Thursday, September 16, 2010

Webb City Sentinel Column - 9/17/10

Fall is coming to the market this weekend. Today Heidi Stoller will be back with her lovely mums. Fair Haven will have decorative gourds. Tomorrow we’ll have a big load of pumpkins from JKL Pumpkins in Diamond. They’ll have all shapes, sizes and colors. The three young men who comprise JKL have done a great job of growing, especially considering it’s their first year. That’s not too surprising since they were mentored by our very experienced and generous pumpkin vendors, Fredrickson Farms.

New fall produce we’re glad to see coming in includes loads of lovely fresh, tender green beans.

Pate’s Orchard expects to have a big load of peaches and apples both today and Saturday. John says the Parade variety he’s bringing is the biggest peach this year.
Today’s menu is oven-fried chicken, corn, mashed potatoes, sugar cookies and drink for $6. I’d say we’re talking down home comfort food. The Reeds, our Friday meal vendors, always have a luncheon salad available too for the light eaters and vegetarians.

The Plainsfolk perform from 11 to 1. Actually, they’ll probably play a little later because we have our annual field trip from Eugene Field today. The third-graders walk down to the market between noon and 2. They meet in small groups with the Mayor (their vocabulary word for the week is “community”), then meet with me to learn about local food and farming.

Each class does a scavenger hunt looking for different kinds of food, finding out where the vendors come from and why the customers shop at the market. They spend a little time with the musicians and finish up with a cookie from Black Forest.

Tomorrow we also have a special day. It’s our first-ever Get Fit Day. Our usual market vendors will be present, but we’ll have all sorts of health-oriented booths, too. Tom Reeder, director of the city Parks and Recreation Department will be there, as will the Dogwood Trailblazers, a local walking club. Two of our local health food stores will have booths. Nature’s Path will have samples and information on gluten-free diets. Natural Health Center will have aromatherapy information. Breatheasy will do blood pressure checks. The Clean Air Project will have information on their smoke-free proposal, St. John’s on body fat measurement, Freeman Women’s Health on mammograms and bone density and LiveSmart on fat and sugar content.

Vickie Fuller, the culinary arts instructor at the Southwest Career Center in Monett, will do a cooking demonstration. And in honor of our “Get Fit” theme, breakfast is adding a fresh local apple to our menu selection.

Webb City High School Project Graduation will serve breakfast from 9 to 11 and, in addition to the apple, choices include biscuits and gravy, sausage and eggs to order. Center Creek Bluegrass will play from 9:30 to 11:30.

We’re looking forward to another wonderful Saturday. Last Saturday, we felt so fortunate to be filled with the arts and artists. Special thanks to local artists John Biggs, John Fitzgibbon, Kyle McKenzie, Heather Grills and Jessie McCormick for sharing their talents. The Audubon Society, Lafayette House, Spiva Center for the Arts, and Skinner Pottery gave the children a chance to be artists themselves. The entertainment was great. As always, the young violinists really blew us away.

The event was possible because of many volunteers and the financial support of MSSU, Cardinal Scale and the Missouri Arts Council.

Arts in the Park is sponsored by the Friends of the Webb City Parks. If you’d like to be a member (it costs $5 and you get a $5-off coupon for Chatters), stop by the market information table.