Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Webb City Sentinel market news 11/22/17

Let the Holidays begin!!
We are open for The Holiday Market today from 11 to 1 in the (enclosed and heated) market pavilion.
Since 2005, the market has opened the day before Thanksgiving so our customers can grace theirThanksgiving table with the food, produce, and gifts grown and made by their neighbors.
We expect most of our vendors, including three ranchers – Madewell Pork, Garrett Family Farm and Sunny Lane Farm
Stewart’s Bakery is serving Tortilla Soup for eat-in or take-outDoesn’t that sound like an easy tasty meal for tomorrow night?  Linda is also making cranberry relish, as well as pies and rolls and other delights.
We’ll have at least two honey growers, several candy makers – fudge, pralines, and brittleTerrell Creek will have their award-winning goat cheeseWe’ll have four bakers including a gluten-free baker
The Christkindlmarket will include jewelry, woodcrafts, and soaps.
Scott Eastman will be on the market stage.
Soroptimists will be on hand with their nuts and other treats. This is their major fundraiser of the year and supports their summer camp for foster kids and other local programs helping women and girls. Soroptimists is one of the organizations that funded the market’s WIC program last summer.
Another fundraiser that supported the market’s WIC program, was and is Empty Bowls. We will have a nice selection of handcrafted bowls at the market today. They’d make a lovely addition to your table or gift.
Folks can pick up free tickets to the Polar Bear Express that runs from 9 to noon on December 2, 9, and 16 at the information desk.
Saturday we begin the Christmas seasonI know, we’re late according to modern retail calendars, but we choose to celebrate one holiday at a time!
Richard Hughes will delight us with Christmas music Saturday. Stewart’s Bakery will serve the usual delicious breakfast. There will also be pinto beans with ham and cornbread for $5 a pint for eat-in or take-out.
You can celebrate Small Business Saturday this Saturday in a big way at the market where you will find some 30 small businesses in one spot. But we’re just the beginningHead north on Main Street in Webb City and you will find sevenshops new to downtown – gift shops, clothing shops, specialty shops and more. Four are on Main Street, two more on Liberty and a seventh across from the post office on Daughtery. For those of us who love downtown, this is exciting newsShop Small this Saturday and help us build a downtown as lively and successful as the market.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Webb City Sentinel market column - 11/15/17

The market will be open this Saturday, from 9 to noon, in the ENCLOSED and HEATED pavilion.  Who would have thought our farmers market would be busy as a cranberry merchant in November – in November!  

Saturday is the day to place your orders for the Holiday Market on Wednesday, November 22, when the market will be open in the pavilion from 11 to 1 pm.  This tradition of many years is your opportunity to fill your Thanksgiving table with local bounty.  Counting on pecan pie or leafy greens or dinner rolls or any of the other delights at the market, place your order with our bakers and growers this Saturday!

It will certainly be busy this Saturday because the tickets to the Polar Bear Express – the Book Version – will be available.  The tickets are free but required for a reserved spot.  The “Book Version” runs from 9 to noon on Saturdays, December 2, 9 and 16. It differs from the night time version sponsored by the Parks Department because, obviously, you can’t see the light show during the day but you and the kids can follow along while the Polar Express book is read.  The Library and Friends of the Library provide a book for each bench to use during the ride.  And, of course, during the day you can fully appreciate the decorations in the streetcar which is nice for me since it takes two days to festoon it in silver and blue tinsel and balls and bows. 

So stop by the information table on Saturday and pick up tickets for family and friends.  The ticket holds your spot until 10 minutes before departure time, then unfilled seats are released to folks without tickets.

Saturday is also the last day for shrimp until January.  Sales have been so brisk that farmer Mervyn Yoder has to wait for a new clutch to mature before he can harvest again. (Yes, I had to Google what you call a group of baby shrimp!)

It will be the last Saturday for apples.  My, they have been good this year.  I enjoyed a dish Allphin Orchard brought to our annual Harvest Meal for vendors and volunteers.  It was delicious which they attributed to the market honey in it, but local fresh apples was also key.
 Stewart’s Bakery will have breakfast – biscuit and gravy, sausage, scrambled eggs, hashbrown casserole and juice or coffee for $6, as well as chili for eat-in or take-away, $5/pint.

Scott Eastman performs.

Buffalo Creek will be in the Christkindlmarket Saturday.  That’s our lovely musician Lee Ann Sours who is also an exceptional weaver.  She usually only comes one time during the holidays because she can hardly weave fast enough to keep up with demand.  Photo is of a work in progress.  

