Friday, June 27, 2008

Inside News

Saturday (June 28) - we don't expect any tomatoes, but Hector Troyer will probably have sweet corn and Pates will have peaches. Come before 10 to be assured of either. The Brakers will be back with blueberries and Fairhaven with blackberries on Tuesday.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Inside news

Items that should be at the market Friday in limited supply -

blueberries from Braker Farm,
peaches from Pates Orchard,
tomatoes from Shoal Creek Gardens,
green peppers from Troyer Farm,
raspberries and baby squash and zucchini from Josh Orr,
blackberries from Fairhaven Berry Farm and
dewberries (wild blackberries) from the Lees.

We've got a great supply of onions and new potatoes, but are running short of green beans after a couple of hours at market.

Sentinel column - June 27

What a mob we had at the market last Friday. It was the first day this season when we truly had a traffic and parking problem and, frankly, it caught us off guard. In the past, we didn’t run into traffic problems until Fridays in the middle of July.

I met with park supervisor Tom Reeder this week to do a little parking/traffic problem solving. At his suggestion, we are asking customers to exit south on Garrison if they have parked beyond handicapped parking, making the road one way going south by the pavilion.

We will also block off the sides of Garrison Street to keep the full width of the street available for traffic. That should allow cars to flow much more smoothly.

Corky Johnson will man the golf cart today so folks can park a distance away without taking a hike. Corky does a great job with the cart, safe, efficient, attentive and friendly. As the summer continues we may need the cart at every market, so if you’d like to drive it and are willing to meet Corky’s high standards, please come by the information table. We’ll sign you up.

The information table will move to the west side between the pavilions on Fridays. Should you need a ride out to your car, just come to the information table and we’ll take you and your purchases right to your car door.

Tom Reeder also plans to remove some of the rocks and debris that have made parking south of the pavilions something of an obstacle course. Hopefully, as the amount of produce and the number of customers increase these measures will make coming and leaving the market less of a trial.

I’d like to take a moment to say how impressed we at the market have been by Tom in his new position as park supervisor. He’s been very helpful, both with advice and assistance, in our little corner of the park. We really appreciate it and think the parks are going to become even more of an asset for our community under his guidance.

Speaking of assets, ours are increasing all the time. On Saturday, Jamie Smith plans to debut his food wagon. He’ll bake (in a portable brick wood-fired oven) pizzas and stuffed mushrooms right at the market. He’ll also have a selection of sandwiches on his delectable breads.

So on Saturday, when we’re open 9 to noon, you can have a big breakfast from Hazel’s Bakery or a snack or lunch from Jamie’s Redings Mill Bakery or Asian cuisine from Ka Yang. Add in the shopping and music by Baled Green and Wired Tight and you might as well plan to spend the morning with us.

Saturday also kicks off our All-American week when we fundraise to feed our neighbors in need.

On Saturday and Tuesday, We Care of the Four States will sell perennials at the market. There will be purple cone flowers, tall garden flox (I love those), columbine, ground cover, shamrock, hardy begonias, salvia and autumn sage to name a few. All are grown by volunteers at We Care of the Four States, which is a food pantry located at 6879 East Newman Road. A 501c3 established in 2000, it allows folks in need to shop for supplemental groceries once every five weeks. The only requirement is a social security number, an ID and the need for food.

On Tuesday, the market will host Cooking for a Cause to benefit Crosslines, our regional food and clothing pantry. Crosslines is supported by about 60 area churches and supplies people referred by Family Services, the Red Cross, Economic Security, Lafayette House and partner churches with supplemental groceries once a month.

And on Thursday (did you catch that? THURSDAY), the market will host the annual mega-bake sale. You’re invited to bring a bake good or buy a baked good – or both – all in support of Crosslines. The market’s All-American events are one of Crosslines biggest fundraisers of the year. We hope you will be part of this worthy project.

Back to that THURSDAY. We always move our market to the day before the Fourth of July because we don’t want to spend our holiday at the market, and neither do our customers. So we will be open on Thursday, July 3, from 11 to 3. We will be closed on Friday, July 4th, and will be open from 9 to Noon on Saturday, July 5th.

Today the Wild River Band plays from 11 to 1 with a break at noon when the Ninth Hour will perform songs from JLT’s upcoming Forever Plaid. This quartet of local young men, accompanied by Matt Holt, will treat you to some tight harmonies and golden oldies.

Forever Plaid has a special showing at the Route 66 Movie Theater on Saturday, July 12. It will benefit the Webb City Library and the city’s downtown efforts. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the market.

Lunch today is stuffed peppers, two-tone green beans, squash casserole (Janis Jackson’s great recipe), whoopee pie and drink for $6.

