Vendors at the other markets often advertise similarly. Webster Farms, a vendor selling at Camdenton and Linn Creek, sells tomatoes, lettuces, radishes, beets, gourmet green beans, and other vegetables grown without chemical.

Greeting each other as old friends, local farm markets bring neighbors together to chat about seed and soil while selecting fruits or vegetables that might have been picked that morning. Fresh baked goods, handmade jewelry, and homemade jams tempt buyers just as much.

Expect Produce Fresh from the Garden

When the rains clear and temperatures warm, all markets will have produce grown in gardens small and large. Two have set high standards for the produce, but all vendors set high standards for themselves.

At Farmers Market in Camdenton, each produce vendor has completed food safety training mandated by new federal guidelines. Buyers can see many certificates of completion on display, and every vendor has qualified.

The Osage Beach Farmers Market is the only one requiring its vendors to adopt and honor a Pure Food Pledge (available online) requiring them to grow “all produce … without the use of non-organic herbicides or pesticides (organic pesticides and homemade, detergent-based sprays are acceptable).” Furthermore, “all seed shall be non-GMO (no genetically modified organisms).”

Vendors at the other markets often advertise similarly. Webster Farms, a vendor selling at Camdenton and Linn Creek, sells tomatoes, lettuces, radishes, beets, gourmet green beans, and other vegetables grown without chemical. Restoration Farm, in partnership with The Growing Chef, sells at both Osage Beach and Linn Creek. One of the farm’s specialties is microgreens providing extraordinary flavor and meeting the standards of the Osage Beach Pure Food Pledge.

Osage Beach Farmers Market also sets standards for meat, dairy products, and eggs. In general, animals cannot be confined to cages or shelters and will be grass-fed or grass-finished. Furthermore, the animals must not be fed a diet laced with hormones and antibiotics. Highway H Highland Ranch selling at Osage Beach, Camdenton’s Butcher Shop, and Springfield’s Pricecutter on Battlefield exemplifies Pure Food Pledge practices. Coyote Creek Ranch selling in Linn Creek and Camdenton as well as White Angus Ranch selling in Camdenton are two more examples of Pure Food Pledge practices.

Baked and processed food labels sold at Osage Beach must include ingredients and designate them as homemade or whole-made. Most vendors at other markets do the same.

Expect Goods Handmade, Homegrown, and Homemade

Green thumbs and animal husbandry are not the only talents on display at Lake farm markets. Down every lane and around every corner at the lake are crafters, potters, gem dealers, fabric artisans, woodworkers, and aromatherapists with entrepreneurial itches scratched through the summer market season. Each lake market will include these products as well as plants, produce, eggs, meat, and chicken. Today at every market around the lake are vendors selling bath “bombs” in a rainbow of colors as well as handmade bars of soap in scents savory and sweet. Beautiful crystals in wire sculptures created by Nadine dance in the Osage Beach light, and walking sticks made from found, repurposed local woods serve hikers from Camdenton’s Saturday morning market.

In addition to crafts and art, Camdenton’s market provides educational information each month by collaborating with the Lake of the Ozarks Missouri Naturalist chapter to teach visitors about bears in these woods, nature photography, native plants, and more. Camdenton is also a non-profit that donates to charity annually.

Where and When to Shop

The two longest, continuous farm markets at the lake are in Camdenton on the Square and Osage Beach at the Outlet Mall. Both are open Saturday mornings May past Labor Day. Camdenton’s opens at 7:00 am while Osage Beach’s opening hour is later at 9:00 am.

The Farmers Market of Eldon in Miller County begins its seventh year in 2019. Open 3 to 6 pm on Friday evenings beginning May 17, the Eldon market can be found at Rock Island Park on Business Highway 54 at 8th Street.

Morgan County’s market in Versailles reopened in 2017 as part of the Morgan County Library’s summer reading theme, Building a Better World. Attendance and reviews were good so the library agreed to be the market’s home again in 2018 and this year, 2019. Open every other Saturday, beginning May 4, the market runs 9 am to noon. Stover’s market, open last year, is searching for a location and has not announced an opening day, but if it opens, it will take place on the Saturdays that Versailles’ market is not in business.

