Thursday, April 17, 2014

Webb City Sentinel column - Friday, 4-18-14

I can’t say much for the weather we’ve had this week. Freezes?  Really?  Hopefully we’re done with freezes but they probably put the kibosh on at least some of the early field tomatoes. Several of our farmers said they lost their field tomatoes, peppers and squash despite multiple layers of row cover. They’ll have to start over. On the other hand, all the cool weather crops came through just fine and the high tunnels also did well so we don’t need to begin gnashing our teeth yet (except on some of the best salads of the year).

Speaking of salads, I was visiting with Vicki Groff over at the Sentinel yesterday about the greens at the market. She uses market spinach in all sorts of dishes, both cooked and fresh. And she agreed with my observation of the greens at the market, which is that they keep wonderfully well. Vicki said her spinach lasts about 10 days. I have found that the lettuce I buy holds beautifully if I just keep it in the shopping bag it comes in, add just a bit of cold water, tie it shut, give it a toss or two to distribute the water and put it in the fridge. Before we began opening on Tuesdays, I would buy several kinds of lettuce on Saturday and pull it out of the fridge on Wednesday evening to serve at church. It was crisp, fresh and beautiful four days after I bought it.

And what choices we have of greens. I counted about eight varieties of lettuce on Tuesday and four varieties of kale, plus there was Swiss chard and collard greens, green onions and radishes. The asparagus won’t be far behind.

(At right, call me obsessive, but I continue to be wowed by Jim Oxley's dresses which will be at the market again Saturday - last chance till next fall!  These dresses will be winging their way to Australia next week.  Top - size 6 to 9 months dress with panties, socks and hair band - $40, Middle - size 3 dress with panties, socks and hair bow - $23, Bottom - sundress with lined bodice - $10)

There’s a lot going on this weekend at the market. Both today and tomorrow we should have local produce, honey, kettle corn and other flavored popcorn, roasted nuts, baked goods (Black Forest on Friday and Hazel’s Bakery on Saturday!), eggs, and plants – and do I ever mean plants. Between Braker Farm and Fredrickson Farms we should have about 600 hanging baskets go through the market this spring. Tim Green has big beautiful tomato plants, as well as cucumber, pepper and onion plants. If you have children in the family – or the neighborhood - mark down the first Saturday in May when we have our annual Let’s Plant a Garden Day. Each child will receive one of Tim’s big beautiful tomato plants and instructions from the master himself.

But back to plants you can buy. Fredrickson Farms also has Tumbling Tom tomato plants in hanging baskets that were hugely popular last year, as well as 20 varieties of herb plants. Josh Flager has many varieties of heirloom tomato plants as well as flowers for your beds. Fairhaven will have their custom designed wooden planters filled with cheery flowers.

We expect to have enough Washington Hawthorn seedlings to give them away today and tomorrow and we still have lots of seed packets from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company to give away.

Today, when the market is open from 11 to 2, we are delighted to welcome back Terrell Creek Farm, our goat cheese vendor. They plan to have chevre - plain, herb & garlic, hog heaven (bacon and chives), smokin' goat (fire roasted jalepeno), horseradish and chocolate chip, plus feta and feta marinaded in EVO, garlic and herbs.

We also expect Sunny Lane with all-natural beef, lamb and chicken and Madewell Pork today, as well as Cottage Small Coffee Roasters and Endless Bounty energy bars and lotions.

Need to know exactly who’s at the market before heading our way?  Just check the market facebook page. We’ll post a listing of all vendors on site within 30 minutes of opening on every market day.

Granny Shaffers at the Market debuts a menu today with old favorites and what we hope will become a new favorite: chicken salad sandwiches, spinach and strawberry salad and bierocks. Bierocks, a specialty of Granny Shaffers Chef Scott Teal, are meat-filled pastries originating in Germany. They will be sold hot and ready to eat, as well as frozen for taking home and eating later.

Lindsay Supplee with University of Missouri Extension will demonstrate a Braised Greens recipe which can use either kale or collard greens. Stop by her table in the center of the pavilion and try a sample.
No Strings Attached plays bluegrass, gospel and whatever else strikes their fancy from 11 to 1.

Tomorrow, when the market is open from 9 to noon, we’ll have Cooking for a Cause the first two hours – biscuits and gravy, sausage and eggs cooked to order. All profits benefit The Missouri Fisher House, which is a sort of Ronald McDonald house for the families of veterans receiving care at the St. Louis VA Medical Center. Volunteers serving the breakfast are members of the Carl Junction Order of the Easter Star. The Pommerts play. 

