Friday, September 30, 2016

Webb City Sentinel column - 9/31/16

Tomorrow is the first Saturday of the month and that means the streetcar is running!  All aboard at the depot west of the market.  The free rides on historic No. 60 run from 9 to noon.

We shift into fall tomorrow . Of course it looked a lot like fall earlier this week with the pavilion filled with huge beautiful mums from Braker Berry Farm . For only $12, they are a bargain . And the pumpkins are coming in too . But tomorrow officially begins our fall schedule.
Cooking for a Cause is over for the year . Twenty-four local non-profits participated this year . They raised an average of $450 . That’s about $100 more than last year’s average which we think is due in part to more community support and the proximity of the kitchen . Until this year, we prepared most of the breakfast at Central United Methodist Church . If we ran out of food before the end of service we just had to close the breakfast down because it took too long to go back to the church, prepare more breakfast and bring it back . This year however with the wonderfully equipped market kitchen just across the drive if we saw we were going run short on biscuits, gravy or sausage, more was prepared and in place before the customers even knew a crisis had been averted!  Another advantage was that we could buy our eggs at the Thursday market and store them in one of the market’s coolers for Saturday . The church didn’t always have room for 18 dozen eggs . Yes, 18 dozen and we usually had to buy more Saturday morning from our egg farmers.

Just because Cooking for a Cause over doesn’t mean you have to do without breakfast tomorrow – or any Saturday morning because our excellent Stewart’s Bakery will be serving breakfast. Her menu tomorrow is sausage, eggs, biscuit and gravy and hashbrown casserole or breakfast casserole (that’s sausage, eggs, veggies and other good things) with a biscuit and jelly . Either choice is $5 and includes a choice of coffee or juice . Linda Stewart was well known for breakfasts served at her restaurants so we are expecting to be well fed.

This week we go to our fall schedule which means we will be open on Tuesdays from 4 to 6 (it’s an hour shorter than during the summer because it gets dark so much earlier) and on Saturdays from 9 to noon . At the end of October we’ll drop Tuesdays and be open on Saturdays only till the start the 2017 season in the spring.

Suzy, Sammy and Suzette Scarecrow will be regulars at the market starting this week . Take a fall photo with the kids or friends the next time you come . Why not make it a yearly event?  Sammy is 15 years old and Suzy isn’t much his junior . That’s been a lot of photo ops . 

Sammy brings a special memory to mind for me . The lady scarecrows change styles according to the season courtesy of the Disabled Veterans resale shop, but Sammy is wearing the same outfit he began in – one of Joe Grosse’s old overalls . Joe was a friend from church who would give you the shirt off his back – or in this case his overalls . After he retired he became a handy man and had a clientele of “little old ladies” . Little old ladies that he didn’t charge . Younger ladies like me paid a small fee for his service . Now that I would qualify for the little old lady category I miss Joe doubly as much!

Tomorrow we’ll have a pavilion full of vendors – twenty-six, including Robertson’s with honey and frozen blueberries, King’s Kettle Corn, E & O Produce with pumpkins (remember how I told you that Owen loves to grow round things?), Edith Bayless with her sewn goods, Rosemary’s vanilla and lots more . Fairhaven Gardens is doing a taste test of their Apple Butter . Is it cheating to tell you the secret ingredient?  I think so . Try to guess it tomorrow.

William Adkins will play tomorrow from 9 to 11.

On Tuesday, Stewart’s Bakery will have another good lunch for us . Rob Pommert will play.
Extension will sample Butternut Squash Pancakes and Robert Balek our horticulturist with University of Missouri Extension will measure whether the sampling increases sales of the squash . This is one of four research projects that are ongoing at the market. One is a national study, the other three are statewide . There is a column in the near future about how the market is providing data that will hopefully help farmers across the state be more successful and help shape the next federal farm bill. How cool is that?  Webb City’s market makes an impact across the state and even across the nation.

I received a call before the Thursday market this week with a question on our hours . It was a Minnesota number and the caller explained that he and his wife were snow birds and were heading down south for the winter . It was part of their migration ritual to stop at the Webb City market on the way down . I bet they take down some mums that will be the envy of the Valley.

See you at the market!