The youngest market, opening for its second year, but the first to open for the season is Linn Creek’s. Vendors from Stover to Camdenton and Montreal to Linn Creek set up under shade trees or awning on Wednesdays from 3 to 7 pm in the Linn Creek Memorial Park. Buyers will experience a community, according to Ron Wilson, the Osage Beach businessman who organizes and manages the market. Wilson also credits the city of Linn Creek for its support and the space provided, and Linn Creek’s—so far—is the only one to provide food truck service by The Broken Rib.

OSAGE BEACH

On Saturday mornings from 9 am to 1 pm in the Osage Outlet Mall parking lot near the main entrance, buyers will find a group of vendors living up to the Pure Food Pledge that sets high standards for meat, dairy, produce, and baked and processed food items.

Pure Food Pledge

The Osage Beach Farmers Market requires its vendors to pledge that “All produce shall be grown without the use of non-organic herbicides or pesticides (organic pesticides and homemade, detergent-based sprays are acceptable)” and “All seed shall be non-GMO (no genetically modified organisms).”

For meat, the Pledge requires that animals used for meat “have access to pasture, … [and] not [be] raised solely in barns or other similar shelters.” Furthermore, the meat derives from grass-fed and grass-finished practices. The animals cannot “be given antibiotics as part of a normal regimen.” Poultry cannot be fed “medicated” food either. All animals cannot be “subjected to hormone treatments.” Similar restrictions apply to egg-laying poultry and animals producing milk for products sold.

Vendors who have agreed to the Pure Food Pledge are:

Food Vendors

A Girl & Her Truck Boutique Bakery is a labor of love for Marlena Hatmaker from Cross Timbers. She bakes breads, rolls, cookies, loaf breads, brownies, and gluten-free and Vegan blondies. She also markets a pasta sauce. Around the Bend Bar-BQ in Climax Springs and Great Stone Coffee in Osage Beach use Hatmaker’s goods for sandwiches, breakfast items, and desserts. (On Facebook and the web)

The Guilt-Free Bakery is a partnership between sisters Meghan Bryant of Camdenton and Kyrah Lewis of Macks Creek. Their baked goods are exclusively gluten-free. Each woman also sells handmade fabric art (see below), and each has a Facebook page under those business names.

Highway H Highland Ranch near Montreal is the dream fulfilled for Billy and Kathy Bolch. Their grass-fed Scottish Highland ribeye steak has placed well in the American Royal competition three times. They also sell ground beef, short ribs, steaks, brisket, sausage, and more. In addition to Osage Beach on Saturday mornings, Highway H Highland meat can be purchased in Camdenton at The Butcher Shop or in Springfield at Pricecutter on Battlefield. (On Facebook and the web)

O So Good Farm and Gardens isowned by John and Mimi Offield who offer a wide array of vegetables and fruit for the Osage Beach Farmers Market as well as the market in Linn Creek.

At both locations, buyers can expect vegetables freshly picked and ripe fruits that meet the Osage Beach Pure Food Pledge. The Offields will bring strawberries and nectarines in season—peaches if the weather is kind to them this year. (On Facebook and the web)

Rolling Springs Produce, often represented by Roman Miller of Miller Farm near Dixon, provides salad vegetables, asparagus in season, greenhouse strawberries in season, maple syrup, baked goods, eggs, and grass-fed ground beef.

Restoration Farm isoperated Kat and Larry Clark with the help of brother Charles. On their Stover land, they grow greens and produce. Larry’s brother Charles, also known as The Growing Chef, specializes in microgreens—the tender shoots of vegetables and greens cut before they mature. Cutting greens before they have attained full growth insures the most intense flavor. The Farm’s microgreens can be found year-round at the farm and while dining at Redhead’s as well as Old Kinderhook. Buyers can also buy a seed kit with soil, 3 different seeds, and directions. One repeat buyer reports she has harvested microgreens three times from each pot in her three-pot travel kit.

