Thursday, September 25, 2014

Webb City Sentinel market column - 9-26-14

Today is our last Friday of the season. After today we’ll be open on Saturdays from 9 to noon and on Tuesdays from 4 to 6 pm.

Tomorrow is our last day for biscuits and gravy as part of breakfast. In October we still have Cooking for a Cause, but it will be pancakes, ham and eggs, all cooked to order. And we have some mighty fine causes coming up in October. On October 4, breakfast benefits CROPwalk which locally includes United Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Missionary Baptist, Lutherans and Christian Disciples)- and of course all others are welcome whether part of a church, mosque, synagogue, business or school. CROPwalk fights hunger – which is everyone’s concern.  One-quarter of the money raised stays local with Crosslines, Salvation Army, Lafayette House and Childrens Haven. The remaining funds go around the world fighting hunger, caring for refugees and providing access to clean water.

On October 11, the breakfast benefits the Webb City Parks system. On October 18, it benefits Webb City’s Bright Futures and on October 25 it benefits the Webb City Schools Foundation. 

What I’m telling you is, yes, there’s a lot going on during October, especially with all the festivals on Saturdays, but start your day off with breakfast at the market. It benefits great causes, it’s delicious AND it would only take an extra 10 minutes to pick of some wonderful things from the vendors while you’re there, thereby benefiting our local farmers. Dine, buy and dash!  If you’re going straight to a festival, just pack a cooler to store your fresh produce in while you play.

With the arrival of October the pavilion will begin to look different. The Park workers plan to put the sidings on soon. The sidings will be rolled up and ready to drop and secure when the weather turns consistently cold. 

We’re also making plans for the Christkindlmarket in November and December. This is a special gift market whose roots originate in parts of German-speaking Europe. It literally means Christ Child Market. The Christkindlmarket will take place during the regular market time (Saturdays from 9 to noon) in the south end of the pavilion which will be decked out in festive lights, garland and ornaments (want to help me decorate?). 

Call me (417 483-8139) if any of the following interests you –

We’d like to have a seller of hot drinks – we can’t do alcohol in the park, but mulled cider, hot chocolate, spiced teas, specialty coffees, all that would be great. Perhaps it could be a nonprofit’s project?
We’d like to have Christmas music, mid November through Christmas. Does your church choir or school choir or band want to perform?  We’d love to have them.

We’re looking for wonderful handcrafted gifts. Like the regular market, the seller must be the crafter or artist. Applications can be picked up at the market information table or downloaded on-line at  (That's a photo of the work of one of our knitters that is coming this year.)

We’d love to have a Mrs. Clause or Santa Clause for children to visit during the first three Saturdays of December. I might be able to come up with a costume if you would like to give that a try. It’d also be great to have a few elves around.

In other words, let’s be festive and make merry. If you have ideas or want to help, give me a call.

Today, on our last Friday, the Sours are playing traditional music. M & M Bistro will serve pitas filled with chicken or beef and lamb – and lots of good veggies and delicious cucumber sauce.

Tomorrow we have a special treat when the loquacious culinary enthusiast Chuck Lonardo demonstrates Lamb Steaks with Tuscan Herbs. He’ll be grilling them up right at the market and handing out samples. Even if you think you don’t like lamb, you should try this. Chuck has his own special methods and you may be surprised that lamb is very tasty. Especially lamb from Sunny Lane Farm.

The Rebecca Hawkins Project will play. Breakfast benefits the March of Dimes – last Saturday for biscuits and gravy!

This week was the last time for the Kids Community Garden until next spring. What a fall we’ve had with the kids. About 40 children have come to the garden after school once a week.  (photo - master gardener Dale Mermoud talks to some of the kids about tomatillo.) This week they dug their sweet potatoes and they were very nice sweet potatoes indeed, made even better by the 50 pounds of sweet potatoes donated by the market. Every child was able to take home a full sack to share with their family, plus a variety of other veggies donated by the market farmers. They also got to sample kohlrabi, a vegetable that none had seen before and many liked. 

We spent most of our hour talking about plans for next spring. About why we needed to keep a chart of the garden so we know where to plant the tomatoes and potatoes (to avoid virus build up in the soil, you change locations each year). About sequential plantings, cool weather crops in the spring, warm weather crops in May, and more cool weather crops planted the first week of school in the fall.  About what to plant and what we enjoyed eating.

This was probably our most successful year at the garden in terms of the number of children involved – over 250 planted, tended or harvested in the garden this year. We are looking forward to an even better year next spring. In fact, if we’re going to have that many kids in the garden, I think I’d better talk to the school about expanding the garden – again!
The Kids Garden may be closed for the season but many of our market farmers are still going strong with fall crops like lettuce, chard, and broccoli coming into season and plenty of winter squash, sweet potatoes and the remaining summer crops like green beans, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. It’s going to be a lovely fall at the market.