Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Webb City Sentinel Column 4/27/12

It’s opening day for the market. Come down to the pavilion at the Main Street entrance to King Jack Park from 11 to 2 today to celebrate and savor.

Just a quick recap of last week’s column – from 11 to 1 we’ll have the Clayton Family of Stockton playing, there’ll be a free hot dog meal and a free dogwood or red plum seedling for each person till 1 (or earlier if we run out).

And what do we expect at the market? Lettuce galore, boc choy, spinach, broccoli, garlic, leeks, Asian greens, green onions, dill, cilantro, mint, pea tops, asparagus, new potatoes, spinach, radishes, turnips, beets, and Swiss chard. (And the first of the strawberries, but they’ll go fast!)
We’ll have bakers three – Hazel’s, Black Forest and Arma. Redings Mill won’t be back for a few weeks. They are putting in a new kitchen and need to go through their health department inspection.

Cottage Small coffee roasters will have fresh roasted beans. Stella Dolce has a new name “Eden” and has added organic black iced tea and organic cool mint iced green tea to their popular smoothies and lemonade. Amos Apiaries will have raw honey and several of our farmers will have lots of farm fresh eggs. Hector Troyer is bringing a trailer load of his big, beautiful hanging baskets – mostly petunias. Greens Greenhouse (aka Shoal Creek Gardens before they moved out of the flood plain) has tomato and cucumber plants. From our ranches, you can buy pork, beef, chicken and lamb, all raised in the field with no hormones or antibiotics. Made of Clay Pottery will be on hand.

Kyle McKenzie, our resident artist, will be on hand to gather your ideas on what should be included in the market mural slated to be painted on a wall in downtown Webb City this June. He and his assistant artists will be at every market through May.

Our thanks go to the Missouri Arts Council (a state agency who also underwrites our music at the market), to Cardinal Scale, Bob and Frances Nichols, Josh Hensley, Sharon Beshore, Justin Coke and the more than 50 community folks who are funding this project.

Next Tuesday is our first of the season and Jack and Lee Ann Sours will perform from 11 to 1.

For many years, the market operated a benefit cookout for the Tuesday market but we found it almost impossible to ensure a properly grilled hamburger with new volunteers coming in every week. Some volunteers grilled them into charcoal briquettes, others seemed to just wave them over the flames. The first was inedible, the second unsafe. So we this winter while we were looking for a Friday meal vendor, we also advertised for a Tuesday meal vendor and we think we have struck gold. Continental Catering by Granny Shaffer’s is doing both. On Tuesday, the menu will include grilled hot dogs, burgers and cheeseburgers with chips and a soft drink. The hot dog meal is $3, the burger meal is $4. They’ll also have a chicken salad sandwich with chips and a soft drink for $4 and have a limited number of small chef salads, which with a drink will cost $6. On Fridays, all the meals are $6 and include homemade bread, sweet and a drink. The menu includes: Homemade chicken & noodles with mashed potato; Ham & Beans, fried potatoes, corn bread; Chicken enchilada, beans & rice; Spaghetti Red; and Small Chef salad.

On both Tuesdays and Fridays, you can get a slice of their fabulous pie for $2.

While we’ll no longer have the benefit meal on Tuesday, our area nonprofits will still serve Cooking for a Cause on Saturday mornings, which begin May 12.

We’re looking forward to a great season. See you at the market!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

This Friday is our last market at the Clubhouse

Friday is our last Winter Market and it should be a dandy. We’re expecting at least four farms with spring produce like lettuce, green onions, radishes, asparagus, spinach, leeks, fresh garlic, dill, mint, cilantro, boc choy, cauliflower, and broccoli. Our ranchers will have with pork, beef and lamb. And we’ll have eggs, lots and lots of farm fresh eggs, plus baked goods, jams and jellies and raw food bars. (That's Nhai Xiong at last week's Winter Market.)

We’ll be open today from 11 to 2 at the Clubhouse, 115 North Madison.
It’s that time of year when every market just gets better as the produce starts rolling in.

Next Friday (April 27) we open for the regular season back at the market’s home, the pavilion at the Main Street entrance to King Jack Park. Thereafter we’ll be open every Tuesday and Friday from 11 to 2. We begin Saturday markets on May 12, the day before Mother’s Day, from 9 to noon.

With the early spring weather we’ve had, we expect opening day to be loaded with produce, as well as flower and vegetable plants and hanging baskets. Hector Troyer is raising 250 of his beautiful petunia hanging baskets and several of our growers will have tomato and herb plants for sale.

For opening day next Friday we’ll have free hot dogs, and yes, we plan to have chili and cheese for those of you who like to dress up your dogs. Market friends Glenn Dolence and Don Meredith will grill up the hotdogs till we run out or until 1 o’clock. The Clayton Family will fill the pavilion with their lively music until 1 and master gardener Dale Mermoud and his wife Beverly will hand out free red plum and dogwood tree seedlings for the market, one to a customer. If we have any seedlings left after 1 o’clock, folks can have as many as they want.

When we moved the Winter Market to the Clubhouse I told our vendors that it would guarantee a mild winter. Last winter we stayed under the pavilion and just about froze at every market, this winter the pavilion would have been fine. Still we appreciated setting up inside on cool windy days and having the indoor bathrooms and kitchen was wonderful. We really appreciate the Historical Society letting us camp out at their place this winter.

So come on out to the last Winter Market today and, next week, we’ll see you at the pavilion.