Larry Clark specializes in coffee beans from Ethiopia, Brazil, Columbia, and Costa Rica roasted the old-fashioned cowboy-way--in a cast-iron skillet. He sells hot coffee by the cup or roasted beans by the bag. For those who take their hot brews decaffeinated, a Swiss Water blend is also available. Kat’s specialty is goats’ milk soaps and lotions.

Through the summer, the trio sells their products in Linn Creek on Wednesdays, Sedalia on Thursdays, and Osage Beach on Saturdays. (On Facebook and the web)

Garden Vendors

The Garden Party, a Linn Creek business owned by Eric and Christy Petska, sells plants and flowers for indoor and outdoor use. Later in the season, the Petskas will sell heirloom vegetables grown from heirloom seed. The family-owned, multi-generation business will also construct greenhouses and provide landscaping services. Garden Party is in Linn Creek on Wednesdays and Osage Beach on Saturdays. (On Facebook and the web)

Artisans

Good News Garments (aka True-Blue Cloth Media) sells spiritually inspired tees. John Waller brings small-bath custom t-shirts in various sizes to market on Saturdays. (On Facebook and the web at gngarments.com)

Local artist and designerNadine Janus-Jones from Eldridge is Handmade by Nadine. Her wire sculptures feature crystals, many of them antique. They poise ready to catch the light and cause rainbows to dance in a buyer’s home. She also displays an array of jewelry. Her work is for sale at the Route 66 Museum in Lebanon and at Bill Wood’s Art Center and Gallery in Camdenton. On Saturdays at Osage Beach, interested parties can discuss one-of-a-kind designs and even hand-painted murals for the home. Nadine has a résumé that includes commercial work in hand-painted lettering and graphics.

When not baking for The Guilt-free Bakery, Meghan Bryant works with thread to make beaded jewelry and bookmarks, marketed on Facebook and at Osage Beach as Sunflower Creations and Repair.

Meghan’s sister, Kyrah Lewis, the other half of The Gluten-free Bakery, is also a crafter providing knitted items and handmade wood items marketed as Sunshine Traditions on Facebook.

LINN CREEK

On Wednesday evenings from 3 to 7 pm at Linn Creek’s Memorial Park, gardeners, artisans, and cooks set up to meet buyers’ mid-week needs. They are:

Food Vendors

Let’s Eat Farm in Montreal is owned by Ron Wilson who doubles as the Linn Creek Market Manager. He sells produce ripened on vines and eggs laid by free-range birds that have not been fed with GMO grain. (On Facebook)

Also from Montreal is O So Good Farm and Gardens, owned by John and Mimi Offield, offering a wide array of vegetables and fruit. The Offields also sell Saturdays in Osage Beach. At both locations, buyers can expect vegetables freshly picked and ripe fruits that meet the Osage Beach Pure Food Pledge. The Offields will bring strawberries and nectarines—peaches if the weather is kind to them this year.

Restoration Farm isoperated Kat and Larry Clark with the help of brother Charles. On their Stover land, they grow greens and produce. Larry’s brother Charles, also known as The Growing Chef, specializes in microgreens—the tender shoots of vegetables and greens cut before they mature. Cutting greens before they have attained full growth insures the most intense flavor. The Farm’s microgreens can be found year-round at the farm and while dining at Redhead’s as well as Old Kinderhook. Buyers can also buy a seed kit with soil, 3 different seeds, and directions. One repeat buyer reports she has harvested microgreens three times from each pot in her three-pot travel kit.

Larry Clark specializes in coffee beans from Ethiopia, Brazil, Columbia, and Costa Rica roasted the old-fashioned cowboy-way--in a cast-iron skillet. He sells hot coffee by the cup or roasted beans by the bag. For those who take their hot brews decaffeinated, a Swiss Water blend is also available. Kat’s specialty is goats’ milk soaps and lotions.

