Rolla Farmers Market on Saturday was the place to go for the start of fall fun and seasonal fruits and vegetables.
The fall equinox on Saturday, Sept. 22 officially marked the beginning of autumn, which ends with the winter solstice on Friday, Dec. 21 in the Northern Hemisphere.
The Rolla Farmers market is now closed on Tuesday’s and will remain open on Saturday well into October and further into the year depending on the weather. The weather for spring of this year created a difficult growing season, according to vendor and owner of Meier Farms in Phelps County, Mike Meier.
The fall season presents the change of product from the summer season, and the community will begin to see pumpkins among other members of the gourd family local farmers have been working hard to grow throughout summer.
Pumpkins, an orange fruit harvested in October, go hand in hand with decorating and getting into the spirit of fall. And there are additional healthy perks to pumpkin season, which local farmers provide at the Rolla Farmers Market.
One such perk is pumpkins are a fresh source of vitamin A, which aids vision, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), particularly in dim light. Pumpkins are also rich in carotenoids, the compounds that give the gourd their orange color, which is an additional aid in vision protection.
Accordingly, the NIH states that merely a cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A.
Equal to their orange family members, such as the sweet potato and butternut squash, pumpkins boast the antioxidant beta-carotene, which may play a role in cancer prevention, according to the National Cancer Institute.
The farmers market will offer a vast amount of other products that include candles and other décor for the season as well as the continual valuable access to fresh, healthy and local produce for the community.