Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Webb City Sentinel market column - April 17, 2018

It’s finally here!  The opening of the 2018 regular market season. Next week the market will be open on Tuesday from 4 to 7, on Thursday from 11 to 2 and, of course, on Saturday from 9 to noon.

We’re starting off in a big way this Saturday. Green’s Greenhouse and Gardens is back with tomato, pepper, and herb plants. Brakers will have the first of the hanging baskets. SproutFaster is running a sale this Saturday only - buy two 30-pound bags of worm castings and get a third for half off. 

Fairhaven will have the first of their small planters and, of course, their handcrafted bluebird and wren houses. For the Birds will have their delightful birdseed wreaths. Susan’s Simple Fixin’s is back with fresh salsa.  Way Back Bakery is back with FRIED PIES!  Still Waters Farm is back, hopefully with the long anticipated asparagus.

Webb City High School Project Graduation serves Cooking for a Cause – scrambled eggs, hashbrown casserole, biscuit and gravy, sausage and orange juice or coffee for $6.

I’m making some of my husband Phil’s excellent chili which will be frozen and next to The Red Tamale because they go together brilliantly. All profits from chili sales go to the market’s WIC coupon program which begins in June.

The Red Bridge Trio will bring foot-stompin’ bluegrass and joyful gospel to the market stage.

Mid-Missouri Bank is once again giving away seedlings. The choices this year are:  Rose Mallow, Serviceberry, Spicebush, Wild Plum, and Deciduous Holly.

It’s the first Clickety Clack – We’re Reading Down the Track event and “Peppa Pig and the Big Train” is the featured book on the streetcar. Rick Gardner will have a model train operating in the market with some of the Peppa Pig characters. Our market assistant’s husband is face painting. It will be quick and simple – and free – just some whiskers or a button nose to create a market full of Peppa’s friends – Candy Cat, Suzy Sheep, Rebecca Rabbit or Danny Dog among others (I’m not sure if he’s going to tackle Emily Elephant!)
Some of the tomato plants that Tim Green is bringing Saturday

The street car will leave the depot on the hour, at twenty after and at forty after from 9 to noon. As of today the 9, 11 and 11:40 rides are full. You can reserve seats on-line at Just search for Clickety Clack. The tickets are free. If there are any empty seats when it’s time for the streetcar to pull out, folks without reservations will be seated.

Clickety Clack, weather and funding permitting, will happen every third Saturday of the month through December. May’s book will feature Thomas.

The event is a collaboration of the market, the Friends of the Library, the Parks Department and the Southwest Railroad Association. Since we need 23 copies of the selected book so there will be one on each bench for the kids to follow along, this is a rather pricey free event. There will be a donation jar at the information table and at the depot if you’d like to help.

Music this week will be The Loose Notes on Tuesday and the Pommerts on Thursday. Ghetto Taco is serving weekday market meals this month.

We want to let our customers who bring their furry family members to the market know that we have learned that it is against city ordinance to bring animals into the pavilion or the kids tent. Certified service animals are, of course, welcome. We are trying to get the word out this month and will begin enforcing the ordinance on May 1st.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Webb City Sentinel market column - 4/11/18

Hurray!  Don’t you just love it when preparation meets with success?  Even in the depths of winter, we don’t expect to open up the market in 24 degrees and close it in 29. But thanks to the sidewalls being tightly closed and our heaters doing their part, we were downright cozy in the market last Saturday despite the frigid temperatures outside. In fact it got so cozy that we toyed with shutting down one of the heaters, but decided against it. Better to shed some of our layers.  (notice all the coats hanging behind our vendors last Saturday)

So I can say without worry, come to the cozy market Saturday. After all, the forecast is for 20 degrees warmer than last week.

I was whining to my daughter Cora about the swings in temperature. She wasn’t overly sympathetic. In Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) where she lives the temperature swung from 70 degrees to, with the wind chill, 20 below zero last week. Yes, the weather can always be worse.  (my daughter-in-law shared the photo below Friday morning, April 13.  Yes, 70 degrees on Saturday and snow the following Friday.  It's dark because they were leaving for the airport for a holiday in Viet Nam.  Mongolian flights seem to leave super early.)

This Saturday, inside the warm pavilion the Kids Garden Club will plant marigolds, make a flower craft and discuss companion planting.

The Fresh Ground Seed Library will hand out free seeds and teach people about seed saving. This is a project of the Ozark Gateway Master Gardeners and was very popular last year. I thought when they scheduled their first event in mid-April that they were awfully late. As it turned out, with such a late spring they may be right on target.
Sprout Faster will be back with their worm compost and Terrell Creek with their award-winning goat cheese. The knife sharpening will be back too! 

The Granny Chicks are on the market’s center stage making their 2018 debut.

