Thursday, December 1, 2016

Webb City Sentinel column - 12-2-16


The market is abuzz with excitement!  We have celebrity guests on Saturday and special activities. In the pavilion, Elsa and Anna will be on hand to pose so bring your camera!  These royal sisters are real sisters out of costume – Brooke and Bethany Montgomery – and make perfect princesses.

Just across the aisle we’ll have a quartet of carolers from MSSU. And over at the depot west of the market, the Polar Bear Express will be pulling out 10 and 40 minutes past the hour. 

Stewart’s Bakery is serving breakfast – scrambled eggs, biscuit and gravy, two sausage patties, and hash brown casserole for $5 or a giant cinnamon roll for $3. Both include coffee or orange juice.
Two of our farmers have such bumper crops of lettuce that they are running a sale tomorrow. Braker Berry Farm will have green butterhead, red butterhead and green leaf lettuce on sale for $2 a head. 417 Produce will have bibb and butter lettuce on sale – buy 2 and get 1 free or buy 3 and get 2 free. Because it’s just harvested this lettuce typically lasts a week if properly refrigerated. Make a habit of enjoying a healthy green salad every day and you might not even have to make that annual New Year’s resolution in January! 

We’ll have a full pavilion tomorrow. The Troyers are back so that means Lance will have dog biscuits for sale – and his dad Hector will have beautiful fresh produce.

Cook’s Berry Junction will give out tastes of their honey butter and flavored honeys tomorrow.

Girl Scout Troop 70391 will sell their handmade craft gifts. This is actually a learning experience for the girls in entrepreneurship but I’m told their work is charming. Mende Staggs of Apple Road Farm returns to the market with pralines. Mende is teaching a class in the kitchen on making old-fashioned cream candies dipped in chocolate at 2 pm tomorrow in the market kitchen. Call Mende at 417 529-5715 to register and get a list of ingredients to bring. The class is $30 per person. 

For an article about the Christkindlmarket in the Globe last week I was asked, “when did you first think of this?”  I answered that I’d been daydreaming about more Christmas activities in Webb City for decades. And yes, Jiminy Cricket, dreams do come true!  

The Polar Bear Express is back after being shut down for three years by park construction. This event which began in 2009 will run in three different modes this month. On the mornings of December 3, 10 and 17, it runs in conjunction with the market. The 15 – 20 minute ride through the park is accompanied by a reading of the book The Polar Express. The library provides a book for each seat so readers can follow along. Tomorrow I get to read for the first rounds, then extraordinary educator Ann Foos takes over for the last three rounds.  (If you would like to be a reader, just give me a call at 417 483-8139. To be a streetcar volunteer, call Jerry at 417 850-1721.)  The tickets are free. Day of tickets are available at the depot (until we run out). Advanced tickets are at the market information table in the pavilion.

The night-time version of the Polar Bear Express is operated by the parks department and it features a light show as it goes through the park on Friday and Saturday evenings through December 17. Tickets are $1 and are available at city hall until sold out. 

On weekdays the Express is busy with school fields trips. The first and second graders of Carterville, Webster, the Truman schools will be riding the trolley and reading the books. 

The Chamber of Commerce hosts Cookies and Cocoa with Santa next Saturday at 2 pm at the Route 66 Event Center. Tickets are $5 per child. Since there are only 50 tickets this event may already be sold out. Check with the Chamber. 

The Chamber is also the place to get tickets for the Christmas double feature at the Route 66 Movie Theater – A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The movie starts at 6 pm on Tuesday, December 13, and tickets are $5 each. The chamber number is 417-673-1154.

The Webb City Christmas Parade begins at 6:30 pm on December 14th.

And the Christkindlmarket is open every Saturday from 9 to noon through Christmas Eve. Yes, I think Webb City has added just a few Christmas activities since I daydreamed about it twenty years ago. Come join the festivities.  (above - and guess who's coming NEXT Saturday?!)

Friday, November 25, 2016

It’s Small Business Saturday and you’ll find dozens of small businesses at the Webb City Farmers Market this Saturday from 9 to noon on Saturday at the South Main Street entrance to King Jack Park.   The pavilion is decked out for Christmas, enclosed and heated.