Through the summer, the trio sells their products in Linn Creek on Wednesdays, Sedalia on Thursdays, and Osage Beach on Saturdays. (On Facebook and the web)

Webster Farms, located just 5 miles south of Camdenton andowned by Junior and Linda Webster, provides fresh vegetables and summer’s fruits grown without the use of chemicals. Linda is also a beekeeper so local honey and honey comb can be found at the Webster Farms stand. In a commercial kitchen, Webster Farms bakes breads and bagels, blends fruit or onion jams and jellies, and makes pasta. All these are available through the market season. (On Facebook and the web)

Janet Baird adds more baked goods to the Linn Creek Market. Her wares include cakes, pies, and cookies.

For a full dinner to take home or eat at picnic tables in the park, The Broken Rib serves ribs, wings, and pulled pork plus seasonal or daily specials from a food truck. Based in Camdenton, The Broken Rib drives to locations for catering and/or individual sales. It will be in place at the Linn Creek Farmers’ Market each evening. (On Facebook and the web)

Chris and Connie Matthews own Stover’s Coyote Creek Ranch, specializing inpork from Berkshire hogs, pastured chicken and their eggs, grass-fed lamb, and pastured goat. Connie also bakes scones sold in area restaurants, including Ozark Coffee in Sedalia, Greenleaf in Jefferson City, Serendipity in Linn, Two-Wheel Coffee in Cole Camp, and Blackwater Country Store. On most market days, those scones will be for sale. Coyote Creek is in Camdenton on Saturday mornings as well as Linn Creek. (On Facebook and the web)

Garden Vendors

The Garden Party, a Linn Creek business owned by Eric and Christy Petska, sells plants and flowers for indoor and outdoor use. Later in the season, the Petskas will sell heirloom vegetables, too. The family-owned, multi-generation business will also construct greenhouses and provide landscaping services. Garden Party is in Linn Creek on Wednesdays and Osage Beach on Saturdays. (On Facebook and the web)

Artisans

From Camdenton, Millie’s Menagerie specializes in a little bit of everything that catches her imagination. With a degree in Hospitality Management, Millie Cowgill has the ideal training for a life as bed and breakfast co-owner. She works with her mother, Gina Carter, to provide a home base for the beautiful natural resources bringing guests to Lake of the Ozarks. Mother and daughter own and operate Bent Tree Bed and Breakfast just off Highway 5 down Pier 31 Road, but on Wednesdays, Millie can be found at Linn Creek with Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip gluten-free cookies, scrubs, herb plants, and perennials. Handmade earrings and repurposed, upcycled wine bottles heated and shaped as serving dishes are also on hand. (On Facebook and the web)

Another local vendor from Linn Creek goes by the name of Rosie’s Gardens and Gems. She sells houseplants, but specializes in Zuni and Navajo jewelry, Southwestern jewelry, and silver pieces. She also has $5 specials in colorful bead necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.

From Camdenton, Lynn Elam offers Sundancer Creations, including Dreamcatchers made with lace and ribbon, garden art, and handcrafted jewelry. (On Facebook)

Kimberly brings Paparazzi Accessories to Linn Creek’s Market. Lead and nickel-free jewelry at the affordable price of $5 allows shoppers young and old to find the perfect embellishment for every summer ensemble.

Bath, Body, and Mind

Blissful Bath Company and Renegade Beard Company areowned by Pat Nicklaus and Rebecca Wright. They make and sell body butters, room sprays, hair care products, and soaps for men and women. (On Facebook and the web)

Local Linn Creek resident, Nancy DiGesualdo, owns Serenity Lifestyles, LLC. She grows as many of the herbs and flowers as Missouri seasons will allow to make chemical-free creams, sprays, salves, and teas to suppress allergic reactions, improve health, and enhance mood.(On Facebook and the web).

CAMDENTON

On Saturday mornings from 7 am to noon on Camdenton’s Square, gardeners, artisans, and cooks set up to meet local needs. The growers and artisans at Camdenton’s market are:

Food Vendors

Sandy Nelson organizes and manages the Farmers Market in Camdenton. Her wares are sold under the same name as the ranch where they are grown and cultivated: Box Turtle Ranch of Camdenton. Buyers know they will find duck, goose, chicken, and quail eggs available for purchase. They also count on Sally Bauder’s sweet Baklava and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies each Saturday.

