Thursday, January 14, 2016

Webb City Sentinel market column - 1-15-16

The market is open tomorrow from 9 to noon. Mabel with Harmony Hills Farm is serving Chicken Spaghetti Casserole and side salad for $3.50. You can eat in or take out. 

We welcome Scott Eastman for the first time to the market stage. Market Dude Frank Reiter is sharing his chicken pot pie recipe. He’s preparing it in the market kitchen, our first demonstrator to do so.

We’re expecting four farms tomorrow – Braker Farm, Oakwoods, Harmony Hill and the Xiong Farm. There should be a bonanza of fresh salad greens, plus other goodies like turnips, cabbage, green onions, kohlrabi and more. And there’ll be honey!  Amos Apiaries will be at the market. Other vendors expected include Cottage Small Coffee Roasters, Red Tamale, Misty Morning Farm with pecans, Sunny Lane with beef, lamb and chicken, Kings Kettle Corn, and more.

We’re gearing up for a very busy week. On Monday we have three teams of interviewers meeting with applicants for the part-time market manager position we hope to fill in the next few weeks. Anyone interested in applying needs to send their resume to by 5 pm today. A job description can be found on the market website:

On Thursday and Friday we host the Midwest Winter Production Conference. We still have a few seats left, so call me if you want to attend – 483-8139. Details are on the market web site. 

Then on Friday and Saturday we host the Missouri Farmers Market Association’s annual meeting. It begins with a bus tour on Friday morning to Amos Apiaries, Keltoi Winery and the Braker Farm. The cost is $20 per person and includes lunch provided by Harmony Hill Farm. There are just a few seats left but we can always caravan in cars if we exceed the capacity of the park’s trolley bus. We thought the out-of-towners would get a kick riding on the park bus that so loving re-creates the old trolley.   To see a slide show of the renovation, go to:

They’ll also get a treat next Saturday morning when the real trolley is pulled out of the barn so folks can look it over. The track is not ready to run it around the loop, but I think folks will be pleased just to climb aboard. 

My market friends around the state believe we live a charmed life and I think they’re right. We have a lovely pavilion – with sides and heat in the winter - and a one-of-a-kind trolley right by the market. We have a county health department that is a pleasure to work with and a park department and city that goes the extra mile to make the market exceptional. We have wonderful volunteers and vendors who like, even love, each other. We have a school system that brings kids to the market on field trips and provides us ground (and students) for the community garden. We have terrific support from Lincoln University and MU Extension who provide what really has to be considered farmer training of national consequence. (How many markets have their own Winter Production Education Site?)  

Yes, life is good in Webb City. From the market’s standpoint, the city’s motto couldn’t ring truer – We Love It Here.

Next Saturday the trolley is just a part of the doin’s. The head of Missouri USDA Rural Development will be down to help us officially open the kitchen. Rural Development provided the seed money for the kitchen. After a few words at 8:30 from them and others like the city, the Perry Foundation and Cardinal Scale, all of whom made the kitchen possible, the kitchen will be open for tours until 10. Tami Fredrickson is using her new baking skills to give everyone a free muffin and Cottage Small is donating coffee beans for delicious coffee.

And, yes, the south pavilion will still be decorated for Christmas because a) it’s pretty and b) I’ve been out of town with my little grandson Wyatt – who is a sweetie. I promise to get it undecorated after all the conferences.

The state conference will have a growers track that may be of interest to local gardeners. Adam Montri of Michigan State will speak on organic pest control. David Yarrow of Columbia will talk about healthy soils. If you only want to attend a couple of presentations, let me know. I bet I can get you a deal! Details are on the association’s website:

Come start this memorable market week with us tomorrow – we’re open from 9 to noon.