Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Seninel column - 5/22/09

If you have a sick or damaged tree or shrub, you need to come to market today. Jon Skinner, urban forester for the Missouri Department of Conservation, will hold a clinic at the market today from 11 to 1. Bring a sample of your sick tree or shrub, or in the case of wind damage, bring a picture. Jon will diagnose the problem and suggest a course of action. You can also make an appointment with him for an on-site visit.

Trees have sure taken a beating in our area with ice storms and an inland hurricane. Take advantage of Jon’s expertise to make sure yours are healthy and strong. He’ll be located in the center pavilion. And if you’re running a little late, drop by anyway. Jon almost always stays beyond his scheduled time.

I have a favor to ask – mark your calendar for next Tuesday to come have lunch with us. And then try to remember when Tuesday is. Each year Memorial Day throws everyone’s week off. Monday’s a holiday, so Tuesday feels like the first day of the week – but it’s not. Tuesday will be the first time the Webb City High School Choir Boosters work Cooking for a Cause. If enough of us keep our days of the week straight and come to market to eat with them, it will be a good first experience.

The Kids Community Garden is underway. Kids and adult mentors planted the first tomatoes, peppers and eggplants yesterday. The garden is open to children in 5th grade or higher. For more information, call the garden supervisor, Rochelle DeLucia, at 629-7360.

We think there’s going to be lots of interest in food preservation this year and we’re planning two new programs to match that interest.

First, we are maintaining a list of folks who would like to be notified when a farmer has an abundance of product and is willing to sell in bulk for food preservation. If you would like to be on that list, stop by the information table.

Second, we are sponsoring, with University of Missouri Extension, two classes on food preservation. Both classes will be held at Central United Methodist Church at Broadway and Pennsylvania in Webb City. Tammy Roberts, a nutrition and health education specialist with Extension will teach the classes.

The class from 6 to 9 pm on Monday, June 22, will cover the basics of home food preservation. It will be hands on training in pressuring canning vegetables from fresh-picked to sealed in jars. Participants will learn the difference between boiling water canning and pressure canning and which foods are appropriate for each. The class will also cover freezing.

On Monday, June 29, from 6 to 8:30 pm, participants will learn the art of jelly and pickle making. The drying method of food preservation will also be covered.

The cost for one class is $10 per person and for both classes is $15. Registration forms are available at the market’s information table or by calling the Extension office at 417 358-2158.

Lunch today is meatloaf, au gratin potatoes, green beans, cake & drink for $6. Jack & Lee Ann Sours play during lunch from 11 to 1.

By the way, the Sours will be playing for a Contra dance in Neosho on Saturday. It’s always great fun. If you’d like to join in the dance, see below or talk to the Sours today.