Cooking for a Cause benefits the market’s WIC coupon program. Scrambled eggs, biscuit and gravy, sausage, hashbrown casserole and OJ or coffee for $6 gets you a lovely breakfast and provides a young low income family with nutrient-packed fresh produce. Our thanks go to the volunteers from Central United Methodist Church for staffing the breakfast. 

Swing by downtown Webb City after you go to the market to check out the Route 66 Cruise-a-Paloosa. 

Next Saturday, April 21, marks the beginning of the regular season for the market. Webb City Bank will give away seedlings again this year. Cooking for a Cause will benefit Webb City High School’s Project Graduation. Red Bridge Trio will be rocking out bluegrass and gospel. Clickety Clack – We’re Reading down the Track pulls out of the depot west of the market. 

There’s also a special market-related event next Saturday afternoon. Our German bakers who retired a couple of years ago are celebrating their 80th birthday and want all their market friends to come. The celebration will be between 2 and 4 pm at the fellowship hall of the Diamond Christian Church, 203 Market Street in Diamond. They hope you will stop by.

What a great way to start the new season.  See you at the market.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Webb City Sentinel market column - 4/4/18

I think we’ll be very glad Saturday that the sides are still in place on the pavilion!   

Even if we didn’t have these most unwelcome cold temperatures, we usually keep the sides on until May because of the spring winds. We should see lots of plants – both veggies and flowering – come into the market in the next few weeks. Wind can wreck havoc on them so the sides are a real blessing. (Right, there are already a few plants for sale at the market, but give us a few weeks and you'll find beautiful baskets and loads of veggie plants like the 2017 photos below)

That said, we’ll sure enjoy being out of the wind and warmed by the big heaters this Saturday even if the plants aren’t ready for sale. And, just a reminder, the plants aren’t ready for sale by intention. Our growers are very familiar with planting schedules for our area and they plant on a schedule that allows them to bring plants to the market when they are the proper size for planting at the proper time for planting. It’s just too early in March and early April to put out warm weather plants like tomatoes out for another month. Typically the first week of May is considered a safe time to plant tomatoes. Not that it’s shaping up to be a typical year if Easter is any indication. I’m afraid any risk crops our farmers put out early is doomed. That means no early corn, or other warm weather field crops.

Hopefully we’ll make it through this week without the peaches and berries being decimated.

We expect a fun day. 

Stewart’s Bakery is serving breakfast and for eat-in or take-away Linda will have chili with beans.

William Adkins will be on the market stage.

Dinner’s Ready! is back with Vegetable & Ground Beef Stew, Pork Tenderloin with Potatoes and Carrots, Chicken and Noodles with Carrots and Taco Soup. These frozen meals made right here in Webb City are ready to pop in the slow cooker and serve 4.

So you can make plans, special things coming up at the market:

Saturday, April 14 – The Granny Chicks are playing, the Kids’ Garden Club is meeting, The Seed Savers will be giving away seeds.

Saturday, April 21 – Opening day for the regular season, free tree seedling give away, Red Bridge Trio plays, the first Clickety-Clack – We’re Reading Down the Track featuring “Peppa Pig and the Big Train” on the streetcar. Reserve your free tickets on the market’s facebook page. If you don’t on facebook, come by the information table and we’ll secure you reservations. 

Saturday, May 5 - Let's Plant a Garden Day - a free tomato plant for every child.

Saturday, May 13 - The Mother's Day Market!

Come by the information table if 
– you more information on special activities at the market,
- you’d like to volunteer at the market, 
- you have a brilliant idea to share, 
- you have a question, 
- you need to get tokens with your credit, debit or SNAP card, 
- you need to buy a market bag, you have a question, or 
- you just want to chat.

See you at the market!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Webb City Sentinel market column - 3/28/18

It’s a fifth Saturday of the month and we have a bonus Kids Garden Club this Saturday. We’ll be turning the kids into pea-pickers, or should I say future pea-pickers. Each child will take home a cup filled with soil and a pea seed. Peas are very satisfying to grow because the seed is large and so is the baby plant. No straining to see if it’s sprouted as you might with radish or lettuce seed.

For me, peas always bring LuNelle Floyd to mind. Many years ago she was suggested to me to be the cook for a dinner theater my church was putting on. I can’t remember why we hired a cook. I guess we all wanted to be guests!  Anyway, LuNelle proved to be an exceptional cook, as well as a good friend. During that first meeting for some reason she commented that with her farming family traipsing in from the fields, her kitchen floor was so dirty she might as well just plant peas!  

Had I heard such a comment more recently I would recommend the habit of the Hmong farmers at the market. In Asian style, they always leave their shoes outside by the door. Now that my daughter Cora lives in Mongolia, her family does the same. In fact, her landlady was adamant that they adopt that practice. 