And finally, don’t forget Empty Bowls is tomorrow.  

Lunch will be served from 11 am to 1:30 pm and dinner from 5 to 7:30 pm tomorrow at Phoenix Fired Art, 1603 South Main Street in Joplin.  For a minimum donation of $25, donors can select a handmade bowl and choose a serving of soup donated by 21 local restaurants.  Additional servings can be selected for a donation. Funds raised go to Crosslines, Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels, Watered Garden’s and the market’s WIC program and partnership with Feed the Heart food pantry in Carterville.  Feed your body, eye and soul!  (We do that a lot at the market.) 

See you Saturday!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Webb City Sentinel Market Column - 11/8/17

News flash!  We expect to have 60 handcrafted bowls from the Empty Bowls Fundraiser available at the market Saturday.  Make a donation of $25 and get a piece of art you can eat in, a meal to put in it at Phoenix Fired Art on Thursday, November 16 & that lovely warm feeling you get when you help your neighbors in need.

What a lovely beginning to our Christkindlmarket last Saturday. We saw returning and new craft vendors plus two new food vendors – Mac’s Cinnamon Rolls left folks raving. Mac sells the rolls individually or in packs of 6. He also does three cinnamon rolls and three pecan rolls in a pack. Mac is adding pumpkin cheesecake to his offerings this Saturday!  Fudj 417, our other new holiday food vendor, was well received too. Both are new small businesses starting up in the market kitchen.
Our newest farmer was a big hit. Mervin Yoder is a shrimp farmer!  He raises shrimp in tanks filled with filtered water at his farm near Golden City. The only thing he adds is salt (they are salt water shrimp) and their food. No antibiotics or hormones. When Mervin contacted me I was thrilled. We’ve been seeking local seafood/fish for years. But I know nothing about food safety and seafood – either raising it or selling it at the market. So I called my food safety go-to guy, Steve McCarus with the county health department. Since Steve lives near the farm, he met our market manager there and they did the inspection together. The farm passed with flying colors and was at the market Saturday. The shrimp are a live product, though they are not active because they are on ice. While
some folks were a bit squeamish, it seems we have plenty of customers wanting fresh seafood and willing to do their own prep. An hour before the market closed, Mervin asked me “should I stay till noon?” I responded “Of course, we’ll have plenty more customers.”  “But I have sold out.”  “Great, stay and tell your customers that you will be back with a bigger supply next week.”

Last fall we had no apples, no honey and certainly no shrimp. Things are looking up at the market, in fact they are looking great.

We have, however, received the sad news that Edith Bayless will be retiring at the end of the year. She has been our most excellent seamstress, bringing kitchen linens and baby items to the market for years. She will be at the market Saturday and hopes to attend regularly through December. 

Robertson Blueberry Farm is back with frozen blueberries from their farm. Ed Cook returns Saturday with his honey. The Chaffin Family will be at the Christkindlmarket every week with their beautiful pens (above), rolling pins, salt and pepper mills, wine stoppers and more.

Saturday William Adkins will be on the market stage.

Stewart’s Bakery will have breakfast – biscuit and gravy, sausage, scrambled eggs, hashbrown casserole and juice or coffee for $6, as well as goulash for eat-in or take-away, $5/pint.

Dinner’s Ready! will have frozen ready to put in the crockpot meals. The cost is $15 for a package generous enough to serve 4 to 6 people. This Saturday's menu:
Pork tenderloin with potatoes and carrots
taco soup
chicken and noodles with carrots
Chicken breast with potatoes and green beans

There will be a class in the market kitchen Saturday from 1 to 4 pm - All-American Apple Pie (and other fruits) $20 Call or text Mende Staggs at 417-529-5715 to register.

We have a blackberry workshop on Wednesday at the Southwest Research Center, 14548 Highway H, Mt Vernon. The cost is $10 per person. This final blackberry workshop of the year will focus on fall and winter management, blackberry economics and a recap of the 2017 season. A question and answer period will be followed by an examination of the market’s blackberry planting on site. Register by calling 417 483-1839. Walk-ins are welcome.

This is a wonderful time of year but when is it not at the market?  We’ll see you Saturday.

Empty Bowls at the market this Saturday!

