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.