Josh Orr will do trick rope demonstrations at Noon on Fridays and Tuesdays and at 10:30 and 11 on Saturdays.

Today is Barb Pate’s birthday. Bet she’ll be at the market – what better way to celebrate? Stop by the Pate’s Orchard stand in the north pavilion and wish her a happy one.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Great Inside News

Got the following message from Pates Orchard today:

"Peaches are ready. See you Tuesday."
Pates Orchard plans to be at the market on every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday,

Sunday, June 22, 2008

And the good news is ....

My oh my, we certainly had some wrinkles this weekend. Starting Friday with the mob of folks who showed up at opening. Our apologies for the traffic jam.

And then Saturday our band was unable to come. We have rescheduled the Wilkins Family for Saturday, August 16 - which brings us to some good news. Yes, we plan to continue the Saturday markets until we run out of a good supply of produce or customers.

OOPS. Maybe all the trouble was because I forgot to post the 6/21/08 Sentinel column. Here it is - late:

I’ve been thinking of friends and connections both near and far this week. Loosing a friend to death does that, loosing two really fills the mind with sorrow and memories. The first friend was Carl Bailey, tomato-grower extraordinaire. He won one of our first tomato contests, but his real strengths were kindness and wisdom.

The second was Ron Hale. Ron died Tuesday in a farm accident. The accident was inexplicable, as seems often the case with tractor accidents. I knew Ron through the Missouri Farmers Market Association. He was our vice president. Ron also managed and sold at the Farmington Farmers Market. He will be terribly missed by his community, both locally and statewide.

The Association has been the source for me of many friends with a special interest in markets. It was formed in 2000, the same year our market started and currently includes 77 markets, providing lots of opportunities to share ideas and solutions. While every market is different, hopefully each reflecting their own community, there is much we can learn from each other.

The Association’s president will be at the market today. Deb Connors is coming in her role as the market manager of City Market in Kansas City. She and her assistant manager Deb Churchill, visit several markets every year to pick up ideas. Since, like us, she visits every vendor at her market she had to be in our corner of the state to visit two farmers that sell at both City Market and Webb City, the Cha and the Lee families. When I think I’ve taken on too much, visiting about 30 farms some as far as 70 miles from Webb City, I just remember Deb with her 500-mile limit and 100+ farms.

You might be surprised to learn how far your local market reaches beyond those 70 miles – not to gather its produce but to share information and support buying local wherever that may be.
Last week a photographer with Missouri Ruralist was down to do a story on the market’s Roots celebration. There will be an article in the August issue of Plenty magazine with information on our market’s “good works”. Plenty is a national magazine focusing on living green. They are currently interviewing our meat vendors for another article.

I flew to New Mexico last month to talk about our work with immigrant farmers at a regional conference. I must admit that I was humbled by the work and expertise I saw at the conference. In fact, I’m sure I learned more than I taught but I really appreciated the invitation.

And, of course, this column goes far and near. I heard just last week from a Sentinel reader in Florida.

What can you expect at the market today? Josh Orr is bringing the first raspberries. He’s also doing a trick roping demonstration at noon today and at 10:30 on Saturday. The Keelings will have gooseberries today. The tedious part of the job, stemming, is already done.

John Pate and Tim Green have local high tunnel tomatoes until they sell out, which is usually within an hour or two of opening. There are lots of new potatoes, green beans, onions and other good things.

Today is the day to buy an apron if you want one. Tiffany Bergland does not expect to be at the market for a while. She said that her sales have fallen as gas prices have risen.

Lunch today is barbecued chicken breast, au gratin potatoes, peas, fruit fluff and drink for $6. Gospel Strings play.

On Saturday, Hazel’s Bakery serves up a big breakfast and Ka Yang serves Asian cuisine. The Wilkins Family from Oronogo will play from 9:30 to 11:30. Market Jam (session) begins at 11:30.

On Tuesday, the Humane Society runs Cooking for a Cause. They usually have a mobile pet adoption center set up under the trees near the Chamber of Commerce, so if you’re in the market for a pet be sure to drop by.

And finally, please take time to enjoy your family and friends. There is nothing more precious.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Inside News

Dee Ogle will not be at the market with her jams and jellies until her tomatoes are ready for sale, which will probably be in early July. If you need to contact her for condiments, check with the information table.

Tiffany Bergland plans to be at the market for at least a couple more Fridays selling her aprons.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Inside News

The Keelings are bringing gooesberries on Tuesday. They usually leave the market about 1:30, so come before then if you'd like some.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Peaches by June 27

Barb Pate reports that the peach trees are loaded. At left, see her grandson "learning the business the hard way from the ground up. He is working with his Dad this summer in the orchard. This is a later variety they are thinning."

