Can it already be time for the Market to open for the season? Yes, indeed. We’re open today (Friday) from 11 to 2 at the market pavilion in King Jack Park with all our usual opening festivities: from 11 to 1 we’ll have a free hot dog lunch and music by the Granny Chicks. We have 400 saplings to give away, one to a person till we run out of people or trees. We ordered redbuds from the Missouri Department of Conservation, but discovered this week that they sent us serviceberries. What?!
I’d never heard of a serviceberry. It doesn’t even sound like a tree (although the seedlings look great). But it is and from what I’ve learned, it sounds like a good one. You can grow it as a large shrub or a small tree – I guess it depends on if you choose to prune it. It is loaded with showy white blossoms in the spring and its leaves turn brilliant red and yellow in the fall (photos below). Birds love its berries and people do too. Apparently the berries are particularly nice for pies, jams and jellies. Now that I think of it, the serviceberry is pretty much perfect for the market to give away so I guess I’m happy with the substitution. I hope our customers are too.
And, of course, the stars of the market today and every day are our vendors who will be at the market from 11 to 2. We’re expecting seven farmers with the early field crops like spinach, boc choy, lettuce, green onions, pea tops, Swiss chard, plus some other treats of insufficient quantity to share here. You’ll just have to come to the market to see these crops, but come early. They’ll go fast.
Marley’s Creamery returns to the market today with their raw milk after an absence of over a year.
Other edible treats we expect today – pecans, farm fresh eggs, all-natural pork, lamb, beef and chicken, and honey. A new vendor, PT Gardens of Nixa, will have seasoned salts and sugars, as well as herb and carnivorous plants. They’re putting their vanilla sugar on sale for Friday only at $4 a jar instead of $6. (Vanilla sugar is a treat where ever you would use sugar – in tea, on toast, on rice pudding….) They also have a new pork rub, sage salt, oregano salt and French fry salt. As the season continues, their selection will expand as they harvest from the over 40 varieties of herbs and edible flowers they grow.
And speaking of herbs, Frederickson Farms from Carl Junction is doing herb plants in a big way this year: Mint (Apple, Chocolate, Moroccan, Pineapple) Spearmint, Peppermint, Basil (Sweet, Italian, Genovese, Lemon, Purple, Thai), Garlic Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Fennel, Lavender, Thyme, Sweet Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Summer Savory and Stevia. Plus they have six varieties of pepper plants and over 30 varieties of tomato plants, both heirloom and hybrid.
The Frederickson’s will also have hanging baskets, as will Braker Farms. Fairhaven will have their hand-crafted planters.
Today, in addition to Black Forest and Arma Bakery, we welcome back Mohaska Farm, aka Redings Mill Bread Company, with artisan breads baked in a wood-fired brick oven. Eden Bakery will sell pies, cakes, cookies and breads.
Tomorrow (Saturday)we’ll be open from 9 to noon. Red Bridge plays and the Cooking for a Cause breakfast benefits the Ozark Gateway Audubon Society. It’s supposed to be a beautiful day so come enjoy biscuits and gravy, sausage and eggs cooked to order and listen to some of the region’s best old-style music.
Hazel’s Bakery is our Saturday baker – she’s well known for her pies, cakes, cookies and quick breads. We’ll have two egg farmers, a pork rancher, and about 5 produce farmers. Cottage Small who regularly sells their freshly roasted coffee beans on Fridays is adding Saturday to their schedule, so if you’re a coffee drinker and a Saturday shopper, you’ll want to be sure to stop by their stand.
The Ozark Tamale & Bar-B-Que Company will be at the Saturday markets and if you’re a meat lover, you’ll want to give them a try. Tony Ramos uses a recipe handed down from his mother for mighty tasty tamales. He’ll also have pork, chicken, ribs, sausage, jerky and fresh salsas, all packaged and ready to take home.
Next week, Granny Shaffer’s at the Market returns on Tuesday with hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken salad sandwiches. They’re adding a strawberry/pecan spinach and feta cheese salad to the Tuesday menu. Yum! This Tuesday, Bill Adkins plays.
On Friday, Granny Shaffer’s at the Market returns with the strawberry/pecan salad and chicken salad sandwich for lunch and adds last year’s favorite dish: homemade chicken and noodles with mashed potatoes. Jack and Lee Ann Sours play next Friday and our Extension experts will be at the market to answer growing and gardening questions.
Next Saturday, the Webb Chapter #204, Order of the Eastern Star serves the Cooking for a Cause breakfast. All their profits will go to the Ronald McDonald House. Hawthorne plays music dating all the way back to the Civil War.
Saturday is also our Let’s Plant a Garden Day when every child and teen receives a free tomato plant and instructions. And speaking of gardens, the Kids Community Garden starts up next week just east of the Middle School on Aylor Street. It’s open to middle school age kids and older and meets on Wednesdays right after school at 3 pm.
It’s going to be a bit of a slow start this year, produce-wise because of the recent cold weather, but they’ll be plenty to choose from and more every week. See you at the market!