Sandy Nelson specializes in savory, spicy peppers and jellies, especially Glorious Garlic, Jalapeno, and Habenero, good for slathering on buttered biscuits or as a finish for roasted meats. Dried chipotles with true fire are sold at $1 per bag.

Chris and Connie Matthews of Stover own Coyote Creek Ranch, specializing inpork from Berkshire hogs, pastured chicken and their eggs, grass-fed lamb, and pastured goat. Connie also bakes scones sold in area restaurants, including Ozark Coffee in Sedalia, Greenleaf in Jefferson City, Serendipity in Linn, Two-Wheel Coffee in Cole Camp, and Blackwater Country Store. On most market days in Camdenton, mid-week at Linn Creek, and Friday evenings in Eldon, those scones will be for sale. (On Facebook and the web)

Kay Cyrus bakes and creates from her Camdenton home when she’s not doing the work of Treasurer for the market. She’s been a staple at the Camdenton market for 6 years, and she specializes in 10-inch homemade pies, cinnamon rolls, sweet breads, and cookies. Her gooseberry pie is rivaled only by her strawberry-rhubarb in popularity.

Kay also sells handmade products that people can use, including sponges or safe scratch pads for pots, pads for hot bowls, and placemats and cloth napkins.

The Simon Brubacker Farm from the Lead Mine area sells hearty garden plants and a wide array of vegetables annually at the market where he’s been selling for 8 years.

Webster Farms, located just 5 miles south of Camdenton andowned by Junior and Linda Webster, provides fresh vegetables and summer’s fruits grown without the use of chemicals. Linda is also a beekeeper so local honey and honey comb can be found at the Webster Farms stand, too. In a commercial kitchen, Webster Farms bakes breads and bagels, blends fruit or onion jams and jellies, and makes pasta. All these are available through the market season. (On Facebook and the web)

White Angus Ranch is near Richland. Its owners, Larry and Brooklyn White, raise Black Angus cattle, and they bring the grass-fed, grass-finished beef to Camdenton’s market. Their cattle grow to maturity without growth hormones, antibiotics, or GMO grains. The ranch sells beef steaks and roasts as well as ground beef or beef sliced deli-style. Also available are all-beef hot dogs and bacon, bratwurst, corned beef, pastrami, and organ meats. White Angus cuts can be found in Camdenton, Sedalia, and Waynesville (sold through Evans Family Farms). (On Facebook and the web)

Garden Vendors

Jackie Kendall from Eldridge brings succulents and flowers for sale in pots she makes. She is also a potter, but one of the more colorful, whimsical components of her display are Lady Bugs in sizes that fit in the palm of a hand and sizes requiring two hands to lift them. Sold as garden art, they are rocks painted bright red—just one of the Kendall Designs she shares at the market.

Artisans

Brad and Cheryl Wetzell, long-time Camdenton residents and 10 years with the Camdenton market, use hiking and kayaking through the area’s natural resources to collect local wood later made into cane and walking sticks. Brad also brings deer-antler creations that can be worn as necklaces. Found, repurposed driftwood provides home décor items. Wood pallets become handsome serving tray.

Dale and Cheryl Bland own Leaves and More, a business in the Montreal area. Dale repurposes barn woods for small cabinets and tables while large, beautifully veined patterns from leaves find their way onto concrete. Once painted, they add more texture and color to gardens.

Bath, Body, and Mind

Serendipity Studio LLC, owned by Diane Loeffler of Macks Creek, provides made-from-scratch soaps and essential oil rollers and inhalers. She uses herbs bought from other Camdenton market vendors and Coyote Creek Ranch’s milk for soaps and lotions. Her most popular soap is a Facial Detox Bar with Essence Oils. Her rollers and inhalers for Focus, Stress, and Sinus Relief are in demand, too. (On the Web)

Diane also owns a die-cutter, and she knows how to use it to make inspirational signs as well as customized signs featuring an address or name. Her husband, Marty, also works with wood to make picnic boxes and bird houses.