Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sentinel column - 4-30-15

There’s a lot happening at the market. Today, Granny Shaffer’s is serving catfish and fries for $3. Yes, that is not a typo - $3. Mike Wiggins wants to get his catfish on your must-have list, so he is not only cutting the price today at the market, but he is also handing out a coupon with each meal good for a discount on the same dish at his restaurant.

Lumpy’s Express will be at the market with barbecue today and the incomparable Granny Chicks will play. Put your dancing shoes on. There will be polka at the pavilion, along with traditional and popular music.

Fairhaven Gardens returns to the market today for the first time this season with their handcrafted cedar planters, plus pecans and Carrole’s jams and jellies. She’s bringing extra of the hot pepper jellies that are in big demand. Food Blogger Frank Reiter recommends mixing the hot jelly with a soft cheese to top appetizers or using it as a glaze.

Horticulture experts from both University of Missouri and Lincoln University Extension will be on hand to answer questions about growing flowers, vegetables and fruit, as well as landscaping.
We’ll have lots of fresh produce on both days. On Tuesday I noticed many kinds of lettuce, spinach and kale, plus boc choy, green onions, cut herbs, kohlrabi, tomatoes, asparagus, strawberries, radishes and more. We’ll also have baked goods, eggs, vanilla, raw food bars and lots and lots of flower and vegetable plants and hanging baskets.

Tomorrow is Let’s Plant a Garden Day at the market. Every child receives a free tomato plant and instructions from a professional grower. 
Cooking for a Cause benefits Lafayette House, our regional domestic violence shelter. Breakfast is eggs cooked to order, biscuits and gravy, sausage, and coffee or orange juice. Marshall Mitchell will play. He’ll be the guy in the cowboy outfit sitting on a saddle. Yes, he does cowboy music and other kinds of music too, but let a child come by and he dives right in to a routine especially for children. Breakfast and music goes from 9 to 11 on Saturdays.

Tomorrow, Rocky Horse Ranch returns for the first time to the market this year and will have asparagus and strawberries.

Madewell Pork is at the market today, Sunny Lane with beef, lamb and chicken will be at the market tomorrow. Amos Apiaries will be at the market tomorrow. After a disastrous winter this may be their last appearance for a while. It will take several months to rebuild their hives.

On Tuesday, Supper with Trish is meatloaf, mashed potatoes, market-fresh side salad, white cake and drink for $5. And when I say market-fresh, that’s exactly what I mean. Trish starts serving at 5 pm, but she comes by the market while vendors are setting up to pick up the ingredients for the salad. That means that less than 24 hours before you have supper, your salad was still in the ground on the farm. Now, that’s fresh.

Carmine’s Wood Fired Pizza bakes to order from 4 to 7 pm. The Pommerts will play.

Mary Ann Pennington and Gayle Farenbruch with University of Missouri Extension will be at the market on Tuesday. They’re demonstrating and sampling Spinach and Apple Salad. Be sure and stop by. The head honchos from Columbia will be there to see them in action, so we want to be sure there is a lot of action for them to see.
The market is open three days a week now through September. On Fridays, we’re open from 11 to 2, on Saturdays, from 9 to noon and on Tuesdays, from 4 to 7 pm. Stop by the information table for a free fridge magnet with the days and hours. And be sure you’re on the market’s facebook page. We post updates before every market and a list of vendors on site and photos within 30 minutes of opening the market so you can see what we have that day. Every market has local fresh produce, baked goods and a meal, but it changes from day to day and from season to season. There’s almost always something new and wonderful showing up at the market. See you there!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tomorrow's Sentinel Column - 4-24-15

We have lots of choices Friday for lunch. Lumpy’s Express menu includes sandwiches with brisket, pulled port, smoked chicken, turkey, ham or rib meat, half and whole slabs of ribs, smoked chicken – 2 pieces, half or a whole chicken, plus sides of baked beans, chips and potato salad. M & M Bistro will serve Mediterranean style food – hummus, tabouleh, gyro pita wraps and chicken pita wraps, and baklava. 

We still have the sides on the pavilion because of the rainy forecast so you can enjoy your meal inside the pavilion, or you can take out. 

And for the cooks in the crowd, we’ll have plenty of good choices. We’re beginning to add more variety to the fresh produce at the market. On Tuesday, I noticed not only lots of lettuce, kale, boc choy, Swiss chard and other greens, but also beets, radishes, green onions, asparagus and cut herbs.

Saturday we have The Rebecca Hawkins Project playing and the Webb City chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star is serving breakfast. The profits from the breakfast will go to “Homes for Our Troops” which is a national non-profit that organizes the building of homes for post 9/11 veterans who have been severely injured in combat. These homes are adapted to their needs to enable the veterans to live more independently and are provided mortgage-free. Breakfast includes farm-fresh eggs cooked to order, biscuits and gravy, sausages, coffee or orange juice and a sense of supporting a worthy cause. Come enjoy breakfast while making the world a better place.

And while we’re on the subject of better places, we had lots of little children making the Kids Community Garden a better place Thursday. The kindergarteners from Madge T. James walked over in classes to plant potatoes in the garden. Master Gardener Dale Mermoud taught them all about it and they were full of questions – is this a seed?  Why does it look like a stone?  (some questions we just move past without too much discussion) And we had questions for them – tell me something with a seed – oranges, strawberries, watermelon!  How do you like your potatoes?  Cooked!  Not what we were looking for, but a very good answer. I like mine cooked too.

