Thursday, June 5, 2014

Webb City Sentinel column - 6-6-14

The market last Saturday.

We’re going into a week of learning at the market. Every market day we’ll have a cooking demonstration. Today Mary Ann Pennington with University of Missouri Extension will make and serve samples of Radish Cucumber Salad. Tomorrow Carolyn Smith, who was the Webb City High School family and consumer sciences teacher before she retired, will prepare and serve samples of Quick Confetti Pickles.

 And on Tuesday we have the renowned pesto maker Bob Foos pounding the pestle to turn out that delicious basil-based dish. It’s be a perfect time make pesto because a) there are basil plants for sale at the market and b)Green’s Greenhouse is bringing armloads of cut basil on Tuesday. They planted a whole row in the greenhouse this spring that is now three feet tall, for Mohaska Farmhouse. With the Farmhouse slated to close next week, we can look forward to a very generous supply of basil. Place an order with Tim or Vi Green and they will bring what you need to the market. Pesto freezes very well and you can stock up for the whole year. Freeze them in ice cube trays and then transfer the frozen blocks into freezer bags. Then you can just take out one or two to flavor pasta or other dishes.

While we’re sad that Mohaska is closing, we’re delighted to have a good supply of basil and even more delighted that Redings Mill Bread Company is being reincarnated and will be returning to the market at the end of June. Baker Jamie Smith plans to be at every market with his artisan breads, pizza kits and other tasty treats he perfected while operating Mohaska. (Here’s a teaser about another returning vendor – we heard from Hector Troyer last month and he plans to return to the market next spring. Those of you who remember Hector – he’s the young very tall Mennonite with the fabulous tomatoes who left three years ago for a stint running a boys home in Stockton – I know you will be as happy at the prospect as we are.)

We’re venturing beyond cooking demonstrations this week. Today Shon Bishop and Randy Garrett with Lincoln University Co-operative Extension will be at the market to answer gardening and plant question.
Next Friday Steve McKarus with the Jasper County Health Department will be at the market to hand out information and answer questions about ticks. I decided, after going on three days of farm visits and coming home tick-laden each day that my farmers who deal with ticks every day need to be well-informed. Add to the abundance of the creatures this year yet another tick-borne disease in our area – the Heartland virus – and I decided our customers might want to know more about how to avoid ticks and what to do if bitten. 

Now there are some, including many managers at other markets, who would run screaming from the room at the suggestion of inviting the health department to their market, but I have always considered the health department to be partners with us in keeping the public healthy. We all about improving health and so are they. So today come to the market and learn how to keep your plants healthy and next Friday come find out how to keep yourself healthy!

I have to admit that the ticks are pretty much the only down side of the farm visits. Our farmers are always so welcoming and have amazing sights to share. Those sights being plants, plants and more plants. If you have been to the market lately you may have been a bit overwhelmed by the quantity of produce on display. It’s beautiful in the market, but it can be breathtaking in the field. 

Today we’re open from 11 to 2. William Adkins plays hits from the 50s and 60s. Granny Shaffers serves lunch.

Tomorrow we’re open from 9 to noon. Marshall Mitchell plays his original music with a cowboy flair. Marshall really loves playing for children and they love hearing him, so be sure to bring the kids tomorrow. Marshall plays from 9 to 11 – or later. Most of our musicians stay past their booked time if they have an appreciative audience.

Greyhound Pets of America serve breakfast in the morning. Their mission is finding responsible loving homes for Greyhounds – most of which are retired racing dogs, to acquaint the public with what great pets they made and to inform them about the availability of greyhounds for adoption.

On Tuesday we’re open from 4 to 6 pm (Bob will demo pesto from 4 to 5:30. He has to leave early to take care of the Wise Buyer.)  Rob Pommert will perform.

 Remember, the market is open rain or shine – in fact when it rains is probably the best time to come because we really love you then!  And we’re sure not going to complain about the rain. It’s been a dry, dry spring and we need every gentle drop we can get. See you at the market!