Like many practices from other cultures, there’s more to it than meets the eye because they don’t just take off their shoes, they wear slippers or socks in the house to keep the floors clean. It’s a pretty good idea actually and I always observe it when making farm inspections at Hmong farms, and I often remove my shoes when visiting other farms and friends.
But back to the market (my footwear is probably not a topic of general interest). Saturday, Stewart’s Bakery will serve their usual breakfast. The lunch for eat-in or take-out is hamburger vegetable soup for $5 a pint.

Scott Eastman is on the market stage.

Terrell Creek will be at the market tomorrow with their award winning goat cheese.  The Red Tamale returned last week for the first time in six months and will be back tomorrow.   We have three brand new businesses starting Saturday:  Savory Sauce, a new business operating out of the market kitchen specializing in their own salad dressings. Bre Newby, our newest baker, will have decorated sugar cookies using her husband's grandmother's recipe - yes, that would be Jeanne Newby, our very first market baker back in 2000.  For the Birds - Avarian Delights will have handcrafted bird seed wreaths, just right to welcome back our feathered friends.

We’ll have lots of spring greens and other cool weather crops to put dressing on, plus there will be honey, jams and jellies, baked goods, kettle corn, farm fresh eggs, all natural meats, both our soap makers and the knife sharpeners. Sharron will be there with Rada utensils.

Next Saturday is the first Saturday of the month which means the streetcar will run. Catch a free ride between 9 and noon. The ride around the park takes about 15 minutes and is certainly a trip down memory lane. Even if you didn’t ride the streetcar in its heyday, and that would have been in the 1910’s so it seems pretty unlikely, you may remember riding it during the many Mining Days Celebrations or during the Polar Bear Express. Bring the little ones and get them started on some special memories – on the streetcar and at the market. See you Saturday!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Webb City Sentinel market column - 3/21/18

Hurray!  Stewart’s Bakery is back Saturday with breakfast and lunch. Linda had taken off a couple of months to tend to some personal projects and though they are not completely resolved yet she is too bored to sit at home any more. “I felt better when I was working,” she said. We feel better when she is working too.

The timing is perfect because Ghetto Taco, the business filing in for her, needs to concentrate on their food truck business now that the weather is getting better. 

So expect scrambled eggs, biscuit and gravy, sausage, and hash brown casserole Saturday morning. Linda will also have ham and beans for eat-in or take-away.

The Kids Garden Club will plant and decorate egg carton salad gardens. “No wabbits allowed!” according to organizer Eric. It’s free fun (and educational) for all kids.

Scott Eastman performs on the north market stage. Now that weather is warmer we can move the music to the regular stage near the breakfast. During the cold weather we keep our musicians away from the north entrance so they stay cozier. It’s hard to play the guitar with gloves on.

I had the pleasure of being with Carol Parker on KSN yesterday. The recipe I shared was a Spinach and Cheese Egg Bake. I chose it because it was a natural for National Nutrition Month, which is March, and because with the exception of the cheese and the dried herbs, all the ingredients are available at the market. And it’s super easy which is always a consideration when one has only three minutes to share the dish.

In addition to the recipe ingredients I took along some produce just for show including microgreens, which I used to garnish the dish, and pea tops. 

After finishing the segment we began sampling, of course, and my, I had forgotten how good pea tops are. They are just what the name says – the tops of the young pea vines, complete with tendrils. And they taste very much like peas!  I usually give all the display produce away to the TV staff, but I stashed the pea tops among my things to bring home. I will be snacking healthy this week.

Here’s the recipe – Spinach and Mozzarella Egg Bake

4 cups, packed, of fresh spinach (I plunge a pair of kitchen scissors into the spinach and cut it several times to chop it up and make it easier to evenly distribute through the casserole)

½ tsp. olive oil (enough to lightly coat the bottom of your skillet)
1 1/2 cups mozzarella
½ cup thinly slice green onions
8 eggs, beaten
Seasoning to suit

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8 1/5 inch by 12 inch glass or crockery casserole with non-stick spray.

Heat oil in large skillet, add spinach and cover for about 2 minutes. Stir once. Once wilted, spread spinach in the bottom of the casserole dish.

Spread the cheese over the spinach, then the onion.

Finally whip the eggs and add seasoning (I use Herbes de Provence and once the growing season starts you’ll want to use fresh herbs). Pour over the cheese. With the reverse end of your mixing spoon, move the ingredients around enough to make sure the egg saturates everywhere. Bake for 35 minutes.

Let the dish set for 15 minutes after removing from the oven before serving. Or refrigerate and serve cold.

This tasty dish features two ingredients that are in abundance at the market right now – spinach and eggs. Enjoy them while you can. During the heat of the summer they can be hard to come by.

See you at the market on Saturday!