Thursday, October 20, 2016

Webb City Sentinel market column - 10/22/16

What a fun market we have planned for tomorrow!

Bob Foos will take fall portraits from 9:30 to 11:30 – a package of 8 wallets with two 4x5s or 8 wallets with one 5x7 is $15. We’ve got a backdrop of straw bales, mums and pumpkins all ready. You just need to bring your family or friends and a little cash. And there’s nothing that says you can’t have your photo taken solo either. Seriously, when is the last time you had your portrait made?

Tomorrow is our first ever Sampling Saturday. Here is what you’ll be able to sample:

Oakwoods Farm – chili made with their new mild chili seasoning

Center Creek - pheasant and a green salad mix

Stewart’s Bakery - mini cinnamon rolls

Fairhaven - pumpkin butter and pumpkin cheesecake dip

Terrell Creek - goat cheese 

King’s Kettle Corn - kettle corn, caramel corn and cheddar corn

Robertson Family Farm - mini blueberry muffins

Sunny Lane - beef sticks, summer sausage and bologna 

Thai Garden - rice and noodle dishes featuring Asian produce

It should be an exceptionally tasty Saturday.

Ricky McFarland will be back at the market with his show cocker spaniels Magic and Sammie. They’ll be set up as they would be at a show right next to the information table. The dogs learn to be more comfortable in a crowd and our customers love meeting them. Ricky keeps hand sanitizer right by his stand so folks can pet the pups and then continue their shopping.

The Geriatrics return to the market with classic country, Western Swing, 50’s and 60’s rock and more. Prior to forming The Geriatrics six years ago, most of the band members had played together for 45 years performing for service members overseas. Together, they have over 300 years of professional music experience.

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.

Since we’re sampling tomorrow, here are a couple of sampling stories:

First – Oakwoods’ new chili seasoning is a direct result of our winter production conference last January. One of the workshops was on making and selling dried products at the market and Oakwoods immediately spotted a way to make the market better and their farm more profitable. This summer they dried their surplus produce, turning what could have been waste into a self stable product. The mix includes dried tomatoes, bell peppers, habanero, garlic and onions from the farm, plus oregano, cumin and sea salt which are not from the farm (not a lot of sea salt being produced in Southwest Missouri). We expect even more results from that conference. A different workshop was on making fermented foods like sauerkraut. Oakwoods is planning to add that to their product line as well.

Second – Extension gave out samples of winged beans on Tuesday, raw with dip. Even though our two farms that grow them brought extra, they still sold out before closing. Our customers really liked winged beans. There should be more tomorrow at the Nature Valley and Lee Family tables.
This Tuesday is our last Tuesday market of the year. We’ll be open from 4 to 6 pm. Rob Pommert will play.

Stewart’s Bakery is having an End of Summer Fish Fry, catfish, potatoes and slaw for $6. Last time Linda did a fish fry at the market she sold out in a hurry so she is doubling up her supply so there will be plenty on Tuesday.

See you at the market tomorrow and Tuesday!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Webb City Sentinel market column - 10/14/16

You would think that this time of year I wouldn't be scrambling for vendor space.  After all, the growing season is over, right?  Not by a long shot.  The pavilion will be full tomorrow and mostly with fresh local produce!

Tomorrow we are expecting 16 farms with everything from our usual tomatoes, zucchini, squash, lettuce, broccoli and more to those rarer treasurers like apples and fresh picked out pecans. Our ranchers will have pork, beef, chicken, lamb and – wait for it – pheasant. This time of year Center Creek brings their “processed skin-on, free-flight, homegrown pheasant, which are raised without antibiotics or hormones.”  

We think all our farms are special but Center Creek certainly wears that description easily – they raise all sorts of special things and focus on organic methods and sustainable practices. Some of the special things they’ll have tomorrow include salad greens/braising mix, arugula, and other greens, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, microgreens, herbs, and lots of ghost peppers, Trinidad scorpions, peach scorpions, habanero, and fatalii peppers and other peppers. In case you are unfamiliar with ghost and scorpion peppers, let me give you a heads up – they are the hottest known peppers in the world. Now that’s special.  (That's a photo of the growing structures at Center Creek.  The fields are behind the tunnels.)

 Carole with Fairhaven Garden called to say they would have picked out pecans tomorrow. John Pate is bringing apples from the orchard tomorrow – not a lot so don’t dawdle.

Way Back Bakery will have their fried pies and also a quilt and other goods sewn by Amish hands. Edith is due at the market with her lovely sewn goods as well. Garden ‘N’ Goats will have their goat soap in the south end of the pavilion. 

Others expected include Redings Mill Bread Co., The Red Tamale,  Kings Kettle Corn and honey and frozen blueberries from Robertson Family Farm. Yes, it will be a packed pavilion and we’ll need lots of customers to cart our carefully grown and crafted goods home.

