Thursday, March 31, 2016

Webb City Sentinel Market Column - 4/1/16 - No Foolin'

You’ll see unmistakable signs of spring when you come to the market tomorrow, starting at the turn off the highway. Susie Scarecrow who stands by the highway sign has her new spring outfit on. Well, new to her since she shops at the second-hand shop. Susie has a secret name. De Hunt, our volunteer cart driver and a market board member, calls her “Our Lady of Perpetual Marketing.”  I know some media folks who would call me that, too, but it’s easy to tell us apart. She’s the one with the dress and apron on.
Another sure sign of spring – the return of Terrell Creek Farm. Every winter Terrell Creek disappears from the market. Their goats are busy making babies and there is no milk for cheese. Come spring the farm is awash with baby goats and the milk is flowing again. So come to the market Saturday for some of the best goat cheese in the state.  (above - One of Terrell Creek's kids)

And finally, what would spring be without flowers?  The Greens will be at the market with bedding plants – petunias, dahlias and red salvia – and with vegetable plants – tomatoes and red onions and candy onions. 

Another sign of spring – we’re opening up the south portion of the pavilion. We expect each week to fill it further south until we’re packed – probably about when we open for the regular season April 19 – and then as we hit the high season to spread up the center aisle and out onto the grass!

Tomorrow, we’ll be loaded with produce. We had some gorgeous carrots, beets, leeks, onions, radishes and amazing greens – lettuce, chard, micro-greens, spinach, boc choy and more last Saturday.  (left - Xiong Farm table last Saturday)  Cottage Small will be back with freshly roasted coffee beans. We’ll have LOTS of farm fresh eggs. Sunny Lane will have chicken, beef and lamb, Penn Acres, goat meat. Redings Mill Bread Company (below) and Cottage Vanilla return after a brief absence.

Mabel’s breakfast was a big hit last Saturday so she’s doing it again – biscuit and gravy for $2.50 and an egg fresh from the farm cooked to order for 50 cents. William Adkins will perform.

Spring is taking hold at the Kids Garden too. Monday morning volunteers will help some 200 kindergarteners plant potatoes there. Next fall they’ll return as first graders to see the result. On Wednesday, middle schoolers interested in gardening will meet at the market to plant onions. Tim Green is giving us lots of his beautiful red onion and candy onion plants to put in the garden. Then at the end of April, we’ll start gardening in earnest when Tim provides us with some sturdy tomato plants. We’re excited about getting the garden in a bit earlier this year. Usually we’re waiting on the soil to dry enough for tilling now. I’m hoping for a very good year, for the kids garden and for our growers. Heaven knows, they deserve it.

Come to the market tomorrow and enjoy the bounty of a promising year. See you there!