Thursday, October 27, 2016

Webb City Sentinel market column - 10/28/16

Did you get all the green beans canned this summer that you want?  If not, tomorrow’s the day!  Harmony Hill is having a green bean sale – when buying 20 pounds or more, the price drops from $2.50 a pound to $2 a pound. In other words, they have a lot of green beans.

There continues to be a wonderful selection of fresh and local produce at the market. I don’t know why I feel compelled to keep repeating that except that even after all these years, I find it surprising. 

I stopped by Green’s Greenhouse and Garden just west of Galena this week to pick up some produce for my KSN segment with Carol Parker. Tim is in the process of pulling his field plantings even though they are still loaded with produce. He wants to get them ready for spring planting. 

I’ve never seen richer soil than his. Tim thinks the key to good produce is healthy rich soil so he loads the soil with compost. He tells me healthy soil equals healthy plants which not only produce fabulous veggies but also can stand up to the stresses of disease, pests and inhospitable weather better than plants malnourished from poor soil.

His three high tunnels are planted for the present and the future. That’s where he’s getting hundreds of beautiful colored sweet peppers. The cucumber vines growing 10 feet high explains those tubs of cukes on his market table. His fall tomato plants will be ready for harvest in a couple of weeks. The tunnel planted in strawberries will bear fruit in the spring. We are expecting 10 very good farmers at the market tomorrow. The selection will be wonderful.

Amos Apiaries will be at the market tomorrow. I’d recommend stocking up. Jann tells me that this Saturday and Saturday, November 19, will be his last days. He’s retiring!

For those of you hungry for Harvest Hill’s bacon and other tasty pork cuts, your long wait is over. They’ll be at the market this Saturday and every Saturday until their supply runs out. The West usually only raise five or six hogs which they have butchered all at once. My guess is that they’ll be at the market for about three months (unless my son-in-law Kit buys all their bacon). Don’t tell Kit, but I’m buying a cooler load to take to him. I’m going to Denver to celebrate Halloween with grandson Wyatt and I’ll be well received if I’m bearing Harvest Hill bacon!

Johnson Farm will also be at the market with pork. They have developed quite a fan base since starting with us last spring. Sunny Lane will have their all-natural chicken, lamb and beef. Sunny Lane is also raising a few hogs so we will soon be in hog heaven. Center Creek Farm has pheasant. Get it while you can. Like Harvest Hill they just butcher once a year so the pheasant will likely be sold out by Christmas.

We should have plenty of farm fresh eggs, wonderful baked goods, including the artisan breads of Redings Mill, plus frozen tamales, kettle corn, jams and jellies, and frozen blueberries.

As we near Christkindlmarket – which starts next Saturday – we’re adding a few crafters tomorrow – Rebecca Bristow with jewelry and glass and metal art, JJ with painted gourds and jewelry, and Quilts ‘n Crafts by Leona.

Ricky McFarland will have his show cocker spaniels at the market tomorrow for the last time this year – they’ve got shows to go to!  Magic and Sammie get more accustomed to crowds while our customers enjoy petting them and learning about show dogs.

Stewart’s Bakery serves breakfast:  sausage, eggs, biscuits and gravy and hash brown casserole for $5 or a giant cinnamon roll for $3. Either selection includes a choice of coffee or juice. Scott Eastman takes the market stage.

Next Saturday (remember, no more weekday markets until April) Stewart’s Bakery will serve
breakfast. Catalyst will perform. The streetcar is running. All aboard at the depot west of the market for a free ride. Christkindlmarket begins so expect lots more vendors including Willow Island with hand embroidered towels, Cooks Berry Junction with honey, Bethany Kiele with wonderful amaranth crackers, Garden ‘n Goat with goat milk soap, LPHJ with gluten-free baked goods out of a dedicated kitchen and Sweet Emotion Chocolate Boutique. And that’s just a sampling of what you can expect.

Who would have guessed that November and December would be some of the market’s busiest and most abundant times!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Classic American Pies - baking series

The holidays are just around the corner – what better time to learn how to make a classic American pie to share with family and friends?  Expert baker Mende Staggs will teach a Classic American Pies Series at the Market Kitchen at the Webb City Farmers Market beginning Saturday, November 5.

Classes may be taken individually or as a series:

Saturday, November 5
From 1-3 pm. - Class 1: Perfect Pie Crusts – cost $20

Saturday, November 12
from 1-3 pm. - Class 2: All-American Apple Pie (and other fruits) - cost $20

Saturday, November 19
from 1-3 pm. - Class 3: Pumpkin Pie & Pecan Pie - cost $20

from 3-5 PM. - Bonus class: Cream and Meringue Pie Demonstration – cost $10

Package price: Sign up for all four classes for $50.

For more information, or to register for the class, text or call Mende Staggs at 417 529-5715.

The Market Kitchen is located just west of the Webb City Farmers Market which is located at the South Main Street entrance to King Jack Park.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Webb City Sentinel market column - 10/22/16

What a fun market we have planned for tomorrow!

