Thursday, July 9, 2015

Webb City Sentinel Column - 7-10-15

Goodness, as I write this Thursday evening I look out into the soggy landscape and marvel at our farmers who will somehow manage to harvest in this muck and bring us beautiful, fresh, and, no doubt, very well hydrated produce. Not that all produce can be harvested in this weather. Tami Fredrickson said she won’t have okra today because it does not keep well when harvested wet. So there may be a few products or producers missing today but there will be plenty to choose from (including something for the pups).

And that includes lunch because M & M Bistro is expanding their menu. In addition, to their chicken pita wrap, gyro, hummus and tabouleh plate, and baklava, they will have lasagna and moussaka. M & M Bistro will be at the market both today and on Saturday.

Lumpy’s Express will be at the market today with barbecued ribs and brisket, pulled pork, smoked chicken and sides.

We expect today to be a much calmer day than last Friday, which was an awesome (in a slightly terrifying way) day. We figured that we had close to 2,000 customers, mostly in the first hour. So, let me just remind you that unless you want peaches, you can probably get everything you desire at the market even when it’s been open for an hour. And even the peaches are lasting longer so don’t feel you have to be there at the opening bell.

Tomorrow NALA is serving breakfast – biscuits and gravy, sausages, slices of market tomatoes, and coffee or orange juice for $3.50. Two cooked-to-order farm fresh eggs are $1. When you get breakfast, you not only get a tasty meal and get to support an important community service, but you also get the pleasure of being served by the outrageous Gary Stubblefield. Gary, in case you have not had the pleasure, is an exceedingly tall and boisterous supporter of many good things in our community including NALA. And, in case you have not had the pleasure of working with NALA, it is an organization well deserving of your support. NALA trains and connects volunteer tutors with adults who are illiterate in reading or math, or who do not speak English well. It is estimated that over 10,000 adults in Jasper and Newton Counties are illiterate. Not only does that limit their employment opportunities, but also limits their ability to parent. Children with an illiterate parent are much more likely to be illiterate themselves and to struggle with school. For the folks I know who have sought assistance from NALA, those two reasons were prominent. One was a capable and skilled worker who could not hope to advance in his career without better reading and writing skills. The other was a parent who wanted to be able to read with his young daughter. Both have accomplished their goals with the help of NALA.

Tomorrow, Hawthorn takes the market stage. They specialize in traditional music, especially the music of the Civil War.

We welcomed two new vendors to the market this week. Both will be at the market today:  Hebrew Holy Grounds who sells iced tea and coffee and Lance Troyer, who sells the dog biscuits he and his mother Lois make. Lance is a long time presence at the market, first as an observer, but now as a regular helper for his dad Hector at his vegetable table. Those skills were evident on Tuesday, Lance’s first day as an entrepreneur. I watched as he bagged up the treats, made change and then, after the customer left, rearranged the biscuits to make a nice display. He learned from a master. His Dad’s table always looks good. In fact, Hector thinks about the display when he plants to make sure he has a colorful and attractive table.

On Tuesday, we’ll be serving the Free Kids Supper again. We’ve changed the menu to Sloppy Joes (and yes, the sauce is still packed with fresh veggies) and I guess it’s a hit because even though it was pretty miserable weather we served 97 kids meals last Tuesday. Of course, it didn’t hurt that our volunteers, folks from Keller-Williams, were super saleswomen. They made sure everyone with a child knew there were free Sloppy Joes before they even got in from the parking lot. So bring the kids (18 and under)for a free meal from 5 to 6:30 on Tuesday.

On Tuesday Extension will share Pumped Up Pudding, a pudding made with yogurt and milk with market fruit. Sounds yummy.

On Tuesday Carmine’s Pizza will bake artisan pizzas to order from 4 to sellout. Supper with Trish – meatloaf, au gratin potatoes, salad, dessert and drink for $5 – begins at 5. The Pommert’s will perform.

And, though I know I’ll be longing for it after a while, I’m really glad the rain is supposed to let up and we have a few rain-free markets coming up. Come enjoy them with me.