Ms. Claus will be on hand to pose for pictures with children (and adults).  Richard Hugh Roberts will be singing Christmas songs*.  Stewart’s Bakery serves breakfast:  sausage, eggs, biscuits and gravy and hash brown casserole for $5 or a giant cinnamon roll for $3.  Either selection includes a choice of coffee or juice.

The north end of the pavilion will be filled with farmers with their tables of just harvested produce.  There will also be chicken, lamb, pork and beef, plus farm fresh eggs, jams and jellies, and baked goods.  And we’ll have kettle corn, pecans, pecan brittle and peanut brittle, honey, seasoned salts and frozen tamales.

Christkindlmarket will be a festival of artists and craftspeople and their handcrafted wares. 

We welcome back Jim Oxley with his delightful dresses for little girls,  (That's my granddaughter Madeleine in one of his summer frocks and my granddaughter Josephine in one of his frilly dresses.)  Copperleaf Pottery who in addition to beautiful pottery make soaps, and Jane McCaulley with her beautiful glass ornaments and other glass work.  Two new vendors, LillyBrook Creations, with personalized ornaments, cups and more, and 2 T’s Soap and Stuff, with handmade soap bars, shave soap, lip balm, and sugar scrubs and salves, join the Christkindlmarket Saturday..

The market matches food stamp purchases with up to $25 in match tokens for fruits and vegetables at each market.    For details, go to the market information table.

We’re open Saturday year-round from 9 to noon. The Webb City Farmers Market is a producer-only market. It is open, rain or shine but not when the roads are dangerous with sleet, in the pavilion east of the Main Street entrance to King Jack Park. Sales and setbacks begin at opening. The market accepts SNAP (food stamps), debit and credit cards.  For information, call 417 483-8139.  *Music at the market is underwritten by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Webb City Sentinel market column - 11/18/2016

Looks like winter is finally here and we’re ready thanks to the parks department. It takes them two days to drop the pavilion sides and button it up. Everything is now in place, our new bigger heaters are ready to fire up, so, baby, it’s going to be cozy warm at the market regardless of the frostiness outside.

We’ll be open from 9 to noon Saturday and the pavilion will be full!  

Amos Apiaries returns for the last time tomorrow with their local honey. Then they’re packing up their hives and retiring. That's Jann working his bees and Resa at the market.

Owen Detweiler is back. Since Owen is Amish he must hire an “English” person to transport him and his produce to the market from Lamar which means he has to have enough produce to justify the expense. His high tunnel production has reached that point and we expect to see him every week as long as sales are adequate. In other words, if you want to see Owen at the market, buy his produce!  Some of what he is bringing tomorrow:  peppers, tomatoes, cabbage – both regular and Savoy, and cauliflower – yellow, purple and white. His produce is always beautiful. Be sure to check it out.

Now, you may think at this time of year there is not much selection. But you would be wrong. Just to take one of the 11 farms we expect tomorrow:  Oakwoods Farm will have eight varieties of lettuce, plus baby ginger, turmeric, garlic, radishes, boc choy, collards, many varieties of peppers, dried chili seasoning made from their own veggies, pea shoots and other microgreens, cut herbs including bundles of sage, rosemary and thyme (how musical), candied ginger and more. Other farmers have tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, eggplant, potatoes, spinach…… the list goes on!

So check all the produce out. We’ll also have baked goods, raw food bars, jams and jellies, pecan and peanut brittle, pecans, farm fresh eggs, pork, beef, lamb, chicken, specialty crackers, freshly roasted coffee beans, dog biscuits and worm casting compost. 

In the Christkindlmarket you will find sewn goods, candles, local vanilla, Rada utensils, repurposed hats and scarves, handcrafted chocolates, goats milk soap, turned wooden items, leather goods, walking sticks and polished stones.

You can also pick up your train tickets to the daytime Polar Bear Express. The trolley, all decked up for Christmas, will run from 9 to noon on December 3, 7, and 14 on the hour and half hour. The tickets are free, but to be sure of a seat, pick a ticket up at the market soon.

Stewart’s Bakery serves breakfast:  sausage, eggs, biscuits and gravy and hash brown casserole for $5 or a giant cinnamon roll for $3. Either selection includes a choice of coffee or juice. Scott Eastman takes the market stage.

