Thursday, April 24, 2014

Webb City Sentinel column - 4-25-14

Frank Reiter demos this pork recipe Saturday!  Yum!

We have a couple of new things about the market this year that need your support. The first is the new hours for Tuesdays. The Tuesday market has, for several years, been our quietest market of the week. And by quietest, I mean least profitable for our vendors. While we’re certainly not all about profit, we have to generate enough sales to make it worth our vendors while to come on Tuesdays. So this year we decided to move the Tuesday hours from lunchtime to supper. We’re open from 4 to 6 pm when we hope pretty much everyone can come – school employees, factory employees, bankers. All the folks with day jobs can come to the market at 5 or shortly after and still expect to see a loaded market. And so can everyone else who has more flexible time. 

But for these hours to succeed, you have to show up!  So put the Tuesday market on your calendar. Stop by for a hot dog or Frito pie from Dogs on the Roll. Ten percent of their sales go to Golden Paws Animal Rescue. Now how appropriate is that?  We have music, we have loads of produce, plants. honey and other good things.

The second new thing is our effort to start a matching program for our food stamp customers. All across the country similar program have met success but they are usually funded by a local hospital or foundation. We haven’t found such an angel here but we have found a way to fund it through many angels – that would be those of us who order on-line through And it doesn’t cost any of us a thing. Just SMILE when you place your order. Instead of going to, go to their charitable support page – It has exactly the same products and the same prices but 5% of your qualified purchases go to the charity of your choice. Obviously we hope that will be the market, which is among the choices, but frankly if you have another pet project, don’t miss the opportunity to support them.

We have not received our first deposit from yet – that’s due in mid-May - but we hope to fund that matching program in this completely new way. (Wouldn’t we all be surprised if the market led the way in finding a new way to make life better? Well, maybe not too surprised.)  

Depending on the funds generated, food stamp customers will receive extra tokens when they buy their regular food stamp tokens at the market. These extra tokens will be used to purchase fresh produce, milk and meat. We’re very excited to finally find a way to implement this program – it increases the amount of healthy foods our neighbors in need eat, it increases our farmers and ranchers sales and it makes us happy at no expense!  Does it get any better than that?  Just go to to sign up.

I’m going to slip in a third thing right here – which is that the Sentinel is doing a promotion – you get a $5 cash market token with each new subscription.  It’s a great time to sign up family and friends and you can do it right at the market information table any time we’re open.

We have a ton of good things happening at the market. Today we celebrate, with regret, the retirement of Bert and Daffol Ott from the market. At 10:55, if we can drag Bert away from giving Black Forest samples, we’ll present them with a card signed by many of their customers and a poster with photos of their time at the market. Today is their last day at the market but they will continue to take orders for pickup at their bakery just south of Carthage through June. To order, call 417 325-7506.

Next week we expect to have new bakers, Harmony Hill, on Tuesday and Friday. They won’t replace Black Forest, I’m not sure anyone could do that, but I plan to console myself with cinnamon rolls and half moon pies. It’s hard to beat the baking of Mennonites. It’s going to kill my waistline!

Granny Shaffers at the Market is serving lunch today. The Loose Notes perform. We’ll have loads of plants, hanging baskets, bedding and vegetable plans, and herbs today and tomorrow. The farms are bringing in loads of spring produce.

Tomorrow blogger Frank Reiter, of Frank About Food, demonstrates coffee crusted pork loin on a bed of cooked greens topped with mango chutney. We also welcome a new vendor, Danna Brennoerder with Odd Duck Soaps. Her specialty is handmade soap with all natural ingredients and essential oils. She also makes washcloths and rugs with repurposed fabric.

Hazel’s Bakery is at the market tomorrow. Note to kids of all ages – Kings Kettle Corn is adding funnel cakes to their menu on Saturdays.

Cooking for a Cause benefits the Friends of the Webb City Library tomorrow. Breakfast is served from 9 to 11. Come enjoy a wonderful breakfast and support a great cause (disclosure – I’m president of the Friends this year and delighted to be part of such an important community asset.).

Mark Barger will play Native American flutes during breakfast.

Next Tuesday – remember it’s from 4 to 6 and you’re coming, right? – features local favorites Gospel Strings on the market stage. Come join us!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Tomorrow at the Market - Tuesday from 4 to 6 pm

The Webb City Farmers Market welcomes another new vendor tomorrow at the Tuesday market – Dogs on the Roll.  Dogs on the Roll will offer all-beef hot dogs, chili dogs, chili-cheese dogs and Frito pies, plus chips and drinks.  Ten percent of meal sales is donated to Golden Paws Animal Rescue.  Dogs on the Roll will be located just north of the pavilion next to King’s Kettle Corn.