Bob Foos will take fall portraits from 9:30 to 11:30 – a package of 8 wallets with two 4x5s or 8 wallets with one 5x7 is $15. We’ve got a backdrop of straw bales, mums and pumpkins all ready. You just need to bring your family or friends and a little cash. And there’s nothing that says you can’t have your photo taken solo either. Seriously, when is the last time you had your portrait made?

Tomorrow is our first ever Sampling Saturday. Here is what you’ll be able to sample:

Oakwoods Farm – chili made with their new mild chili seasoning

Center Creek - pheasant and a green salad mix

Cottage Small Coffee Roasters - coffees

Stewart’s Bakery - mini cinnamon rolls

Fairhaven - pumpkin butter and pumpkin cheesecake dip

Terrell Creek - goat cheese 

King’s Kettle Corn - kettle corn, caramel corn and cheddar corn

Robertson Family Farm - mini blueberry muffins

Sunny Lane - beef sticks, summer sausage and bologna 

Thai Garden - rice and noodle dishes featuring Asian produce

It should be an exceptionally tasty Saturday.

Ricky McFarland will be back at the market with his show cocker spaniels Magic and Sammie. They’ll be set up as they would be at a show right next to the information table. The dogs learn to be more comfortable in a crowd and our customers love meeting them. Ricky keeps hand sanitizer right by his stand so folks can pet the pups and then continue their shopping.

The Geriatrics return to the market with classic country, Western Swing, 50’s and 60’s rock and more. Prior to forming The Geriatrics six years ago, most of the band members had played together for 45 years performing for service members overseas. Together, they have over 300 years of professional music experience.

Stewart’s Bakery serves breakfast:  sausage, eggs, biscuits and gravy and hash brown casserole for $5 or a giant cinnamon roll for $3. Either selection includes a choice of coffee or juice.

Since we’re sampling tomorrow, here are a couple of sampling stories:

First – Oakwoods’ new chili seasoning is a direct result of our winter production conference last January. One of the workshops was on making and selling dried products at the market and Oakwoods immediately spotted a way to make the market better and their farm more profitable. This summer they dried their surplus produce, turning what could have been waste into a self stable product. The mix includes dried tomatoes, bell peppers, habanero, garlic and onions from the farm, plus oregano, cumin and sea salt which are not from the farm (not a lot of sea salt being produced in Southwest Missouri). We expect even more results from that conference. A different workshop was on making fermented foods like sauerkraut. Oakwoods is planning to add that to their product line as well.

Second – Extension gave out samples of winged beans on Tuesday, raw with dip. Even though our two farms that grow them brought extra, they still sold out before closing. Our customers really liked winged beans. There should be more tomorrow at the Nature Valley and Lee Family tables.
This Tuesday is our last Tuesday market of the year. We’ll be open from 4 to 6 pm. Rob Pommert will play.

Stewart’s Bakery is having an End of Summer Fish Fry, catfish, potatoes and slaw for $6. Last time Linda did a fish fry at the market she sold out in a hurry so she is doubling up her supply so there will be plenty on Tuesday.

See you at the market tomorrow and Tuesday!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Webb City Sentinel market column - 10/14/16

You would think that this time of year I wouldn't be scrambling for vendor space.  After all, the growing season is over, right?  Not by a long shot.  The pavilion will be full tomorrow and mostly with fresh local produce!

Tomorrow we are expecting 16 farms with everything from our usual tomatoes, zucchini, squash, lettuce, broccoli and more to those rarer treasurers like apples and fresh picked out pecans. Our ranchers will have pork, beef, chicken, lamb and – wait for it – pheasant. This time of year Center Creek brings their “processed skin-on, free-flight, homegrown pheasant, which are raised without antibiotics or hormones.”  

We think all our farms are special but Center Creek certainly wears that description easily – they raise all sorts of special things and focus on organic methods and sustainable practices. Some of the special things they’ll have tomorrow include salad greens/braising mix, arugula, and other greens, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, microgreens, herbs, and lots of ghost peppers, Trinidad scorpions, peach scorpions, habanero, and fatalii peppers and other peppers. In case you are unfamiliar with ghost and scorpion peppers, let me give you a heads up – they are the hottest known peppers in the world. Now that’s special.  (That's a photo of the growing structures at Center Creek.  The fields are behind the tunnels.)

 Carole with Fairhaven Garden called to say they would have picked out pecans tomorrow. John Pate is bringing apples from the orchard tomorrow – not a lot so don’t dawdle.

Way Back Bakery will have their fried pies and also a quilt and other goods sewn by Amish hands. Edith is due at the market with her lovely sewn goods as well. Garden ‘N’ Goats will have their goat soap in the south end of the pavilion. 

Others expected include Redings Mill Bread Co., The Red Tamale,  Kings Kettle Corn and honey and frozen blueberries from Robertson Family Farm. Yes, it will be a packed pavilion and we’ll need lots of customers to cart our carefully grown and crafted goods home.

Stewart’s Bakery will serve breakfast – eggs cooked to order, biscuit and gravy, sausage, and hash brown casserole for $5. A giant cinnamon roll is $3. Both include a drink.

Jeff Simpson and Corky Dow will fill the pavilion with bluegrass. They’ll also do sing-alongs of children’s songs with any kids wanting to share the stage.