This Wednesday we host our annual Holiday Market from 11 to 1. Always the day before Thanksgiving, this market is a great opportunity to load your harvest table with local bounty. If you would like to order baked goods so you’re sure of getting just what you want, give the following market vendors a call:

Stewart’s Bakery – 417 621-8455

Harmony Hill – 417 396-6373

LPHJ Kitchen (gluten free) – 620 762-1315

On Wednesday, Stewart’s Bakery will serve chili with crackers and a mini cinnamon rolls for $6. The meal can be packed for takeout for those dashing in during their lunch hour or wanting to enjoy it for supper. Rob Pommert will perform at the Holiday Market.

The market members, that would be vendors, volunteers and staff, had their annual harvest meal on Monday. Highlights of the meal are always the awards. We give two each year:  

The Champion Award is given to a community member who has gone above and beyond for the market. Past Champions include market volunteers Marilyn Thornberry, Karen McGlamery, Janet Taylor and Donna Krudwig, as well as Parks Director Tom Reeder and market customer and supporter extraordinaire Bill Perry, and the Perry family and their business Cardinal Scale, and Extension advisors Patrick Byers and Shon Bishop.

The Golden Washrag Award is presented to a vendor or employee who has gone the extra mile for the market. The award derives its name from the efforts of the first recipient, Robin Green, who spent a whole summer wiping down (with a washrag) all the tables and chairs in the pavilion. Other recipients include Nancy Rassmusen who cleaned our bathrooms after every market, our Hmong growers who donated tons of produce after the tornado to feed the recovery volunteers, Tim Green who devotes hours mentoring new farmers, Jann Amos who helped the volunteers pack up after market for a full year, Dale Mermoud, our master gardener who runs the Kids Garden, Tami Fredrickson and Misty Jones who spent countless hours getting the market kitchen cleaned up and ready to use.
The 2017 winners are (drum roll, please):

Market Champion – Bob Foos. Bob, as Sentinel editor, has provided wonderful coverage in the paper, advised on media relations, published this humble column (which means he’s edited and given space for about 375 columns), and taken our fall portraits. He has done cooking demonstrations and been a supportive and enthusiastic customer – one time buying the entire stock of one vendor’s perennials. He says that he didn’t think the market would last three months, but he is one of the primary reasons for our success. He is a true Champion. (that's Bob covering one of the market's field day education events)

The Golden Washrag goes to market manager David Hill. When David was hired by the market last spring he was unfamiliar with the market but had great management experience (running plants – the manufacturing kind). As we began training, I told him that it was critical he develop a passion for the market. Within weeks he had that passion. When I had to be gone for five weeks this fall, he basically went through trial by fire as he took over most aspects of managing the market and came out unscathed. We are lucky to have found such a hard worker and skilled manager – and, yes, he’s washed plenty of market tables and benches this year.

We at the market are very aware that our success depends on the efforts of many, including our dear customers – so thanks for your encouragement and support and we’ll see you tomorrow at the market!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Sorry no column this week. I forgot about the early Sentinel deadline!

The market is open tomorrow (Saturday) from 9 to noon. The sides will be down and the heat on!

Stewart’s Bakery serves breakfast: sausage, eggs, biscuits and gravy and hash brown casserole for $5 or a giant cinnamon roll for $3. Either selection includes a choice of coffee or juice.

William Adkins is on the market stage.

Our bakers are taking orders for the Holiday Market the day before Thanksgiving. We'll be open Wednesday, November 23, from 11 to 1 so you can fill your holiday table with local bounty.

Here is who we expect -

417 Produce
Center Creek Farms
Cottage Vanilla
Cook's Berry Junction Farm - honey & more
Endless Bounty
Fairhaven - lots of pecans! & pecan and peanut brittle!
Garrett Family Farm
Harmony Hill
Kings Kettle Corn
LPHJ - gluten free baked goods
Misty Morning
Nature Valley
Oakwoods Farm
Penn Acres
Redings Mill Bread Co.
Stewarts Bakery
Sunny Lane Farm The Red Tamale
Troyer Farm & Lance's Doggie Biscuits
Vang Farm
Way Back Bakery - fried pies & more
Yang Farm

Edith Bayless
Rebecca Bristow
The Chaffin Family
Joplin Business Women - RADA utensils
Kiele V Spice Co.
Parrillel Universe
Sweet Emotions Chocolate Boutique
Willow Island

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Webb City Sentinel market column - 11/4/16

Christkindlmarket begins tomorrow!  And since it’s the first Saturday of the month, the streetcar will be running from 9 to noon, weather permitting. All aboard for a free ride at the depot west of the market.