The market is open from 4 to 6 pm Tuesday in the pavilion at the South Main Street entrance to King Jack Park.
The market will be loaded with fresh local greens including five varieties of kale, plus collard greens, Swiss chard, Chinese broccoli, spinach, bok choy, lettuce (about 10 varieties! See photo below “lettuce count the kinds…”), spinach, watercress, cilantro, radishes and green onions. There will also be plants galore – hanging baskets, herbs, and vegetable plants, as well as handcrafted wooden planters. We’ll have farm fresh eggs and raw honey, handcrafted seasonings and sauces, all-natural beef, chicken and lamb and energy bars as well.

Bill Adkins of Bella Vista, Arkansas plays from 4 to 6.  The new Tuesday hours (we’d been 11 to 2 on Tuesdays for 14 years) were set by our vendors to make the mid-week market more available to folks with day jobs.  Customers can pick up a free refrigerator magnet at the information table to help them remember – Tuesday from 4 to 6 pm, Friday from 11 to 2 and Saturday from 9 to noon.  In other words, since we’re all about food, Tuesday – supper, Friday – lunch and Saturday – breakfast!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Webb City Sentinel column - Friday, 4-18-14

I can’t say much for the weather we’ve had this week. Freezes?  Really?  Hopefully we’re done with freezes but they probably put the kibosh on at least some of the early field tomatoes. Several of our farmers said they lost their field tomatoes, peppers and squash despite multiple layers of row cover. They’ll have to start over. On the other hand, all the cool weather crops came through just fine and the high tunnels also did well so we don’t need to begin gnashing our teeth yet (except on some of the best salads of the year).

Speaking of salads, I was visiting with Vicki Groff over at the Sentinel yesterday about the greens at the market. She uses market spinach in all sorts of dishes, both cooked and fresh. And she agreed with my observation of the greens at the market, which is that they keep wonderfully well. Vicki said her spinach lasts about 10 days. I have found that the lettuce I buy holds beautifully if I just keep it in the shopping bag it comes in, add just a bit of cold water, tie it shut, give it a toss or two to distribute the water and put it in the fridge. Before we began opening on Tuesdays, I would buy several kinds of lettuce on Saturday and pull it out of the fridge on Wednesday evening to serve at church. It was crisp, fresh and beautiful four days after I bought it.

And what choices we have of greens. I counted about eight varieties of lettuce on Tuesday and four varieties of kale, plus there was Swiss chard and collard greens, green onions and radishes. The asparagus won’t be far behind.

(At right, call me obsessive, but I continue to be wowed by Jim Oxley's dresses which will be at the market again Saturday - last chance till next fall!  These dresses will be winging their way to Australia next week.  Top - size 6 to 9 months dress with panties, socks and hair band - $40, Middle - size 3 dress with panties, socks and hair bow - $23, Bottom - sundress with lined bodice - $10)

There’s a lot going on this weekend at the market. Both today and tomorrow we should have local produce, honey, kettle corn and other flavored popcorn, roasted nuts, baked goods (Black Forest on Friday and Hazel’s Bakery on Saturday!), eggs, and plants – and do I ever mean plants. Between Braker Farm and Fredrickson Farms we should have about 600 hanging baskets go through the market this spring. Tim Green has big beautiful tomato plants, as well as cucumber, pepper and onion plants. If you have children in the family – or the neighborhood - mark down the first Saturday in May when we have our annual Let’s Plant a Garden Day. Each child will receive one of Tim’s big beautiful tomato plants and instructions from the master himself.

But back to plants you can buy. Fredrickson Farms also has Tumbling Tom tomato plants in hanging baskets that were hugely popular last year, as well as 20 varieties of herb plants. Josh Flager has many varieties of heirloom tomato plants as well as flowers for your beds. Fairhaven will have their custom designed wooden planters filled with cheery flowers.

We expect to have enough Washington Hawthorn seedlings to give them away today and tomorrow and we still have lots of seed packets from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company to give away.

Today, when the market is open from 11 to 2, we are delighted to welcome back Terrell Creek Farm, our goat cheese vendor. They plan to have chevre - plain, herb & garlic, hog heaven (bacon and chives), smokin' goat (fire roasted jalepeno), horseradish and chocolate chip, plus feta and feta marinaded in EVO, garlic and herbs.