The Farmers Market will have 60 bowls from Empty Bowls on Saturday (9 to noon).  For a $25 donation, you get a handmade ceramic bowl.  Then you can pick up some soup to go in it from Phoenix Fired Art, 1603 S. Main Street, Joplin, from 11 to 1:30 and 5 to 7:30 on Thursday, November 16th.

Why buy a bowl?  Because you get a beautiful piece of art, a delicious meal and support your neighbors in need.  Funds raised are split between Crosslines, Meals on Wheels, Salvation Army, Watered Gardens and the Webb City Farmers Market.

Last year, the project raised over $22,000.  With their share, the farmers market partnered with Feed the Heart food pantry in Carterville, providing fresh produce twice a month to 120 low income families during the summer.  The market also did a pilot WIC project that allowed WIC recipients to choose $10 worth of produce, dairy products or meat from the market once a week from June through mid-August.  WIC (Women, Infants and Children) provides basic nutritional foods to very low income children under the age of five and expectant and new mother so the children have a healthier diet.  However, since Missouri is one of seven states in the Union that refuses federal funds for WIC at farmers markets, the market created it’s own WIC program.  WIC moms told the market repeatedly that the market’s WIC pilot program was the only way they could afford to put fresh fruits and vegetables on the table for their children.

The food on November 16th will be provided by Blackthorn Pizza & Pub, Club 1201, Club 609, Crabby’s Seafood Bar & Grill, Eagle Drive In, Festival Mexican Restaurant, Gayle O’Hare, Granny Shaffer’s, Han the Sushi Man, Instant Karma, Kinnaree Thai Cuisine, Orient Express, Panera Bread Bakery-CafĂ©, Schlotzky’s, Suzanne’s Natural Foods, Tropicana Bar & Grill, The Bruncheonette, and Widler’s Steakhouse.  For more information, call 417 437-9281.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Webb City Sentinel market column - 9-21-17

If you have a special request or a suggestion, take it to your farmer this fall. They will be ordering seed for next year before you know it!  (Something new in recent years - Baby Ginger.  It's in season right now!)

 I, on the other hand, am thinking about the Christkindlmarket. It’s only two months away!  (I've included some photos from last year to whet your appetite.)  We expect to have a full house during November and December but that doesn’t mean we won’t find room for a few new vendors with Christmas/craft handmade items that will grace our customers’ holiday tables and trees. All our market applications are on-line at webbcityfarmersmarket.com, including the Christkindlmarket. Get those in soon as we will soon be allocating space.

And you should be thinking about Saturday, October 14th, because that’s the morning that Bob Foos will take Fall Portraits At The Market. More details will follow, but put it on the calendar for now.

I am in the process of wrapping up our major federal grant. It’s been an exciting two-year project that saw us able to hire a market manager, expand, promote and better heat our winter market, repair our winter sidewalls which after four years of heavy use were in tatters, put in place our red barn and add important equipment to the kitchen. It’s been a remarkably easy grant to administer except connecting with my federal contact. She was great to work with but close to impossible to catch by phone or email – and I think she’s working way too much. The last correspondence I got from her was posted on Sunday night and I’m sure that’s not her normal working hours. Contrary to common belief, the government employees on both the federal and state level that I work with are dedicated, hard-working people.
On a more local level, what’s happening at the market this week?  On Saturday Cooking for a Cause benefits the Tri-County Cerebral Palsy Center. This special Webb City organization has been working with special needs kids for decades. As a bonus we get to hear No Apparent Reason while we eat because the director of the center is married to a member of the band. Normally we couldn’t afford this top-notch bluegrass band that is the house band for the Wood Shed in Carthage but they donate what little we can pay them to the center. Win-win!

Stewart’s Bakery will have baked ziti pasta with garlic bread for $6, eat-in or take-out.
Tuesday Just Jake and Corky are on the market stage. Stewart’s Bakery will have both a full and a light supper.

At every market we have lots of fall decorations – mums, celosia, pumpkins of all shapes, sizes and colors, and corn stalks. (And LOTS of green beans!)  There will be lots of produce, both summer and fall crops, including apples. And thanks to finally after a two-year drought we should have honey at every market. The demand for honey is so great that it takes four honey businesses to keep us in a steady sweet supply. If one particular apiary is your favorite just keep an eye on the market’s Facebook page to see when they are coming. Location may be a factor in who you buy honey from, though many of the hives are on farms scattered throughout the region. Our newest honey farm, Helm Family Farms, is based near Seneca. They will be at the market on Saturday.

It’s another sweet day at the market. See you there!