Thursday, July 2, 2015

Webb City Sentinel market column - 7-3-15

Hold on to your hat bands – we are going into high season!  The sweet corn is coming in by the truckload, the cantaloupes are here, the field tomatoes… Oh, yes, it’s that time of year when the tables are groaning and the pavilion is full.

Tuesday we had over 1,000 customers and tons of produce go through the market in three hours. We exploded our previous Tuesday sales record by over 50%. There were lines everywhere, but only for about 15 minutes. So if you prefer to miss the “seek and secure” drama of opening, just come about 20 minutes after opening. The lines are dissipated and the tables still loaded – because our farmers really know how to grow.

When Patrick Byers, an Extension horticulturist doing research at several markets including ours, was here last week, he told me at least three times “the quality of the produce is excellent”.
But things do slip through. If you buy an unsatisfactory product, please let us know at the information table and we’ll be sure it is replaced. With some produce, like sweet corn and melons, it can be very hard to catch a problem without actually shucking it or cutting into it. Your letting us know serves two purposes – it allows us to be sure you get what you pay for, but it also lets us work with the farmers in question to be sure they address any recurring problems. Our farmers strive to grow the best produce around but if they don’t know about a problem, they can’t solve it.

Today Granny Shaffers returns with their catfish and fried potatoes for $3. Lumpy’s Barbecue Express will have ribs, barbecued beef, pulled pork, and smoked chicken, as well as sides.

William Adkins plays from 11 to 1 with a break at 11:30 when the JLT’s cast of Forever Plaid performs a medley from the show. Randy Garrett of Lincoln University Extension will be on hand to answer questions about gardening.

Friday, we’ll have all our usual vendors, plus E & O Produce (who usually only come on Tuesday and Saturday but expect to have so many cantaloupes that they need an extra day to sell) and Terrell Creek, who usually sell their award winning goat cheese on Saturday but are coming Friday so they can take the 4th off. In other words, if you want goat cheese, come Friday.

But if you want kettle corn, come Saturday because King’s Kettle Corn is taking Friday off. Now, let’s review “Who’s on first?”

Saturday we welcome M & M Bistro who will serve their chicken pita wrap, gyro, and hummus and tabouleh plates and are adding lasagna and moussaka. They’ll also have their amazing baklava.

On Saturday, Cooking for a Cause benefits Crosslines, our regional food pantry. Volunteers from Central United Methodist and Peace Lutheran churches will serve biscuits and gravy, sausages, slices of market tomatoes, and orange juice or coffee for $3.50. For an extra dollar you can add cooked-to-order farm fresh eggs. 

Marshall Mitchell will be on the market stage astride his saddle, entertaining kids and adults. Music and breakfast run from 9 to 11.

Tuesday the Pommerts perform. Carmine’s Pizza bakes to order from 4 to sellout. 
Supper with Trish begins at 5. The menu is baked ravioli, side salad, garlic bread, dessert and drink for $5.
The Free Kids Supper, a Sloppy Joe, a veggie side and milk, is served from 5 to 6:30. We’re really excited about the response. We’ve averaged over 90 kids each Tuesday and are aiming to break 100. The Kids Supper is free to anyone 18 or younger.

We’re looking for some kids to help with the Kids Community Garden. We meet from 9 to 10 on Wednesday mornings. There is still some planting to be done, but there’s also harvesting. New potatoes are ready to be dug and taken home and we’ll soon have tomatoes. All children are welcome. Those under 11 need to come with an adult.

Oh, yes, it’s high season. Don’t miss it!