Stewart’s Bakery will serve breakfast – eggs cooked to order, biscuit and gravy, sausage, and hash brown casserole for $5. A giant cinnamon roll is $3. Both include a drink.

Jeff Simpson and Corky Dow will fill the pavilion with bluegrass. They’ll also do sing-alongs of children’s songs with any kids wanting to share the stage.

On Tuesday, Stewart’s Bakery will serve all-you-can-eat pinto beans, with fried potatoes and cornbread for $6. Rob Pommert will play.

Extension will sample winged beans and measuring any sales increase that results. Winged beans appeared at the market last year but they’ve been grown for centuries in Asia and yet this may be your first chance to try them. You have heard the saying that there is no waste from the tail to the snout of a pig; you can make some kind of food out of pretty much everything but the squeal. Well, the same is true of the winged bean – the root, the leaves, the flowers, the beans, they are all edible. But you’ll probably only find the bean at the market. Be sure to try it.

Next Saturday is Fall Foto Day when Bob Foos takes portraits at the market. There are two $15 packages available – 8 wallets with two 4x5s or 8 wallets with one 5x7. Add an 8x10 to either package and the total cost is $20. You can also order extra wallets, 4x5s and 5x7s in case you want to share the photos with the whole family.

Let us review – don’t miss the market tomorrow – or Tuesday – or next Saturday. Come dressed for a fall photo next Saturday. Don’t worry, no matter what you wear you’ll look good next to Sammy Scarecrow. See you there!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Webb City Sentinel market column - 10/7/16

Bring your top hat and cane to the market tomorrow.  You can tap to the tunes of the Great American Songbook.  Richard Hugh Roberts makes his market debut performing the favorite classic Broadway and film songs from the 1920s through the 1950s.

Stewart’s Bakery will have breakfast: sausage and eggs with biscuits and gravy and hash brown casserole for $5 or a giant cinnamon roll for $3. Both choices include coffee or juice.

Fall is everywhere at the market.  Fredricksons and Brakers will have big beautiful mums as well as pumpkins.  Last week I saw many varieties of kale and lettuce, as well as boc choy. broccoli, turnips, radishes, acorn, butternut and spaghetti squash, green beans and some of the biggest prettiest onions I've ever seen at the market (and that's just a fraction of the produce choices.

Oakwood is harvesting their baby ginger right now. To quote farmers Karen Scott:  Fresh locally grown baby ginger is very different from the mature ginger that you purchase at the store. The beautiful pink and cream colored rhizomes are very tender and mild; there is no need to peel it, you can simply chop and use. In contrast, mature ginger has a tough skin, and fibrous center and is strongly flavored but stores well.

 Baby ginger has a shorter storage time after harvest and should be used within a couple of weeks. The whole root freezes well for grating into teas, soups and stews throughout the winter. Baby ginger is great for making pickles, syrups and in stir-fries. Its’ also wonderful preserved in fermented foods such as gingered carrots, Korean kimchee and kombucha. 

You will find a recipe provided by Karen at the end of the column.

Baby ginger is just one of the special crops coming in right now. The Yang Family Farm had chayote pears on Tuesday. Chayote is actually a member of same gourd family as cucumber, pumpkin and squash. It features a crunchy texture and mild sweet taste that compares to butternut squash.

When cooked (and that is how it is usually eaten), chayote is usually prepared like summer squash. It is generally lightly cooked to retain the crispy consistency. It’s pronounced “chī-ˈyō-tē”.

Whether you’re looking for the new and exotic or the tried and true, you’ll find a great selection of produce right now. (Except we have no apples, bummer.)

Webb City’s Pack 25 will be at the market selling popcorn and other treats tomorrow as a Boy Scout fundraiser.

On Tuesday the market will be open from 4 to 6. Stewart’s Bakery will served chicken and noodles with salad and potatoes for $6 and a bowl of chicken and noodles with a roll for $5. Rob Pommert will play. 

Be sure to stop by, there are only three more Tuesday markets this year.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 22. That’s the day that Bob Foos will be at the market taking fall portraits. Details next week!  (That's a photo - of a photo of my parents that Bob took during a fall photo session at the market about five years ago.  It is precious to me.)

Japanese Pickled Ginger (gari)

Makes about 1 cup
Adapted from Laura McCandlish for NPR

4 ounces fresh baby ginger
2 cups water
Several thin slices of raw beet or carrot (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus an extra sprinkle
1/2 cup rice vinegar (cider, white wine vinegar may be used)
2 tablespoons organic cane sugar (or more to taste)

Slice ginger paper-thin with a mandolin or vegetable peeler Place slices into a bowl, barely cover them with cold water and let stand 30 minutes.