Jim Oxley returns for the last time until fall with his handcrafted dresses for little girls, new-born through 10 years. We’ll also have Copperleaf Pottery, glass artists Rebecca Bristow and Jane McCaulley, as well as Edith Bayless with her sewn goods.

The sides are coming off the pavilion Monday so we are officially declaring “No More Cold Weather!”  Next Tuesday (don’t forget the new Tuesday hours – 4 to 6 pm), Dogs on the Roll will serve supper with a menu of all beef hotdog - $1, all beef chili dog - $1.50, Frito pie - $2, pulled pork sandwich - $2. There will also be chips and drinks for sale. Ten percent of sales to the Golden Paws Animal Rescue Shelter. Bill Adkins will play golden oldies on Tuesday.

Freeze or not, the market is going to have a great season. I hope you’ll join us!

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Market Opens for the Season Tomorrow! (Tuesday, 4/15)

Spring may have temporarily abandoned us, but the Webb City Farmers Market is declaring tomorrow the beginning of the regular season!  We’ll be open from 4 to 6 pm inside our cozy pavilion (the sidings will come down when it warms up) just east of the Main Street entrance to King Jack Park. There’ll be free Washington Hawthorns for our first 400 customers, it’s the state flower. And we have 400 hot dogs with chips to serve as well. Former mayor Glenn Dolence and former council Don Meredith will be grilling.

Joe Palmer of Fairhaven
The Sours will play traditional music for our first Tuesday market. We’ll open up with a short recognition of our Champions of the Year – Nashon Bishop with Lincoln University Extension and Patrick Byers with University of Missouri Extension. This annual award recognizes community folks who support the market. Nashon and Patrick are at the market every first Friday helping growers and gardeners, they lead many training workshops for our growers and they also accompany the market manager on farm visits providing on the farm advice. They were a tremendous support to the market in 2013. Their reward?  They each get $15 in market tokens and a tick picker (which will come in handy on those farm visits this year).

The market will be loaded with plants tomorrow (herbs, hanging baskets, bedding plants, cucumber, peppers and over 20 varieties of tomatoes including heirlooms). Customers can learn when and how to plant and care for the plants straight from the plants’ grower. Fairhaven will have their smaller planters filled with flowers at the market on Tuesday (they’ll bring the larger ones when it warms up – they’re too heavy to move in and out in case of late freezes). We’ll also have five farms with many varieties of lettuce, plus spinach, kale, cilantro, green onions and radishes. PT Gardens returns with their seasoned sugars and salts, plus dried herbs.

Sunny Lane Farm will have all-natural beef, lamb and chicken. There will also be honey and energy bars for sale. Our newest vendor Kings Kettle Corn will be set up just north of the pavilion with kettle corn and flavored popcorn as well as roasted nuts.

Starting tomorrow, the market will be on Tuesdays from 4 to 6 pm (yes, those are new hours for us), on Fridays from 11 to 2 and on Saturdays from 9 to noon every week through fall.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Webb City Sentinel - 4/11/14

It’s that time of year again, time for the market to open full swing. Now, don’t get me wrong, the market has actually been in full swing all year. So where to start?  A round-up of news since last October when the last Market Fresh column was printed or the news about “opening day” next Tuesday?  Let’s start with the winter market and then you’ll have to read the whole column to find out about next week (and believe me, there is some important information you won’t want to miss at the end of this column).

You may remember that during the  previous two winters we moved to the Historical Society’s Clubhouse for winter market so we could be indoors. This winter we knew that we had outgrown the Clubhouse and would have to move back to the pavilion. Luckily the city had secured funding to enclose and heat it for the winter. But my oh my, what a winter it was. One Saturday the weather was so bad that we just had to cancel market, but otherwise we managed and were extremely thankful for the protection and heat. Kudos to the late Chuck Surface for securing the grant that paid for the improvements and to Parks Director Tom Reeder who designed and implemented the sidings. (When I say “we” managed, I have to admit that I spent most of the winter in Australia with my daughter’s family so it was other hardy folks who did the managing. There were days this winter when my “high” in Perth was about 100 degrees higher than your “high” in Webb City. I like my high better.)

In case you missed it, not only did we stay at the pavilion this winter but we added what we hope will become a major addition to the winter market – our Christkindlmarket. Look for an even better version of it next November and December.