The market pavilion will be filled with more than 40 vendors including regular market vendors like 12 farmers with fresh local produce, four ranchers with meats such as chicken, lamb, beef and pork, plus farm fresh eggs, jams and jellies, and bakers with country and artisan bread, pies, cookies, fried pies and gluten free baked goods. There will be frozen tamales, kettle corn, raw food bars, honey, pecans, handcrafted crackers, frozen blueberries, and freshly ground coffee beans.

Christkindlmarket vendors include artists and craftspersons producing turned wood items, jewelry, leather, glass and metal art, walking sticks, sewn and embroidered goods, goat milk soap, and chocolates.

Stewart’s Bakery serves breakfast:  sausage, eggs, biscuits and gravy and hash brown casserole for $5 or a giant cinnamon roll for $3. Either selection includes a choice of coffee or juice. Catalyst makes its debut on the market stage*

Christkindlmarket is a centuries-old tradition of open-air holiday markets in German speaking countries in Europe. During this time the Webb City market invites artists and crafters to join regular market vendors every Saturday morning. The market pavilion is decked out in pumpkins, gourds and scarecrows in November. After Thanksgiving the pavilion is bedecked with Christmas bows, balls and garland. During the first three Saturdays of December the trolley will run as the Polar Bear Express featuring readings of the book, The Polar Express. Free tickets will be available at the market beginning November 19. You won’t want to miss a market. They will all be special.
Here are two special things we’d like your help on:

1) Empty Bowls is Thursday, November 17th. For the fifth year, potters at Phoenix Fired Art have made
hundreds of bowls which will be filled with a choice of delicious soup from more than 20 local restaurants. All proceeds go to organizations involved in feeding people – Crosslines, Meals on Wheels, Salvation Army, Watered Gardens and your very own Webb City Farmers Market. We are so honored to be included and hope you will make a point of supporting the project.

You can go to Phoenix early and select a bowl for a minimum donation of $25 and bring it back to be filled on November 17th or you can pick your bowl out on the 17th for a donation of $15. (there’s a reason for the early selection – some of the bowls are truly works of art)  

Lunch will be served from 11 to 1:30 and dinner from 5 to 7:30 at Phoenix Fired Art, 1603 South Main Street in Joplin. And yes, you get to keep the bowl.

Pick up reminder cards at the market tomorrow to share with your friends.

2) Thanks to Cardinal Scales we have a beautiful brochure to spread the news about winter market. And we’ve also printed up some posters. Please help us get the word out by picking up some brochures to share with your friends and to leave at businesses you patronize, along with a poster.

We think Winter Market is going to be better than ever this year; in large part because we have more farmers and more high tunnels to bring you loads of produce all winter long. They farmers have more than doubled their production. That means to be successful we need to more than double our customers. With your help, we can do it because once you help us get them there, they won’t be able to resist returning again and again.

Our market bakers are taking orders for the holiday markets. We will be open from 11 to 1 on Wednesday, November 23, (the day before Thanksgiving) and from 9 to noon on Saturday, December 24, (Christmas Eve. If you’d like something baked for your holiday table, stop by the market and place an order. You can also call:  Stewart’s Bakery – 417 621-8455 and Harmony Hill – 417 396-6373. If you need gluten free, stop by LHPJ Bakery’s table on Saturday.

Poster, brochures and reminder cards will be at the information table. See you there!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Webb City Sentinel market column - 10/28/16

Did you get all the green beans canned this summer that you want?  If not, tomorrow’s the day!  Harmony Hill is having a green bean sale – when buying 20 pounds or more, the price drops from $2.50 a pound to $2 a pound. In other words, they have a lot of green beans.

There continues to be a wonderful selection of fresh and local produce at the market. I don’t know why I feel compelled to keep repeating that except that even after all these years, I find it surprising. 

I stopped by Green’s Greenhouse and Garden just west of Galena this week to pick up some produce for my KSN segment with Carol Parker. Tim is in the process of pulling his field plantings even though they are still loaded with produce. He wants to get them ready for spring planting. 