In a saucepan, bring the 2 cups of water to a boil while you drain the ginger. Add the ginger and cook, stirring to soften, about 30 seconds. Drain the slices in a colander, tossing to make sure they don’t retain water. (This blanching step can be skipped if young ginger is especially fresh and not fibrous.)

Sprinkle the ginger (and the raw beet slices or carrots, if using) lightly with salt and put in a lidded sterilized jar. Add the vinegar to a nonreactive saucepan, and bring it to a boil, stirring in the sugar and salt until dissolved. Use a funnel to pour the hot liquid over the ginger, mixing well (it should completely cover the slices).

Tightly cover the jar, allow it to cool to room temperature and refrigerate. The pickled ginger, which is ready to eat after several hours, keeps well in the refrigerator for up to six months.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Webb City Sentinel column - 9/31/16

Tomorrow is the first Saturday of the month and that means the streetcar is running!  All aboard at the depot west of the market.  The free rides on historic No. 60 run from 9 to noon.

We shift into fall tomorrow . Of course it looked a lot like fall earlier this week with the pavilion filled with huge beautiful mums from Braker Berry Farm . For only $12, they are a bargain . And the pumpkins are coming in too . But tomorrow officially begins our fall schedule.
Cooking for a Cause is over for the year . Twenty-four local non-profits participated this year . They raised an average of $450 . That’s about $100 more than last year’s average which we think is due in part to more community support and the proximity of the kitchen . Until this year, we prepared most of the breakfast at Central United Methodist Church . If we ran out of food before the end of service we just had to close the breakfast down because it took too long to go back to the church, prepare more breakfast and bring it back . This year however with the wonderfully equipped market kitchen just across the drive if we saw we were going run short on biscuits, gravy or sausage, more was prepared and in place before the customers even knew a crisis had been averted!  Another advantage was that we could buy our eggs at the Thursday market and store them in one of the market’s coolers for Saturday . The church didn’t always have room for 18 dozen eggs . Yes, 18 dozen and we usually had to buy more Saturday morning from our egg farmers.

Just because Cooking for a Cause over doesn’t mean you have to do without breakfast tomorrow – or any Saturday morning because our excellent Stewart’s Bakery will be serving breakfast. Her menu tomorrow is sausage, eggs, biscuit and gravy and hashbrown casserole or breakfast casserole (that’s sausage, eggs, veggies and other good things) with a biscuit and jelly . Either choice is $5 and includes a choice of coffee or juice . Linda Stewart was well known for breakfasts served at her restaurants so we are expecting to be well fed.

This week we go to our fall schedule which means we will be open on Tuesdays from 4 to 6 (it’s an hour shorter than during the summer because it gets dark so much earlier) and on Saturdays from 9 to noon . At the end of October we’ll drop Tuesdays and be open on Saturdays only till the start the 2017 season in the spring.

Suzy, Sammy and Suzette Scarecrow will be regulars at the market starting this week . Take a fall photo with the kids or friends the next time you come . Why not make it a yearly event?  Sammy is 15 years old and Suzy isn’t much his junior . That’s been a lot of photo ops . 

Sammy brings a special memory to mind for me . The lady scarecrows change styles according to the season courtesy of the Disabled Veterans resale shop, but Sammy is wearing the same outfit he began in – one of Joe Grosse’s old overalls . Joe was a friend from church who would give you the shirt off his back – or in this case his overalls . After he retired he became a handy man and had a clientele of “little old ladies” . Little old ladies that he didn’t charge . Younger ladies like me paid a small fee for his service . Now that I would qualify for the little old lady category I miss Joe doubly as much!

Tomorrow we’ll have a pavilion full of vendors – twenty-six, including Robertson’s with honey and frozen blueberries, King’s Kettle Corn, E & O Produce with pumpkins (remember how I told you that Owen loves to grow round things?), Edith Bayless with her sewn goods, Rosemary’s vanilla and lots more . Fairhaven Gardens is doing a taste test of their Apple Butter . Is it cheating to tell you the secret ingredient?  I think so . Try to guess it tomorrow.

William Adkins will play tomorrow from 9 to 11.

On Tuesday, Stewart’s Bakery will have another good lunch for us . Rob Pommert will play.
Extension will sample Butternut Squash Pancakes and Robert Balek our horticulturist with University of Missouri Extension will measure whether the sampling increases sales of the squash . This is one of four research projects that are ongoing at the market. One is a national study, the other three are statewide . There is a column in the near future about how the market is providing data that will hopefully help farmers across the state be more successful and help shape the next federal farm bill. How cool is that?  Webb City’s market makes an impact across the state and even across the nation.

I received a call before the Thursday market this week with a question on our hours . It was a Minnesota number and the caller explained that he and his wife were snow birds and were heading down south for the winter . It was part of their migration ritual to stop at the Webb City market on the way down . I bet they take down some mums that will be the envy of the Valley.

See you at the market!