Thursday, July 14, 2011

Webb City Sentinel column - 7-15-11

Almost every market has something special, new crops, special foods or special events. This weekend is no exception. Today, at 10:45 right before the market opens, the Missouri Department of Agriculture will present our grower Tim Green with the Missouri Market Champion of the Year award. The Champion of the year is selected for their contribution to a local farmers market and Tim certainly is deserving. He mentors our new growers, helps with our Kids Garden, serves on our board, supplies tomatoes for our benefit meals and helps in a host of other ways.

And the big news about tomorrow is that Hazel’s Bakery is coming out of retirement. Owners Kay and Bill McLaughlin retired from the market last year after supplying us with pies and cakes and other baked goods for 9 years. Kay needed to take care of some medical issues.

Last winter Kay took care of the medical problems, but sadly Bill died suddenly of a heart attack, leaving Kay with a terrible hole in her life. We at the market missed Hazel’s and we got the feeling Kay missed being at the market, so we encouraged her to consider returning. And she is!

Hazel’s will be at the market every Saturday. Tomorrow she’s planning to have pies (pecan, rhubarb, strawberry rhubarb, peach, cherry, blackberry, and apple), cakes (carrot, chocolate, coconut and red velvet), cup cakes (plain and fancy), cookies (cranberry oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate chip, coconut whispers, snicker doodles, and chocolate no-bakes), quick breads, banana nut, pumpkin and zucchini), fudge, pecan divinity and scones.

Kay will be in her old spot by the information table.

Folks at the market Saturday saw that the children with the Kids Community Garden are back. I was gratified upon returning from a month’s absence to find the Kids Garden still growing, although plenty weedy. We had to suspend work in the garden while I was gone. The supervisor I had lined up to keep it going lost his house in the tornado and had his hands full, so other than occasional watering by market volunteers, the garden was on its own in June. I expected a disaster upon my return, but amazingly almost all the plants survived. The rows had been mulched in adequately so all I had to do was till between the rows to get the garden back in pretty good shape. A friend gave me a hard time about my tilling the weeds instead of having the children do it, but I’m not too keen on 12-year-olds operating dangerous machinery! And it would have been a mammoth project to pull all those weeds by hand.

The children have been back in the garden this month, weeding around the plants, laying in more mulch and learning about harvesting the flowers. Two children will sell at the Saturday market and another two at the Tuesday market. At the market, the children learn business skills – pricing, display, making change, and interacting with customers.

They also learn about overhead. Two children sell, but the sales are split three ways. Each child receives one-third and the market receives one-third to pay their sales tax and cover some of the costs of the garden. That way the children understand that in pricing their flowers, they need to consider the costs.

Today, the Loose Notes will play from 11 to 1. Lunch is chicken salad sandwich, potato salad, spinach salad, fresh fruit cup and drink for $6. A vegetarian luncheon salad is also available.

Tomorrow, the Granny Chicks play from 9:30 to 11:30. Breakfast is served from 9 to 11. Profits from the breakfast tomorrow support the PEO scholarship program.
Next Tuesday, Rob Pommert will perform and lunch will benefit the Webb City High School Band Boosters.

See you at the market!