I’ve never seen richer soil than his. Tim thinks the key to good produce is healthy rich soil so he loads the soil with compost. He tells me healthy soil equals healthy plants which not only produce fabulous veggies but also can stand up to the stresses of disease, pests and inhospitable weather better than plants malnourished from poor soil.

His three high tunnels are planted for the present and the future. That’s where he’s getting hundreds of beautiful colored sweet peppers. The cucumber vines growing 10 feet high explains those tubs of cukes on his market table. His fall tomato plants will be ready for harvest in a couple of weeks. The tunnel planted in strawberries will bear fruit in the spring. We are expecting 10 very good farmers at the market tomorrow. The selection will be wonderful.

Amos Apiaries will be at the market tomorrow. I’d recommend stocking up. Jann tells me that this Saturday and Saturday, November 19, will be his last days. He’s retiring!

For those of you hungry for Harvest Hill’s bacon and other tasty pork cuts, your long wait is over. They’ll be at the market this Saturday and every Saturday until their supply runs out. The West usually only raise five or six hogs which they have butchered all at once. My guess is that they’ll be at the market for about three months (unless my son-in-law Kit buys all their bacon). Don’t tell Kit, but I’m buying a cooler load to take to him. I’m going to Denver to celebrate Halloween with grandson Wyatt and I’ll be well received if I’m bearing Harvest Hill bacon!

Johnson Farm will also be at the market with pork. They have developed quite a fan base since starting with us last spring. Sunny Lane will have their all-natural chicken, lamb and beef. Sunny Lane is also raising a few hogs so we will soon be in hog heaven. Center Creek Farm has pheasant. Get it while you can. Like Harvest Hill they just butcher once a year so the pheasant will likely be sold out by Christmas.

We should have plenty of farm fresh eggs, wonderful baked goods, including the artisan breads of Redings Mill, plus frozen tamales, kettle corn, jams and jellies, and frozen blueberries.

As we near Christkindlmarket – which starts next Saturday – we’re adding a few crafters tomorrow – Rebecca Bristow with jewelry and glass and metal art, JJ with painted gourds and jewelry, and Quilts ‘n Crafts by Leona.

Ricky McFarland will have his show cocker spaniels at the market tomorrow for the last time this year – they’ve got shows to go to!  Magic and Sammie get more accustomed to crowds while our customers enjoy petting them and learning about show dogs.

Stewart’s Bakery serves breakfast:  sausage, eggs, biscuits and gravy and hash brown casserole for $5 or a giant cinnamon roll for $3. Either selection includes a choice of coffee or juice. Scott Eastman takes the market stage.

Next Saturday (remember, no more weekday markets until April) Stewart’s Bakery will serve
breakfast. Catalyst will perform. The streetcar is running. All aboard at the depot west of the market for a free ride. Christkindlmarket begins so expect lots more vendors including Willow Island with hand embroidered towels, Cooks Berry Junction with honey, Bethany Kiele with wonderful amaranth crackers, Garden ‘n Goat with goat milk soap, LPHJ with gluten-free baked goods out of a dedicated kitchen and Sweet Emotion Chocolate Boutique. And that’s just a sampling of what you can expect.

Who would have guessed that November and December would be some of the market’s busiest and most abundant times!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Classic American Pies - baking series

The holidays are just around the corner – what better time to learn how to make a classic American pie to share with family and friends?  Expert baker Mende Staggs will teach a Classic American Pies Series at the Market Kitchen at the Webb City Farmers Market beginning Saturday, November 5.

Classes may be taken individually or as a series:

Saturday, November 5
From 1-3 pm. - Class 1: Perfect Pie Crusts – cost $20

Saturday, November 12
from 1-3 pm. - Class 2: All-American Apple Pie (and other fruits) - cost $20

Saturday, November 19
from 1-3 pm. - Class 3: Pumpkin Pie & Pecan Pie - cost $20

from 3-5 PM. - Bonus class: Cream and Meringue Pie Demonstration – cost $10

Package price: Sign up for all four classes for $50.

For more information, or to register for the class, text or call Mende Staggs at 417 529-5715.

The Market Kitchen is located just west of the Webb City Farmers Market which is located at the South Main Street entrance to King Jack Park.