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!