Thursday, September 10, 2015

Webb City Sentinel market column - 9/13/15

Another lovely weekend is planned at the market. Today a special attraction is Red Lab Farm. They usually sell their French-inspired pastries on Saturdays but this week they are switching to Friday. On their menu today:
– ham/cheese croissant
- turkey/havarti/mustard croissant - chocolate croissant
- buckwheat chocolate chip cookies
- whole wheat milk jam brownies

The Sours will liven up the market stage with their traditional music. M & M Bistro and Lumpy’s Express serve lunch. We’re open from 11 to 2 on Fridays. 

We have some new products coming to the market tomorrow. Center Creek Farm has partridges for sale. The birds are raised on their farm just north of Sarcoxie and sold frozen.

Hayden Turkey Farms of Lamar will be at the market for the first time tomorrow with their pelletized compost. The five pounds bags, on special for $9.99, will fertilize up to 125 square feet. Certified organic, it can be used on food crops, landscaping and potted plants. The compost is made from turkey litter, carefully monitored ensure that all pathogens are destroyed by the heat generated by the composting process. Then it is milled and run through a pellet machine where it is again heated. The compost will slowly release micronutrients and trace elements into the soil, along with organic matter. 

Tomorrow The Loose Notes will play and breakfast is being served by the teachers of Eastmorland Elementary in Joplin. They will use their profits to buy supplies for their students.

Camp Quality will have free crafts for children tomorrow. The first Camp Quality was in Australia. Our local camp began in 1988. The goal of the camp is to allow children with cancer to be children again, creating a stress free environment that offers exciting activities, fosters new friendships and helps give children courage, motivation and emotional strength. We are pleased to have them at the market. We’re open from 9 to noon on Saturdays.

We have an exciting Saturday scheduled for next week too. It’s the annual Arts in the Park which the
market has been organizing since 2009. This year we’re focusing on children. WildHeart returns for the third year. This Emmy-award winning duo puts on a high-energy, funny and engaging show featuring their original music about animals and the environment. They’ll perform at 9, 10 and 11. They’ll also be performing on Friday at Madge T. James Kindergarten. The market is able to share this special experience with the kindergarteners because the Missouri Arts Council gave us a small grant to help with the cost of bringing WildHeart to Webb City. If you know a child attending Madge T. I expect you’ll be hearing about monkeys and elephants next Friday.

On the half hour the Pommerts bring their gentle music of the 60’s and 70’s to the stage, with a sprinkling of jazz and classical guitar.

Free arts activities will abound with Girl Scouts teaching children about leaf rubbing, members of Joplin Little Theater helping them create “Veggie Art” and folks from the George Washington Carver sharing the Mr. Carver’s love of art.

Keeping to the kids focus, Cooking for a Cause next week benefits the Archery Team of Carl Junction Junior High.

On every Saturday through November we continue to offer our food stamp customers the chance to take an on-line survey and win some bonus produce tokens. At every market food stamp customers can swipe their card and receive up to $15 in extra tokens good for fruits and vegetables.

Sad to say, this Tuesday you’ll have to bring a sack lunch to eat at the market. Trish is finished for the season and Carmine’s is taking the day off. Carmine’s will be back next week. And if you need motivation to come to our mealess Tuesday this week, remember that Tuesday is when we have Lance’s Dog Biscuits. Now that Lance is in school his little brother Logan is selling the biscuits (and nibbling too. The biscuits are apparently quite tasty and since the family makes them right in their kitchen they know the ingredients are good for puppies and little boys alike – however Logan is the only little boy eating them at the market!).

I’m heading off for sunny Brisbane, Australia, for five weeks right after market tomorrow. Luckily for the market we have wonderful volunteers who will probably do a better job that I do, and we’re training two new volunteers this month. There’s always room for more, so if you’d like to help just stop by the information table and fill out a volunteer application.

Fall is in the air and it’s a favorite time to visit the market and soak up the season.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Webb City Sentinel market column - 9-4-15 How can it be September already?!!

Another holiday weekend is coming up and that means everyone will think Tuesday is Monday because they had Monday off. Repeat after me – Tuesday is two days after Sunday regardless of what happens on Monday. The market will be open from 4 to 7 on Tuesday!

And don’t forget today and tomorrow. Today we have Marshall Mitchell playing – he’s the delightful cowboy who loves to play for kids and adults alike. M & M Bistro serves Mediterranean delights for lunch. They’ll be serving every Friday through September, as will Lumpy’s Express who serves barbecued and smoked meats with sides. Extension specialists will be at the market today to give advice on landscaping and gardening.

Today we’re expanding our food stamp matching program from Tuesdays only to every market day (until we run out of funding which we don’t expect to happen this year). The market, thanks to a grant through Wholesome Wave, will match the purchase of food stamp tokens with up to $15 in tokens good for the purchase of fruits and vegetables. That means that food stamp customers can receive as much as $45 of extra produce per week.

The goal is to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables in the diets of low income people. To help determine if that goal is being met, the market is partnering with Wholesome Wave ( and the University of Delaware to conduct a survey of our food stamp customers. Participants will be entered in a drawing for bonus matching tokens. One-third of the participants will not be winners, one-third will receive double matching tokens for the rest of September and one-third will receive triple matching tokens for the rest of the month. Perhaps the biggest benefit of winning is that there will be no limit on the match. So rather than being limited to a match of up to $15 per market day, the winners of the drawing can match all their food stamp purchase.

Doing the survey creates more work for us volunteers, but we hope the information will be useful and it gives such benefits to our food stamp customers that we couldn’t turn it down (although we actually did until our partners sweetened the pot considerably. Originally they were going to give shopping bags as some of the prizes.)

The survey starts tomorrow and will continue on Saturdays only through November– and the earlier the food stamp customer completes the survey each month the better because the prize runs through the end of the month whether it’s won the first week or the last.
Of course, tomorrow will be well worth a visit regardless of your income. Breakfast benefits Webb City’s own Tri-County Cerebral Palsy Center. Carthage’s excellent bluegrass band, No Apparent Reason, plays. Music and meal runs from 9 to 11. The market is open on Saturdays from 9 to noon.
Next Tuesday we’re open from 4 to 7 pm (remember Tuesday is two days after Sunday). Supper with Trish is done for the season, but Carmine’s Wood Fire Pizza will bake to order starting at 4. Rob Pommert will play.

We wrapped up the Kids Community Garden with a bang this week. More than 30 middle schoolers showed up after school ready to put the garden to bed. We had planned to take two days to do it, but they had the garden cleared in 45 minutes. My co-volunteer, Dale Mermoud said he should have brought a saw to take down the sunflowers before the kids arrived, they could never get those giant plants out of the ground. I said, “watch them.”  Such enthusiasm. 

Soon our master gardeners will till the garden and sow it with cover crop for the winter. I suspect next spring when it’s time to plant, we’ll have a mob middle schoolers to help.

Hope to see you at the market this weekend – and on Tuesday!