Friday, July 29, 2016

Webb City Sentinel column - 7-29-16

John Pate tells me their orchard is loaded with big beautiful peaches. They will have two loads at tomorrow’s market of those beautiful peaches so we should have plenty – no need to stand in line tomorrow - but some people will anyway. I think people get used to coming early when the crop first starts coming in but in limited quantities.

We’ve got boxes and boxes of canning tomatoes and so many cantaloupe and watermelon that they won’t fit into the farmers’ trucks. They have hitch up long trailers to haul them to market. On the other hand, the blackberries are just about finished and the sweet corn is between plantings so there won’t be a lot of either tomorrow. Such is the reality of eating seasonally. The best way to enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of the season is to remain open and flexible and savor the season. Have the green beans sold out?  Try long beans. Blackberries sold out, gorge on melon. Can’t find lettuce for a salad?  Why not a tomato, cucumber and melon salad?  I’ve included the recipe for that below. Extension demonstrated yesterday at the market. It’s just right for hot weather.

Exposing kids to new produce has been one of the most satisfying aspects of the free kids’ meal. Yesterday they enjoyed jellybean tomatoes, a new cherry-type tomato grown this year by Fredrickson Farm. They were a big hit. A few weeks ago they tried lunchbox peppers, a colorful sweet pepper we got from E & O Produce. Soon parents arrived in the pavilion to buy some for home after their children gobbled them up. We hope that every one of the many hundreds of children eating with us this summer have discovered a new favorite fruit or veggie to enjoy for a lifetime. You’ll find plenty of old, and new, favorites at the market tomorrow.

The Friends of Camp Mintahama are serving breakfast tomorrow. They will use their profits to continue improving the local camp that has provided outdoor learning and many fond memories for girl scouts over the years. JR and Corky will play bluegrass. Both music and meal run from 9 to 11 while the market on Saturdays runs from 9 to noon.

On Tuesday, the Kids Meal is sloppy Joes, cantaloupe, watermelon and more of those tasty jellybean tomatoes, and milk. Stewart’s Bakery will have a couple of tasty choices for the adults. The Pommerts will play.

On Thursday, the Kids Meal is features nachos. We haven’t chosen the fruit and veggies yet. The Kids Meal takes advantage of what is in abundance so we’ll wait to see wait next week brings. 

Granny Shaffers will have catfish and potatoes and Stewart’s Bakery will have a couple of meal choices. Cliff Walker will play.  (below - some market regulars enjoying a meal at the market)

Experts from University of Missouri and Lincoln University Extension will be at the market Thursday to give advice on all things horticultural, whether for a veggie or flower garden or farm. They can also help with landscaping issues. If you have a disease or pest problem, bring a sample in a clear sealed plastic bag.
A week from tomorrow is the first Saturday of the month so the streetcar will be giving free rides, weather permitting.

Here’s that recipe I promised.

Watermelon, Cucumber and Tomato Salad


2 cups watermelon, seeded and diced
4 small tomatoes, each cut into 8 pieces
1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, slivered


In a colander, drain the watermelon, tomatoes and cucumber. Place in bowl and toss with the olive oil and basil.

You’ll find this recipe and more in the University of Missouri Extension’s Seasonal and Simple. It is available on-line and as an app and it’s all about savoring the season. See you at the market!