Thursday, September 5, 2013

Webb City Sentinel column - 9-6-13

Tuesday, about 15 minutes before the market closed, I noticed some new customers. I knew they were new for two reasons. Our experienced customers wouldn’t arrive that late to buy produce. Honey and meats, yes, because those vendors always have a good supply till close and always stay till the end. But our regular customers know that produce selection can get sparse by the last half hour of market because popular items can be sold out and many farmers are in the process of packing up and heading back to the farm (though they are always willing to unpack and find what a customer is looking for). So I knew it was probably this attractive young couple’s first visit to the market. But the dead give-away was their delight. They were Asian and they were thrilled with the selection of Asian specialty crops they found at the Lee stand. They were loading up on long beans, Thai peppers, water spinach, loofa, and Thai eggplant. They were laughing and calling to each other, as they discovered yet another favorite vegetable from their childhood. It was fun to watch them.

You’ll have some new discoveries yourself this week. The sweet potatoes and winter squash are in season and the mums are as well. Courtney Luthi, the young woman who helps at the Braker stand, grows mums every year for the market. The Brakers will have to get along without her for a while because you will see her at her own stand with mums pretty much every market day starting today. Josh Flager, a young man who has grown mums for the market the last few years, opens his stand up tomorrow. So we should have lots of mums for sale. 

Of course, the summer crops are still going full force but we’ll see more of the cool weather crops soon – let’s hope we see some cool weather, too. The loose leaf lettuce is back in season. Turnips are just around the corner. We’re beginning to see some broccoli and edible-pod peas. Pumpkins are coming in.
Many home gardens are winding down, but our market farmers are still planting for fall and winter. In fact, brace yourself for a slew of green beans this fall. I’ve seen huge fall plantings of green beans on many of our farms. I am so ready for fall. Aren’t you?

Today long-time market favorites Jack and Lee Ann Sours play traditional music. Granny Shaffers at the Market serves homestyle chicken and noodles, chicken sandwiches and fruit plates. Our Extension ladies demonstrate and sample Crusty Okra Circles. 

Tomorrow the Tri-State Cerebral Palsy Center benefits from Cooking for a Cause. The breakfast is served from 9 to 11 and includes biscuits and gravy, sausage, farm-fresh eggs cooked to order and orange juice or coffee. The CP Center which is here in Webb City is a developmental preschool that serves children with delays and disabilities, ages six months through six year. It provides such services as physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and special instruction and is an important asset for our area.

No Apparent Reason, the house band for the Woodshed in Carthage, takes the market stage tomorrow. Normally we couldn’t afford this accomplished group but they’re big fans of the CP Center so they cut their fee in half so we can afford them and then donate what we pay them to the CP Center!  Fill their tip jar up. Between their talent and their generosity, they more than deserve it.

Tomorrow Market Lady Trish Reed will demonstrate and give samples of an eggplant dish.

Tuesday we're open from 11 to 2.  Granny Shaffers at the Market will serve lunch and William Adkins is playing.  It's our easy shopping day. 

I had a fun visit just this moment as I was writing the column. A lady from Tulsa was in the office and noticed the market sign by my door. She popped in to say she loved the market. She has business that brings her to Webb City and she said every time she comes down, she goes to the market. “I don’t know anyone here, but I go to the market and everyone is so friendly and the entertainment is wonderful. I go back to Tulsa and tell everyone what a great market Webb City has.”

Sometimes it takes a visitor to remind us of what we’ve got. See you at the market!