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!