Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Webb City Sentinel - 7-3-09

First, yes, we will be open today and tomorrow. On today, that means 11 to 3 and on Saturday, from 9 to noon. We’re hoping that folks will start out their holiday with a visit to the market. Most of our growers will be at the market because harvest is approaching full swing. Taking time off now means a lot produce (and hard work) goes to waste.

Second, yes, the sweet corn is in and the field tomatoes are also coming in. Be sure and check your corn. This hot weather has given the corn worms a boost. Usually the first planting, which is what is being harvested now, is worm-free even if it isn’t sprayed with pesticide. It’s in the August corn that worms become a problem, especially for our pesticide-free growers. Thanks to last week’s super hot weather, the worms have decided it’s August. Farmers who have detected a problem are throwing in extra ears, but I would recommend peeling back the tops of your corn to make sure you don’t end up short on corn for your holiday.

I find that chopping the tips off leaves me with most of the ear and none of the wildlife. However, if you want to avoid any risk of worms, stop by Fairhaven. They are shucking their corn and putting it in clear bags so you can easily see just what you’re getting.

We should have a good supply of tomatoes this weekend and a bumper crop of other produce like zucchini, squash, onions, potatoes, cucumbers, and green beans. I even saw some of the first eggplant on Tuesday.

The market’s cooking class was a big success on the last two Mondays of June. We had many more sign up than could be accommodated, so Extension has agreed to repeat the course in July. The classes will be held at Central United Methodist Church, Broadway and Pennsylvania, in Webb City. The cost is $10 per class or $15 for both.
On Tuesday, July 21, the class will cover the basics of home food preservation. Students will participate in the process of pressure canning green beans or another garden vegetable from fresh-picked to sealed in the jars and will learn the difference between boiling water canning and pressure canning and which foods are appropriate for each. Freezing foods will also be discussed.

On Tuesday, July 28, the class will cover the art of jelly and pickle making and processing in a boiling water canner. Dehydrating foods will also be discussed. Both classes run from 6 to 8:30 pm.

To register, contact the Extension office at 417-358-2158. And if you’re planning to do a lot of home preservation this summer, be sure and stop by the information table at the market. We’re maintaining a contact list of folks interested in buying in bulk. When one of our farmers has surplus produce and can sell in quantity, you’ll get a call.

This is our week of All-American markets, when we celebrate the generosity of America. Cooking for a Cause benefited Crosslines, our regional food and clothing pantry. On Saturday, the breakfast of biscuits, gravy, sausage, orange juice or coffee (for $3) will also benefit Crosslines. Our thanks go to the meals volunteers from Central United Methodist. CUMC is one of more than 60 churches that work through Crosslines to help our neighbors in need.

Our market gleaning program is another example of generosity. Just last week our vendors donated $200 worth of produce and baked goods to local agencies feeding the homeless.

And, of course, we don’t want you going hungry either, so come join us for lunch today. The meal is BBQ beef sandwiches, potato salad, oriental cole slaw, dessert and drink for $6. The Loose Notes perform from 11 - 1.
On Saturday, breakfast is served from 9 to 11. Gary Kyger is performing throughout the morning.

Next Tuesday, Cooking for a Cause supports the Joplin Humane Society.

Finally, we begin our English as a Second Language class at the market today. NALA volunteer, Jared Zamouski, will lead an informal class each Friday from about 1:15 to 2:15 in the south end of the pavilion. The class is for our immigrant growers to practice and improve their English – now how All-American is that? – but it is also be open to any non or limited-English speaker, regardless of native language or relationship to the market. There are no fees and no tests. All are welcome.