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!