Perhaps one of the most surprising bits of information what that potatoes grow underground and that one plant produces about ten potatoes. That meant that if all goes well this summer, each class’ efforts would result in about 200 potatoes.

The Kids Community Garden will swing into full action in a couple of weeks and we are always looking for volunteers. If you enjoy kids, if you enjoy being outside, let us know. You can join in the fun. We have a volunteer form at the market information table where you can sign up for all sorts of projects from the Kids Garden to running the information table, to helping with set up, to driving the golf cart. 

Be sure to put the Tuesday market on your calendar. We’re open from 4 to 7 and will have a choice of two supper options. This Tuesday Carmine’s Wood Fired Pizza is baking to order. Supper with Trish is serving up spaghetti with a choice of meat sauce or meatless sauce, plus side salad, garlic bread, brownie and drink for $5. The Pommerts will play.

For day by day listings of which vendors will be at the market, be sure and check the market’s facebook page. We also include photos so you can get an idea of what’s on the tables.
Remember, we’re open rain or shine. Market hours are:  Friday from 11 to 2, Saturday from 9 to noon and Tuesday from 4 to 7 pm. 

See you at the market!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Market is Open for the Regular Season!

Friday is the opening day at the market and we’ve got a wonderful line up for the weekend. 

Friday we’re open from 11 to 2. Because Mid-Missouri Bank underwrote our wee tree give-away, we have a great selection this year (and you can pick two, instead of just one). We have the ever popular redbud and dogwood, two decorative understory trees, as well as river birch, a gorgeous taller tree, and black chokeberry, a shrub that’s great for landscaping and wildlife. The master gardeners will be on hand to provide advice, as will Robert Balek, Jasper County Extension’s new horticulturist. Robert’s background is landscaping so he will be a fount of information Friday. He is fast learning about farming as well and has been a god-send in this season’s grant writing. He has keen insight in keeping a project practical, with solid results that can be measured – a grant writer’s dream and more importantly, key to a successful and productive project.
But I digress. Extension makes a second appearance Friday with Mary Ann Pennington grilling up asparagus to sample. (Now don’t get too excited. It’s the beginning of the asparagus season and it will sell out quickly. Give us a week of sunny weather and then we’ll all gorge.)

(Photos - left - Braker Farm greens, right - herbs from Fredrickson Farms)

From 11 to 1 (or whenever we run out – we’re ready for 400 meals), we have free hot dogs and chips. The Mayfields, which is the duet version of that fabulous bluegrass group Redbridge Trio, will play. They both took off work to come over from Ozark to play, so be sure to say “thanks!”

Perhaps the highlight of the day will be our opening. Our dearly-loved Nicky Ott will ring us open at 11 and then, no doubt, bound through the pavilion, hopefully to pats on the back, high fives and applause. He is so excited about being back on Fridays and we are too.

Saturday will be another big day. We’re open from 9 to noon on Saturdays. It’s the first day for Cooking for a Cause of the year. The Webb City High School Choir Boosters are serving cooked-to-order farm fresh eggs, plus biscuits and gravy, sausage and orange juice and coffee. William Adkins will play hits from the 60s and 70s. The music and meal run till 11.

Frank Reiter, food blogger extraordinaire, will serve samples of his Spring Vegetables and Goat Cheese Tart and explain how you can make your own.

We should still have plenty of seedlings to give away on Saturday.

We’ll have the sides on the pavilion this weekend because the forecast is wet and cool. Hopefully they’ll be rolled up for Tuesday’s market.

Tuesday is the only day that we’ve changed the hours on. Due to popular demand, we’ve added an hour so the market will be open from 4 to 7 pm. That will make it better to grab a bite to eat, and you’re going to want to plan on it. Carmine’s Woodfired Pizza is returning. Then a week from Tuesday, Trish Reed is returning. You may remember her from Fridays’ lunches several years ago. On Tuesday, April 28, she’ll make her debut with spaghetti and a choice of meat sauce or meatless sauce, plus side salad, garlic bread, brownie and drink for $5. What a deal!  She’ll also have a large salad available every Tuesday. 

Other exciting food news concerns Friday. Of course, Friday is free hot dog day, but starting next week Lumpy’s Express will have their food trailer at every Friday market – fancy some brisket, smoked chicken, pulled port or ribs?  Come to the market on Fridays. But if you’re not looking for barbecue, you’re still in luck because Granny Shaffer’s and M & M Bistro are going to be there on alternate Fridays. M & M starts us off next Friday with hummus, tabouleh, two versions of pita wraps and baklava. Oh, yes, market meals are definitely going to be worth the trip this year.

Fresh produce is mostly of the green variety right now – lettuce, lots of spinach, kale, with a sprinkling of green onions, leeks, radishes, turnips and cut herbs. And we’ll have baked goods and other treats. This week Madewell Pork will be on site on Friday, while Amos Apiaries and Terrell Creek Goat Cheese will be at the market on Saturday.

And both days we’ll have an abundance of plants – over 20 varieties of herb plants, many kinds of heirloom and hybrid tomato plants, plus other vegetable plants and hanging baskets.

We hope to see you on Friday or Saturday or Tuesday or all three. It’s market season again!