Thursday, June 11, 2015

Webb City Sentinel column - 6/12/15

The big news this week at the market is blueberries and kids.

It’s blueberry season and Robertson Family Farm brought over 100 pounds of them on Tuesday. We’ll be seeing more this weekend and it won’t be long till Braker Farm has blueberries as well. I got a sampling on Monday when I did the farm inspection at the Brakers. And it is true that I offered to share with the Extension guys, but I knew I could count on them passing. After all, they’d sampled plenty as they looked over the bushes for any pest or disease problems. No problems, but lots of berries missing.
Another stop we made was at Amos Apiaries.  Jann pulled out a frame, covered with bees, to show us.  We didn't get quite so close as we did to the blueberries.  In fact, Eric, who is barely visible in the black shirt, was keeping his distance.  He is a grad student from Kenya and you sure don't handle African bees like that.  These are an English variety that are relatively calm though Jann knows the signs well enough to know when he needs to put protective gear on.   Jann hopes to have honey at the market by mid-July if all goes well.

The other big news is Tuesday’s Free Supper for Kids. Anybody 18 years of age or younger gets a free supper between 5 and 6:30, so come on over. Stop by on the way to the ball field or just make a special trip. The set menu is spaghetti and meat sauce (with finely chopped veggies hidden in the sauce), sliced cucumbers and milk. We’re preparing for 75. Hope we run out, because we’ll have a backup meal of sandwiches, cucumbers, fruit cups and milk. Volunteers and cooks are lined up. Publicity is going out. We think this is going to be a win-win. Kids fed with local produce, farmers selling more produce, a few more folks employed, and adults can eat Supper with Trish for $5 each. That means a family of six can eat for $10. What a value!

Today we have the Sours playing traditional music. M & M Bistro will serve lunch – pita wraps, gyros, hummus and tabbouleh plates. Lumpy’s Express will have barbecued beef and pork and smoked chicken. We’ll have loads of fresh produce and other goods things at every market.

Tomorrow Cooking for a Cause benefits the Chert Glades Master Naturalists. They’ll be serving biscuits and gravy, sausage, slices of market fresh tomatoes, eggs cooked to order and coffee or juice.

Brown Moss plays their eclectic folksy music tomorrow.

On Tuesday, in addition to the Kids’ Supper, we’ll have Supper with Trish which is oven fried chicken, home-style mac and cheese, green salad, dessert and a drink. The Pommerts will play. Extension will be demonstrating and sampling a market fresh recipe.

We also start our food stamp match program in earnest Tuesday when our grant kicks in. We’ve done a trial run using market and donated money to make sure the system runs smoothly so we are ready to expand the program. Folks who swipe their food stamp card at the market get the amount of their swipe in regular SNAP tokens, plus up to $15 in match tokens good for produce only. Regular SNAP tokens can buy any edible product at the market except hot food and food eaten at the market, plus it can buy plants that produce food and culinary herbs. The match tokens are limited to produce purchases. More information on the program is available at the (you guessed it) information table.

The list of produce at the market is way too long to print, so just come on over and enjoy some local freshness. We’ll be looking for you!