We also expect Sunny Lane with all-natural beef, lamb and chicken and Madewell Pork today, as well as Cottage Small Coffee Roasters and Endless Bounty energy bars and lotions.

Need to know exactly who’s at the market before heading our way?  Just check the market facebook page. We’ll post a listing of all vendors on site within 30 minutes of opening on every market day.

Granny Shaffers at the Market debuts a menu today with old favorites and what we hope will become a new favorite: chicken salad sandwiches, spinach and strawberry salad and bierocks. Bierocks, a specialty of Granny Shaffers Chef Scott Teal, are meat-filled pastries originating in Germany. They will be sold hot and ready to eat, as well as frozen for taking home and eating later.

Lindsay Supplee with University of Missouri Extension will demonstrate a Braised Greens recipe which can use either kale or collard greens. Stop by her table in the center of the pavilion and try a sample.
No Strings Attached plays bluegrass, gospel and whatever else strikes their fancy from 11 to 1.

Tomorrow, when the market is open from 9 to noon, we’ll have Cooking for a Cause the first two hours – biscuits and gravy, sausage and eggs cooked to order. All profits benefit The Missouri Fisher House, which is a sort of Ronald McDonald house for the families of veterans receiving care at the St. Louis VA Medical Center. Volunteers serving the breakfast are members of the Carl Junction Order of the Easter Star. The Pommerts play. 

Jim Oxley returns for the last time until fall with his handcrafted dresses for little girls, new-born through 10 years. We’ll also have Copperleaf Pottery, glass artists Rebecca Bristow and Jane McCaulley, as well as Edith Bayless with her sewn goods.

The sides are coming off the pavilion Monday so we are officially declaring “No More Cold Weather!”  Next Tuesday (don’t forget the new Tuesday hours – 4 to 6 pm), Dogs on the Roll will serve supper with a menu of all beef hotdog, all beef chili dog, Frito pie. There will also be chips and drinks for sale. Ten percent of sales to the Golden Paws Animal Rescue Shelter. Bill Adkins will play golden oldies on Tuesday.

Freeze or not, the market is going to have a great season. I hope you’ll join us!

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Market Opens for the Season Tomorrow! (Tuesday, 4/15)

Spring may have temporarily abandoned us, but the Webb City Farmers Market is declaring tomorrow the beginning of the regular season!  We’ll be open from 4 to 6 pm inside our cozy pavilion (the sidings will come down when it warms up) just east of the Main Street entrance to King Jack Park. There’ll be free Washington Hawthorns for our first 400 customers, it’s the state flower. And we have 400 hot dogs with chips to serve as well. Former mayor Glenn Dolence and former council Don Meredith will be grilling.

Joe Palmer of Fairhaven
The Sours will play traditional music for our first Tuesday market. We’ll open up with a short recognition of our Champions of the Year – Nashon Bishop with Lincoln University Extension and Patrick Byers with University of Missouri Extension. This annual award recognizes community folks who support the market. Nashon and Patrick are at the market every first Friday helping growers and gardeners, they lead many training workshops for our growers and they also accompany the market manager on farm visits providing on the farm advice. They were a tremendous support to the market in 2013. Their reward?  They each get $15 in market tokens and a tick picker (which will come in handy on those farm visits this year).

The market will be loaded with plants tomorrow (herbs, hanging baskets, bedding plants, cucumber, peppers and over 20 varieties of tomatoes including heirlooms). Customers can learn when and how to plant and care for the plants straight from the plants’ grower. Fairhaven will have their smaller planters filled with flowers at the market on Tuesday (they’ll bring the larger ones when it warms up – they’re too heavy to move in and out in case of late freezes). We’ll also have five farms with many varieties of lettuce, plus spinach, kale, cilantro, green onions and radishes. PT Gardens returns with their seasoned sugars and salts, plus dried herbs.

Sunny Lane Farm will have all-natural beef, lamb and chicken. There will also be honey and energy bars for sale. Our newest vendor Kings Kettle Corn will be set up just north of the pavilion with kettle corn and flavored popcorn as well as roasted nuts.

Starting tomorrow, the market will be on Tuesdays from 4 to 6 pm (yes, those are new hours for us), on Fridays from 11 to 2 and on Saturdays from 9 to noon every week through fall.