the work they put in.”Also out of Gravette is a new vendor, Patton Farms, selling grass-fed pork and beef. “Their meat is phenomenal,” Mosher says. “They came into the market at the end of last year, so we’re extremely excited to have them back this year.”

"We like to brag that we offer a wide variety of local and fresh products. Our farmers are our pride and joy."

Other purveyors include sellers of laundry butter, natural dog treats, and coffee. New vendor 211 Cafe out of Bentonville offers Guatemalan coffee. Market goers can also enjoy fresh squeezed lemonade, German roasted nuts, hot dogs, and homemade pies.In addition to meats and produce, the market has a lot of hand crafted products. “Our wood working club is always a favorite,” Mosher says. “We have tons of small organizations throughout Bella Vista. The wood workers come and set up a booth to show and sell their crafting.” Most of the time they give demonstrations during market hours. “The people that do it are amazing,” adds Mosher. “They like to keep busy while they are there. It keeps them entertained and it shows the customers that this is actually all done by hand.”

Bella Vista Farmers Market Cutting boards

On average, there are 30 to 35 vendors at the market. Additionally, market-goers can enjoy live music.“Christian Serrano is a cellist that actually found me last year and asked to come to the market,” says Mosher. “Also we’ll have Ashtyn Barbaree who is an up-and-coming Northwest Arkansas native just releasing her first album. She plays a lot in New York. I see a really bright career for this lady. We try to promote as many local artists as we can because there is so much local talent in Northwest Arkansas that I don’t think is seen enough.”There are also special events throughout the year. For example, each year there’s a kids’ day during police and fire week. The best way to keep up to date on Market events is through social media -“We like people to follow our Facebook page,” Mosher says. “We do giveaways throughout the season.“by Jill Rohrbach

variety at the Bella Vista Farmers Market