Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sentinel Column August 1

We’re loaded with tomatoes, so that must mean TomatoFest time!

This Saturday, we’ll celebrate with contests, sampling and demonstrations.
The Fun categories are: Heaviest/Biggest, Smallest Ripe Tomato and the Weirdest Tomato. Winners receive $15 of market tokens courtesy of the Richardson Law Office.

The Quality categories are: Best Red, Best Other Color and Best Small (cherry, grape, etc) Tomato. The winners receive $25 of market tokens courtesy of Granny Shaffer’s.

Tomato entries must be made between 8:30 and 9:30 in the south pavilion. Two tomatoes of the same variety are required for the Best Red and Best Other Color. Eight are needed for the Best Small. Only one tomato is required to enter the Fun categories.

Judging begins at 9:30 and hopefully winners will be announced by 10:30.
Judges this year are Mike Pound of the Joplin Globe, Chef Scott Teal, executive chef at the Holiday Inn and Mike Wiggins, owner of Granny Shaffer’s.

Tomato sampling will run from 9:30 to 11:30 in the north pavilion.

Tammy Roberts, Extension nutritionist, will demonstrate how to make gazpacho at 9:30 and 10:30 in the north pavilion. There will, of course, be a tasting afterwards.

Drywood Bluegrass will play and a full breakfast is served until 11 for $5. Redding Mill plans to be there will lunch specialties.

Webb City’s own Cub Pack 39 will have a bake sale.

We said farewell this week to one of our volunteers, Cody Vaughn. Cody is a senior at the high school and in the honors program. The program requires that participating students put in community service hours with a limit of three hours per organization. Cody offered to drive our market cart as his service and, of course, pretty much did the three hours in one day. He completed his fourth Tuesday of driving this week – now that’s really community service when all he gets is the satisfaction of helping. And, of course, what we really loved to hear was “See you next summer” from him when he left.

Now that watermelon and cantaloupe are at the market folks can really gather an armload quickly. Don’t forget we have wagons between the pavilions. Veggie valet is at the information booth. You can leave your purchases in the shade there while you buy more, eat lunch, visit or listen to the music. And though the walk to your car may have been easy coming in, you may want a lift back with all your melons, corn, tomatoes, pies, etc. There is a picnic bench under the west canopy between the pavilions. That’s the shuttle stop. If the shuttle is driverless, just stop by the information booth and a driver will be at your service.

Today lunch is barbecued beef sandwich, baked beans, corn salad, carrot cake and drink for $6. Coyote Pass will play.

Next Tuesday Cooking for a Cause will benefit Girl Scout troop 6438. This troop, which has met at Central United Methodist church since Brownie days, is made up of high school students. They deserve a pat on the back for sticking with a great program literally for a decade.

Speaking of decades, next year the market celebrates its 10th birthday. Any ideas on how we should celebrate?