Thinning the number of peaches on each tree is a lot of work, but crtitical to ensure the large delicious peaches that we have come to expect from Pates Orchard.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sentinel Column - June 13, 2008

We celebrated our roots on Tuesday – those of our vendors, our customers and our produce. The Lee and Vang families wore their Hmong festival costumes and Kimberly Ritchie dressed in the garb of her Scottish ancestors. All of us who work or sell at the market had signs showing where we were born and where our families came from. (I had to call my brother Bill, the genealogist of the family, to learn that we trace our roots to England and France.) The Cooking for a Cause volunteers from Joplin Little Theater noted their organization’s birth date – 1939.

Ann Watrous who is a volunteer for both the Historical Society and the Genealogy Society staffed several maps for folks to pinpoint their ancestral homes. She was ably assisted by her daughter Julia Watrous Casella.

Ann reported that market visitors traced their roots to Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Central and South America, and Africa, as well as North America. Basically, we’re from everywhere! The largest numbers were from the British Isles, with England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales all well represented. A surprising number of visitors knew the exact city or county from which their ancestors came.

France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Spain and France were represented. Asian roots were traced to Laos, Cambodia, Formosa, Japan, the Philippines, Korea and Vietnam. Chile and Columbia were marked, as were Guatemala and Costa Rica. A number of visitors noted Native American roots, especially in the Cherokee Nation.

Ann really enjoyed her day saying “stories of family genealogies were shared: coal miners from western France, England and Wales came to this area to work in mines in Missouri and Kansas. Two visitors had famous progenitors: Charlemagne and Miles Standish!”

Our Market Roots celebration was named Best Market Event of the Year by the state Department of Agriculture’s AgriMissouri program and the Missouri Farmers Market Association. It’s certainly a favorite among our customers and vendors.

If you happen to be at the market at 1:30 on a Tuesday in June, you will find yourself surrounded by about 100 students from Webster school. Each Tuesday we have two busloads of summer school students visiting the market. Many of the children have visited before with their families, but there is still plenty to learn (“who can say kohlrabi?” or “boc choy?”). They marvel at the size of Ka Yang’s wok, but the prizewinners for fascination are the green eggs sold by Kimberly Ritchie. Eyes also widen as Bill McLaughlin hands a snickerdoodle to each child – not because they’ve never seen a snickerdoodle before, but because Bill bakes the cookies. Most don’t expect a man to be the baker, but Bill is the chief cookie and fruit bread baker at Hazel’s Bakery.

Lunch today from Hazel’s Bakery is a customer favorite, all-you-can-eat ham and beans, plus plain or jalapeno cornbread, carrot cake and drink for $5. Jack and Lee Ann Sours play from 11 to 1.

On Saturday, the Loose Notes will play gospel and bluegrass from 9:30 to 11:30. At 11:30 the Market Jam begins. It’s a jam session for local musicians. We provide a place and free drink, they provide the tunes.

Hazel’s Bakery will serve breakfast Saturday. Ka Yang will serve Asian cuisine. Josh Orr will demonstrate rope tricks at 10:30 and the Carl Junction FFA will sell plants from their greenhouse.

On Tuesday, Exchange Club volunteers run Cooking for a Cause. They’ll be donating their profits to Healing the Family, a 501c3 counseling service. Rob Pommert will perform.

It won’t be long now till we hit the market’s high season. By the end of June (and that’s only two weeks away), we expect to have the first field tomatoes, corn and peaches. And that will take us to the busiest week of the year – the first week of July. As always, the market day will move to suit the Fourth of July. Since the Fourth comes on a Friday this year, that week we’ll have Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday markets. On Tuesday, July 1st, Cooking for a Cause will benefit Crosslines, our regional food and clothing pantry. On Thursday, July 3rd, we’ll host our mega-bake sale to benefit Crosslines. We’re looking for volunteers to staff the meal and bake sale, plus we hope folks will bake up plenty of goodies for the sale. If you would like to help, stop by the information table for details.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Royalty visits the market

Queen Katey, of Fredrickson Farms, graced the market in all her splendor Tuesday.

Music at the Market

Good news from the Missouri Arts Council. It won't be official until July 1, but MAC is awarding a $2,000 grant to the market for its music program. This is especially good news since we have tripled our music days with performances on Tuesdays and Saturdays in addition to our usual Friday music.

