Thursday, September 15, 2011

Webb City Sentinel column - 9/16/11

Show Me the Ozarks will be at the market today (Friday)selling their special edition about the tornado. The cost is $12. All proceeds go the United Way Tornado Relief Fund.

With the arrival of cooler weather we’re looking forward to luscious fall crops. The sweet potatoes, butternut squash and apples arrived last week. Lettuce, spinach and broccoli are also making an appearance. And a walk through the market shows that the summer crops are reinvigorated with beautiful squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and egg plant in abundance.

Within a week we hope to see the first of the local mums and pumpkins. Fair warning on the pumpkins though. The extreme heat of the summer has reduced the crop, so buy them when you see them!

We’re putting in place our plans for fall. For our Saturday customers, the most important plan is that we will do our best to stay open on Saturdays through October. In the past, we have closed the Saturday market at the end of September. Last year we heard from our Saturday crowd in no uncertain terms – Stay Open! Our growers who have enough produce will come both Friday and Saturday. Other growers with only enough for one day will be split between the two so hopefully both days will have a good selection of produce.

We’re still building some aspects of the Saturday market. We were able to secure two ranchers for chicken, beef and lamb in August, but they ran out of meat last week. I don’t think they were expecting such an enthusiastic response and it takes a good long while to raise the animals for slaughter so it will be next spring before we expect to see those Saturday ranchers again. Pates Orchard will only be at the market on Fridays so unless we can find another orchard we won’t have apples on Saturdays. But otherwise we hope to have a good selection on both days.

On Saturday, October 8th, we’ll have our last Art Market of the season and the last runs of the streetcar in conjunction with the market.

We’ll also have fall photos on that day. Several years ago Bob Foos was kind enough to take photos at the market for us and I treasure the photo he took of my parents. There’s just something about the autumn sun, bales of straw and colorful mums that make a memorable scene. I’ll have final details in a few weeks but it looks like the package will be a 5x7 and 8 wallet sized photos for $6.

With the weather finally cool enough to enjoy an outdoor meal, we hope more of you will join us for the Tuesday benefit lunch. Next week the Alliance of Southwest Missouri serves lunch.

I plan to use one of the Alliance’s services next week. Twice a month they have a “safe kids car seat check’ and I want to be sure the car seat I installed for my granddaughter Madeleine is safe. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, three out of four parents do not properly use child restraints. I expect for us grandparents that statistic may be even worse. “Often installation is incorrect or the wrong time type of seat is being used for the child’s height, weight or age.” Given that traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for children and an improperly installed car seat offers little or no protection, this service provided by the Alliance should be at the top of our thank you list.

And that’s just a small part of what the Alliance does for our community. They also work in drug prevention, in child abuse prevention, in underage drinking prevention, and a myriad of other issues for children, teens and adults.

And like many other local agencies they are responding to the needs created by the May 22 tornado:

They provide transportation in the immediate area for those affected by the tornado for FEMA appointments, job interviews, pharmacy runs and other essential needs.
And they offer group play therapy for children affected by the tornado, which is considered particularly helpful in 3- to 11-years dealing with that traumatic experience.

In other words, this is an organization, like all our others, well worth supporting and learning more about – which you can do Tuesday from 11 to 1 at the market which you enjoy a hot dog, chili dog, chili frito pie or barbecue beef sandwich and listen to the music of Gary Kyger and his band.

Today, we’ll enjoy music from a local favorite – Center Creek Bluegrass. They’ll play from 11 to 1 during lunch which is barbecued beef sandwich, oriental Cole slaw, chips, cookies and drink for $6.

Tomorrow we have a rare musical treat – Curreykorn will play from 9:30 to 11:30. This group from Columbia would normally be way over our budget but luckily for us they agreed to stop by on their way home from performing at the Arbuckle Mountain Bluegrass Festival. David and Nancy Currey, and their five children, play a blend of traditional and contemporary bluegrass, plus gospel, roots country and old-time fiddle. They should be lots of fun.

The Carl Junction Order of the Eastern Star will serve breakfast from 9 to 11.

With markets closing for the season all over the state, we are fortunate that our growers persisted through the heat in planting and watering fall crops. We hope you will reap the rewards and reward the farmers as well by making the market a regular part of your fall. See you at the market!