On Tuesday, Stewart’s Bakery will serve all-you-can-eat pinto beans, with fried potatoes and cornbread for $6. Rob Pommert will play.

Extension will sample winged beans and measuring any sales increase that results. Winged beans appeared at the market last year but they’ve been grown for centuries in Asia and yet this may be your first chance to try them. You have heard the saying that there is no waste from the tail to the snout of a pig; you can make some kind of food out of pretty much everything but the squeal. Well, the same is true of the winged bean – the root, the leaves, the flowers, the beans, they are all edible. But you’ll probably only find the bean at the market. Be sure to try it.

Next Saturday is Fall Foto Day when Bob Foos takes portraits at the market. There are two $15 packages available – 8 wallets with two 4x5s or 8 wallets with one 5x7. Add an 8x10 to either package and the total cost is $20. You can also order extra wallets, 4x5s and 5x7s in case you want to share the photos with the whole family.

Let us review – don’t miss the market tomorrow – or Tuesday – or next Saturday. Come dressed for a fall photo next Saturday. Don’t worry, no matter what you wear you’ll look good next to Sammy Scarecrow. See you there!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Webb City Sentinel market column - 10/7/16

Bring your top hat and cane to the market tomorrow.  You can tap to the tunes of the Great American Songbook.  Richard Hugh Roberts makes his market debut performing the favorite classic Broadway and film songs from the 1920s through the 1950s.

Stewart’s Bakery will have breakfast: sausage and eggs with biscuits and gravy and hash brown casserole for $5 or a giant cinnamon roll for $3. Both choices include coffee or juice.

Fall is everywhere at the market.  Fredricksons and Brakers will have big beautiful mums as well as pumpkins.  Last week I saw many varieties of kale and lettuce, as well as boc choy. broccoli, turnips, radishes, acorn, butternut and spaghetti squash, green beans and some of the biggest prettiest onions I've ever seen at the market (and that's just a fraction of the produce choices.

Oakwood is harvesting their baby ginger right now. To quote farmers Karen Scott:  Fresh locally grown baby ginger is very different from the mature ginger that you purchase at the store. The beautiful pink and cream colored rhizomes are very tender and mild; there is no need to peel it, you can simply chop and use. In contrast, mature ginger has a tough skin, and fibrous center and is strongly flavored but stores well.

 Baby ginger has a shorter storage time after harvest and should be used within a couple of weeks. The whole root freezes well for grating into teas, soups and stews throughout the winter. Baby ginger is great for making pickles, syrups and in stir-fries. Its’ also wonderful preserved in fermented foods such as gingered carrots, Korean kimchee and kombucha. 

You will find a recipe provided by Karen at the end of the column.

Baby ginger is just one of the special crops coming in right now. The Yang Family Farm had chayote pears on Tuesday. Chayote is actually a member of same gourd family as cucumber, pumpkin and squash. It features a crunchy texture and mild sweet taste that compares to butternut squash.

When cooked (and that is how it is usually eaten), chayote is usually prepared like summer squash. It is generally lightly cooked to retain the crispy consistency. It’s pronounced “chī-ˈyō-tē”.

Whether you’re looking for the new and exotic or the tried and true, you’ll find a great selection of produce right now. (Except we have no apples, bummer.)

Webb City’s Pack 25 will be at the market selling popcorn and other treats tomorrow as a Boy Scout fundraiser.

On Tuesday the market will be open from 4 to 6. Stewart’s Bakery will served chicken and noodles with salad and potatoes for $6 and a bowl of chicken and noodles with a roll for $5. Rob Pommert will play. 

Be sure to stop by, there are only three more Tuesday markets this year.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 22. That’s the day that Bob Foos will be at the market taking fall portraits. Details next week!  (That's a photo - of a photo of my parents that Bob took during a fall photo session at the market about five years ago.  It is precious to me.)

Japanese Pickled Ginger (gari)

Makes about 1 cup
Adapted from Laura McCandlish for NPR

4 ounces fresh baby ginger
2 cups water
Several thin slices of raw beet or carrot (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus an extra sprinkle
1/2 cup rice vinegar (cider, white wine vinegar may be used)
2 tablespoons organic cane sugar (or more to taste)

Slice ginger paper-thin with a mandolin or vegetable peeler Place slices into a bowl, barely cover them with cold water and let stand 30 minutes.

In a saucepan, bring the 2 cups of water to a boil while you drain the ginger. Add the ginger and cook, stirring to soften, about 30 seconds. Drain the slices in a colander, tossing to make sure they don’t retain water. (This blanching step can be skipped if young ginger is especially fresh and not fibrous.)

Sprinkle the ginger (and the raw beet slices or carrots, if using) lightly with salt and put in a lidded sterilized jar. Add the vinegar to a nonreactive saucepan, and bring it to a boil, stirring in the sugar and salt until dissolved. Use a funnel to pour the hot liquid over the ginger, mixing well (it should completely cover the slices).

Tightly cover the jar, allow it to cool to room temperature and refrigerate. The pickled ginger, which is ready to eat after several hours, keeps well in the refrigerator for up to six months.