Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sentinel column - 4/15/11

The Farmers Market is all about celebrating the seasons, and we’re set to celebrate a new season of goodness at the market next Friday. We officially open our 2011 season on Good Friday, April 22. It should be quite a weekend with the market opening, Springtime on Broadway and the children’s egg hunt in the King Jack Park. The market will be open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11 to 2 (note the new closing time) starting next Friday. On May 7, we add our Saturday market every week from 9 to noon.

Opening day will see our usual giveaway of red bud seedlings to the first 300 customers. The Clayton Singers of Stockton will sing from 11 to 1. And, of course, former mayor Glenn Dolence and now-former councilman Don Meredith will grill up hundreds of hotdogs for our guests. Everyone is welcome to a free hotdog lunch – until we run out which usually happens about 1 o’clock.

We’ll have the first of the spring produce (check facebook for last-minute details), lots of plants, our meats, eggs (including colored eggs – how great is that for Easter?), cheese, milk, jams, jellies, honey, roasted coffee beans, and baked goods. If last year is any indication, there will be a rush on the baked goods because of the holiday. You may want to stop by the market today to place an order to make sure you get what you want.

Today (Friday, 4/15) is the last Winter Market. Amazingly, despite the grim weather we had, the Winter Market thrived this year. We only cancelled one market (the snow was too deep to bring cars into the parking area). And, had I known that baker Bert and I would have to sweep snow out of the pavilion, we might have cancelled another time. Yes, we can be pretty crazy sometimes, but luckily we’ve got a lot of loyal customers who come out despite the weather – and when you have two carloads of fresh baked goods ready to sell, you sweep if you must.

If the weather permits, the Loose Notes will play today from 11 to 1. Jimmi’s is serving a choice of soups – roasted brisket with bleu cheese, gazpacho, and New York deli soups. It will be available for eating at the market or for taking home in quart jars.