Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sentinel column - 5-8-15

Things are really hopping at the market these days. Today should be especially lively because, weather permitting, we are expecting 190 students from Eugene Field Elementary (two or three classes at a time) to visit the market, followed by 115 kindergarteners from Bess Truman. To add a little interest, Penn Farms is bringing a baby goat for them to meet. It’s one of triplets. They’re hoping mamma goat is so busy with two that she won’t notice the third being gone for a while. 

And, of course, we’re expecting a lot of customers, too - and vendors. In other words, the market will be operating at full force today. The farms are beginning to harvest their field crops so we’re seeing lots of cool weather crops like beets, radishes, kohlrabi, green onions, lettuces and other greens. And the spring plantings in the high tunnels are also producing. We even had zucchini on Tuesday, as well as tomatoes and lots of strawberries. In fact, we should have 10 farms at the market today with produce. We’ll have another three with vegetable and herb plants, flowering baskets and planters. 

We’ll have pork, beef, chicken and goat meat, lots of eggs, jams and jellies, raw milk, baked goods and more.

Today M & M Bistro will have a hummus plate and a tabouleh plate, as well as gyros and chicken pita wraps and baklava. Lumpy’s Express will have barbecue and smoked meats. 

The Plainsfolks will play traditional Irish music and will stay longer than usual so all the students get to spend time with them. 

Tomorrow will be a grand day as well. We’re welcoming Owen Detweiler of Lamar back to the market. Owen started selling at the market last year and was very popular. He’s expanded his operation by adding a high tunnel this year and will be loaded with hanging baskets on Saturday.
Saturday we’re also hosting Jon Skinner, the urban forester with the Missouri Department of Conservation. Jon will answer your tree questions. If you have a sick tree, bring a sample in a plastic bag for him to examine. 

We are blessed with two musicians tomorrow. Mark Barger, who plays Native American flutes, plays from 9 to 10:30. Then Rob Pommert takes over from 10:30 to noon, playing soft rock, jazz and classical guitar.

Cooking for a Cause benefits The Webb City High School Band Boosters. Enjoy farm fresh eggs cooked to order, biscuits and gravy, sausage, slices of market tomatoes, and coffee or orange juice while benefiting a great local cause.

Tomorrow, we’ll also have beef, lamb, and chicken from Sunny Lane and goat cheese from Terrell Creek. 

Probably the star of the weekend (besides the baby goat) will be the flowers. The hanging baskets are huge and loaded with bloom. Fairhaven’s handcrafted planters are filled with flowers and creativity. The market is definitely the place to shop for Mother’s Day if she’s a lover of flowers.

And don’t worry about the weather, we’ll be high and dry even if it rains and all our farmers bring their produce and plants in covered trucks and vans.

Our Tuesday market has really taken off, especially about 5 pm when Trish Reed starts serving her $5 supper. This Tuesday Supper with Trish features barbecued brisket sandwiches, spinach side salad, chips, chocolate chip cookies and a drink and, yes, it’s only $5. 

The Pommert’s will play on Tuesday and Extension will demonstrate and sample another easy recipe using market produce.

Don’t forget to check the market’s facebook page on the day of market. We try our best to post a complete list of vendors at the market within 30 minutes of opening along with a lot of photos so you can get a good feel for what’s on offer (that’s an Australian phrase I picked up from my daughter Cora). Regardless, you can always expect a big welcome to be on offer because the market only works because of our customers. We’re always glad to see you!