For those who hadn’t heard yet, Phil Stewart passed away on Saturday. Phil was a stalwart member of the Columbia Farmers Market, for many people the face of the market. He was a hard-working farmer who formed the backbone of the weekday markets for many years, and was often the first to greet customers as they arrived at the Saturday market, from his bright blue “Phil’s Garden” tent crammed with produce.
Phil took a great interest in us when we first started up, was always eager to ask how we were doing, and expressed pride in seeing younger farmers get started and grow. He’d often stop by our stand and comment approvingly on the strides we were making. I really respected and looked up to him, and will miss his stable presence and smiling face at the market. He was always worth talking to, and listening to, and I’ll miss him.
His funeral will be held this Thursday; more information is available on the Columbia Farmers Market website.
Here are several nice pieces from Tuesday’s Columbia Tribune on Phil: