Friday, November 18, 2016

Webb City Sentinel market column - 11/18/2016

Looks like winter is finally here and we’re ready thanks to the parks department. It takes them two days to drop the pavilion sides and button it up. Everything is now in place, our new bigger heaters are ready to fire up, so, baby, it’s going to be cozy warm at the market regardless of the frostiness outside.

We’ll be open from 9 to noon Saturday and the pavilion will be full!  

Amos Apiaries returns for the last time tomorrow with their local honey. Then they’re packing up their hives and retiring. That's Jann working his bees and Resa at the market.

Owen Detweiler is back. Since Owen is Amish he must hire an “English” person to transport him and his produce to the market from Lamar which means he has to have enough produce to justify the expense. His high tunnel production has reached that point and we expect to see him every week as long as sales are adequate. In other words, if you want to see Owen at the market, buy his produce!  Some of what he is bringing tomorrow:  peppers, tomatoes, cabbage – both regular and Savoy, and cauliflower – yellow, purple and white. His produce is always beautiful. Be sure to check it out.

Now, you may think at this time of year there is not much selection. But you would be wrong. Just to take one of the 11 farms we expect tomorrow:  Oakwoods Farm will have eight varieties of lettuce, plus baby ginger, turmeric, garlic, radishes, boc choy, collards, many varieties of peppers, dried chili seasoning made from their own veggies, pea shoots and other microgreens, cut herbs including bundles of sage, rosemary and thyme (how musical), candied ginger and more. Other farmers have tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, eggplant, potatoes, spinach…… the list goes on!

So check all the produce out. We’ll also have baked goods, raw food bars, jams and jellies, pecan and peanut brittle, pecans, farm fresh eggs, pork, beef, lamb, chicken, specialty crackers, freshly roasted coffee beans, dog biscuits and worm casting compost. 

In the Christkindlmarket you will find sewn goods, candles, local vanilla, Rada utensils, repurposed hats and scarves, handcrafted chocolates, goats milk soap, turned wooden items, leather goods, walking sticks and polished stones.

You can also pick up your train tickets to the daytime Polar Bear Express. The trolley, all decked up for Christmas, will run from 9 to noon on December 3, 7, and 14 on the hour and half hour. The tickets are free, but to be sure of a seat, pick a ticket up at the market soon.

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.

This Wednesday we host our annual Holiday Market from 11 to 1. Always the day before Thanksgiving, this market is a great opportunity to load your harvest table with local bounty. If you would like to order baked goods so you’re sure of getting just what you want, give the following market vendors a call:

Stewart’s Bakery – 417 621-8455

Harmony Hill – 417 396-6373

LPHJ Kitchen (gluten free) – 620 762-1315

On Wednesday, Stewart’s Bakery will serve chili with crackers and a mini cinnamon rolls for $6. The meal can be packed for takeout for those dashing in during their lunch hour or wanting to enjoy it for supper. Rob Pommert will perform at the Holiday Market.

The market members, that would be vendors, volunteers and staff, had their annual harvest meal on Monday. Highlights of the meal are always the awards. We give two each year:  

The Champion Award is given to a community member who has gone above and beyond for the market. Past Champions include market volunteers Marilyn Thornberry, Karen McGlamery, Janet Taylor and Donna Krudwig, as well as Parks Director Tom Reeder and market customer and supporter extraordinaire Bill Perry, and the Perry family and their business Cardinal Scale, and Extension advisors Patrick Byers and Shon Bishop.

The Golden Washrag Award is presented to a vendor or employee who has gone the extra mile for the market. The award derives its name from the efforts of the first recipient, Robin Green, who spent a whole summer wiping down (with a washrag) all the tables and chairs in the pavilion. Other recipients include Nancy Rassmusen who cleaned our bathrooms after every market, our Hmong growers who donated tons of produce after the tornado to feed the recovery volunteers, Tim Green who devotes hours mentoring new farmers, Jann Amos who helped the volunteers pack up after market for a full year, Dale Mermoud, our master gardener who runs the Kids Garden, Tami Fredrickson and Misty Jones who spent countless hours getting the market kitchen cleaned up and ready to use.
The 2017 winners are (drum roll, please):

Market Champion – Bob Foos. Bob, as Sentinel editor, has provided wonderful coverage in the paper, advised on media relations, published this humble column (which means he’s edited and given space for about 375 columns), and taken our fall portraits. He has done cooking demonstrations and been a supportive and enthusiastic customer – one time buying the entire stock of one vendor’s perennials. He says that he didn’t think the market would last three months, but he is one of the primary reasons for our success. He is a true Champion. (that's Bob covering one of the market's field day education events)

The Golden Washrag goes to market manager David Hill. When David was hired by the market last spring he was unfamiliar with the market but had great management experience (running plants – the manufacturing kind). As we began training, I told him that it was critical he develop a passion for the market. Within weeks he had that passion. When I had to be gone for five weeks this fall, he basically went through trial by fire as he took over most aspects of managing the market and came out unscathed. We are lucky to have found such a hard worker and skilled manager – and, yes, he’s washed plenty of market tables and benches this year.

We at the market are very aware that our success depends on the efforts of many, including our dear customers – so thanks for your encouragement and support and we’ll see you tomorrow at the market!