And look for a special market Saturday when we have our Spring Celebration. We’re open from 9 to noon and we’re expecting at least four farms with all sorts of lovely spring greens, as well as our bakers, egg farmers, and honey vendor. There will be lots of plants, flowers, vegetable, herbs and hanging baskets.

William Adkins will perform from 9 to 11. We’ll have free seed packets from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds – one per person till we run out. Three artists will be on hand selling jewelry and glass work. Randi Bachman returns after an absence of four years with her repurposed fabric items and pottery. Jim Oxley, Tami Fredrickson’s grandpa, returns with his frilly handcrafted dresses for little girls, newborn to 12 years. He only comes two or three times a year for our special markets, so don’t miss him.  (Right - That's little Josephine in her Jim Oxley dress.)

We’ll have cards at the information table for customers to sign. The first card is for Dr. Mark Robinson, our dairyman. Mark was hit by a baseball earlier this week and is in ICU at Mercy in Springfield with a very serious head injury.

The second card is a secret one for Bert and Daffol Ott of Black Forest Pastries. They are retiring from the market at the end of the month. Tomorrow is their last Saturday and then they’ll be at the market for the last two Fridays of the month. 

And now for the important information I promised. The market opens for the regular season on Tuesday and (get ready for it) the new Tuesday hours will be 4 to 6 pm. So between 4 and 6 next week, we’ll have free hot dogs, grilled up by our super volunteers and former city officials Glenn Dolence and Don Meredith, we’ll have a free Washington Hawthorne seedling for each customer. The Sours will play traditional music. Stop by the information table and pick up your free refrigerator magnet with our hours and days for the season – Tuesday from 4 to 6 pm, Friday from 11 to 2, and Saturday from 9 to noon.

And while you’re at the information table, you might pick up a volunteer form. The market wouldn’t exist without its volunteers and there plenty of tasks to suit any ability. Just this week, three volunteers worked with 30 middle schoolers to plant onion sets in the Kids Community Garden. And, of course, the volunteers pretty much run the market. So if you want to join our volunteer family for a couple of hours a month or a few hours a week, just let us know.

Next Friday Some Strings Attached play gospel, bluegrass and whatever else strikes their fancy. Granny Shaffers returns to the market with homemade bierocks (a German meat-filled pastry that will be available hot for lunch or frozen for your later enjoyment), chicken salad sandwiches and strawberry/spinach salad. 

It’s going to be another great year at the market. See you there!

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Good News - & the bad.....

The good news is that you have 9 markets to load up on all those pastries and baked goods that you love from Black Forest Pastries. The bad news is that Bert and Daffol are retiring at the end of April and, boy, will we ever miss them - the goodies, the smiles and the hugs. The Otts have decided it's time to take time for their grandchildren and after years of saying, "we can't come to (fill in the blank with - your concert, your game, your special event), because we'll be baking", they are looking forward to saying "we'll be there!"

But there are NINE Saturday morning markets between now and the end of April so don't miss a single one!

Update on Bert and Daffol - first of all - what an outpouring of appreciation!! Second, we'll be planning something special for them on the last Saturday of April (more on that later) and third, due to the pleading of their customers, though Bert and Daffol will not be at the market after the last Saturday in April, they will continue to take special orders that can be picked up at their bakery south of Carthage through June. Place your orders at the market or at 417 325-7506.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Eve Holiday Market - Tuesday!

The Christmas Eve Holiday Market at the Webb City Farmers Market will be from 11 to 1 on Tuesday, December 24, in the pavilion at the south end of Main Street in King Jack Park.

The following vendors will be at the market to provide fresh, local produce and products for holiday feasts:

• Black Forest House Pastries – American and European baked goods, with lots of German Christmas specialties
• Xiong Farm, Nature Valley Farm, green's Greenhouse and Gardens and Frederickson Farm - with tomatoes, radishes, lettuce and other greens, turnips, carrots and other produce. To quote Tami Frederickson “Beautiful produce at the market right now!”
• Fanning Egg Farm – with farm fresh eggs from happy hens
• Endless Bounty - energy bars
• Weather permitting – Edith Bayless – with sewn goods

The market will also be open next Saturday for the regular market from 9 to noon.

Now that the Christkindlmarket is finished for the year, we will be in the north section of the pavilion. Please come in the north door.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

It's Christmastime at the Market

It’s Christmastime at the market. Saturday, from 9 to noon, the pavilion will be filled with fresh local foods and the Christkindlmarket with gifts for giving. Carolers will stroll through the pavilion filling it with Christmas cheer (Amanda Jones from Seneca. Sydney Shannon from Galena, Forrest Bunter from Neosho, Chris Tanksley from Baxter Springs, all students from MSSU).

We’ll have a wide variety of vegetables, as well as pecans, pork, beef, lamb, chicken, raw milk, honey, energy bars, baked goods, freshly roasted coffee beans, jams and jellies, and eggs. The Butcher Block will have ribs, tamales, brisket, hot coffee, and breakfast burritos and will take orders for cheese balls for pick up at the Christmas Eve Holiday Market (which will be at the pavilion from 11 to 1 on Tuesday, December 24).

In the Christkindlmarket, there will be plenty of Christmas specialties at Black Forest Pastry (they’re taking Christmas Eve orders as well). Jim Oxley returns with his remarkable dresses for girls, newborn through 12 years. Full of ruffles and lace or simple and sweet, these dresses are a bargain and often include matching socks and hair bows. (That's my (Eileen's) little Australian granddaughters modeling them in the photo.) Minerva’s Candy Co. returns with their handmade chocolates and candy canes. Other crafters will have glasswork, knitwear, jewelry, wood crafts, metalwork, and sewn items.

The pavilion is enclosed for the winter with supplementary heat (our thanks to the parks staff that operate the two massive heaters that keep it “jacket weather” inside the pavilion) so even when it’s frosty outside, it’s comfortable in the market.

Folks wanting to place orders for the Christmas Eve Holiday Market can order at Saturday’s market or see the sidebar at right for a list of the most commonly requested vendors and their phone numbers. They can call the market manager at 417 483-8139 for contact information.

Friday, November 22, 2013

How to Order for the Holidays

With the holidays coming up, folks are asking how to order items from the market vendors. You can stop by the market and place an order or just give them a call. I've listed the most often requested vendors below and on the sidebar but if you need numbers for other vendors, just email me at Don't forget our Holiday Market - 11 to 1 at the pavilion on Tuesday, December 24, Christmas Eve, also 11 to 1 at the pavilion.

Amos Apiaries - honey - 417 529-3545
Edith Bayless - seamstress - 417 439-4292
Black Forest Pastry - 417 325-7506
The Butcher Block - tacos/ribs/pulled pork/brisket & other great meats, plus cheese balls - 417 624-1000
Fairhaven - pecans/jams & jelly - 417 432-3458
Hazel's Bakery - 417 529-2030
Minerva's Candy Co - 417 717-0042
Mohaska Farmhouse - artisan breads - 417 206-3473
Sunny Lane Farm - all-natural beef, chicken & lamb - 417 637-2991

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Saturday at the Market

This Saturday the Webb City Farmers Market welcomes another new vendor to its Christkindlmarket – Jim Oxley of Mountain Grove.  Jim has close ties to the Webb City Market.  His granddaughter, Tami Fredrickson with Fredrickson Farms has sold at the market since it opened in 2000.  She’s also the market board president this year.  But Jim is joining the market on his own merit as the creator of lacey, fun dresses for girls, newborn through 12 years.  (You can see a photo of more of his dresses on the market’s Facebook page.) 

In Tami’s words, this is how her grandfather got into this unusual – for a man – line of work:  “My grandma made dresses for all of her granddaughters. She and Grandpa both worked at Brown Shoe factory in Mountain Grove.  Grandpa began helping my grandma after she was diagnosed & treated for breast cancer in the mid eighties.  Grandma would get calls from all over to make dresses like we wore.  After she passed away my grandpa began making the dresses like she did & now travels around to different events to sell them. He uses patterns that my grandma designed & drew.  His prices are affordable for the quality & complexity of each garment.  He tries to keep costs down so anyone can purchase. I am super proud of him!”

Jim joins glass artists, weavers, knitters, potters and others in the Christkindlmarket this Saturday in the south end of the market pavilion.

On Saturday, the market is open from 9 to noon in the pavilion (which is sheltered from the weather by sides now) just southeast of the Main Street entrance to King Jack Park. The Butcher Block will offer breakfast tacos and coffee.  Bill Adkins takes the market stage with contemporary classics. We’re expecting eight farms with fresh local produce like tomatoes, peppers, onions, lettuce, spinach and other greens, winter squash and more, plus a rancher with pork, and lots of baked goods, raw milk, honey, energy bars, tamales, bbq ribs, and farm fresh eggs.