Market Roots

As always, the Market Roots celebration was a big hit. Ann Watrous, a volunteer for both the Historical Society and the Genealogy Society, helped visitors locate their own roots on the map.
More details will be in the Sentinel column.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Inside News

I just received a call from Wendy Braker of the Braker Berry Farm in Orogono. They plan to be at the market Friday with blueberries!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Inside News

Troyer Farm, Pates Orchard and Helen Cha all have lovely green beans. Pates & Shoal Creek Gardens have high tunnel tomatoes. They sold out by 12:30 on Tuesday, so plan to come fairly early if you want green beans or tomatoes.

Field Day at the Troyer Farm

Hector & Lois Troyer hosted a field day on Saturday evening for our market growers. About 15 growers learned about techniques the Troyers have implemented and also benefited from the advice of Steve Fredrickson of Fredrickson Farms and Jay Chism, extension agronomist. Special thanks to Jay who came on his day off.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Webb City Sentinel column - 6/6/08

Things are really gearing up at the market. This week we begin our Saturday markets. We’ll be open under the pavilion every Saturday from 9 to noon, in addition to our regular Tuesdays and Fridays from 11 to 3.

Tomorrow, come for breakfast, come for lunch, come for music, but most of all come for fresh local produce.

We finally committed to a Saturday market this year because, frankly, we had more vendors than we could fit under the pavilions on just two days a week. That was the ingredient we had been waiting for. We knew that lots of folks could not come during our weekday hours, but we had to have enough vendors and produce to add a day. We won’t always have the same vendors each day, but we should have a good selection each day.

Every Saturday Hazel’s Bakery will serve breakfast – your choice of eggs-cooked-to-order, sausage, bacon, biscuits and gravy, pancakes and coffee. Ka Yang will have egg rolls, Asian sandwiches, rice noodle salad, and sweet rice with bananas rolls.

There will be live music from 9:30 to 11:30. Drywood Bluegrass is playing tomorrow. At 11:30 local musicians are invited to join in a “Market Jam” session.

We’ll have a special treat at 10:30 when Josh Orr, our youngest vendor who is a senior over at Carthage High, will do rope tricks. Don’t tell his mentor Tim Green. Josh wants to surprise him!
We’ll have some new vendors on Saturday. Larry Cassatt from Oronogo is bringing some produce from his garden as well as perennials. Bethany Lewis, also from Oronogo, is starting Stella Dolce at the Saturday market and will whip up smoothies made with real fruit and fruit juice.

Speaking of new businesses, the market will soon have a new candy maker. He’s still putting his ducks in a row, but was at the Clubhouse yesterday going through his health department inspection. The market teams up with the Historical Society to allow new and small market businesses to prepare their foods in the Clubhouse’s certified kitchen. This makes the fourth vendor using the kitchen.

It is my hope and goal that someday the market will own a large certified kitchen that can be rented 24-7 to small and beginning businesses. One of our market goals is to improve the community’s economy and increasing the number and success of small locally-owned businesses is a great way to do that.

Lunch at the market today is spaghetti and meatballs, garden salad, garlic bread, cantaloupe and watermelon and drink for $6. Bailed Green and Wired Tight play from 11 to 1.
Some new produce coming in – new potatoes and sugar snap peas. Tim Green and John Pate will have 400 pounds of high tunnel tomatoes.

Next Tuesday is our Market Roots Celebration. Each vendor and volunteer will have a sign about where they were born and where their ancestors came from. In the case of our immigrant farmers, their sign will also say when and where they became US citizens. The Historical Society will have maps for customers to mark their own roots. And there will be a display table showing the origins of produce we sell at the market. It’s always fun to learn more about each other and our food. This celebration was named Best Market Event in the State by the Missouri Department of Agriculture last year. So come celebrate your roots on Tuesday.

I’ll end with a happy story. Last Friday as the market was closing a thin little dog showed up unattended. Our vendor Dee Ogle befriended him and studied his tags. There were two phone numbers, so we called both. No answer, we left a message. Within ten minutes the owner was at the market for a joyful reunion.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Cooking for a Cause

Big Brothers, Big Sisters had a great crowd on Tuesday and raised over $300 for their organization. We've been blessed with excellent volunteers so far this season and look forward to working with Joplin Little Theater next week.

Our Cooking for a Cause schedule is full for the year, but we have openings for the next 6 weeks on Saturdays for the Benefit Bake Sale. If your organization would like a day, call me at 483-8139.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Saturday Markets Begin

This week, the market goes to its summer schedule with markets on Tuesday and Friday from 11 to 3 and on Saturday from 9 to noon. All the markets will be under the pavilions in King Jack Park and all will have meals and live music, as well as produce, all-natural meats, jams, jellies, honey, plants and other good things. So come for the freshness and stay for the fun!