Thursday, March 16, 2017

Webb City Sentinel market column - 3-18-17

It’s beginning to look more like spring at the market. Already we have two farms returning with their early produce from high tunnels. Misty Morning Farm and Lee Family Farm will be joining seven of our year-round growers at the market tomorrow. Misty Morning got their tunnel last year and grew a bit last fall. This spring is their first full effort. The Lees put up their tunnel in the fall so they are bringing in their first harvest. 

Several of our growers have their tunnels planted with strawberries or tomatoes which won’t be ready for harvest until early May. Others, like the Lees, planted cool weather crops which are ready for harvest much sooner. You will find a nice selection of greens, radishes, carrots, green onions, turnips, and more already at the market. So get ready for some freshness tomorrow.

We welcome back Red Bridge Trio tomorrow. They put on quite a show of bluegrass and gospel, and they have a big heart. They travel all the way from Ozark and are a well-known professional band. When we booked for the season I told them that I could only afford them this month because I still had a small grant I could use to pay their fee, which is higher than we usually pay. They came back to me with four dates through the year, saying pay us our usual fee in March with your grant and for the rest of the dates, cut that fee in half. “We love playing at the market.”  And we love our musicians!  Don’t forget to drop a dollar or two in their tip jar Saturday.

Breakfast tomorrow is biscuit and gravy, sausage, scrambled eggs and hash brown casserole. 

Stewart’s Bakery will have corned beef and cabbage for eat-in or take-out for $5. Pick up some salad fixings and have a great meal tomorrow night – if you can wait that long.

The market received a nice pat on the back this week. The Missouri Department of Agriculture chose to showcase our Year-Round Education Center located on the Yang Farm near Rocky Comfort as an example of a successful grant project to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. When one considers that our project was selected over many others, including those of the state universities, that is quite a complement.

We’ll start our Twilight Tunnel Walks at the center next month so you can see what all the excitement is about. We’re also excited about our first field day at the center. We are only obligated to do adult education at the center by the grant, but we want to expand our efforts. In May we’ll do a pilot field day with horticulture students from high schools near Rocky Comfort. If that goes well, we’ll expand our efforts to a wider area in the fall. That’s how we do grants at the market. We spread the benefits as widely as we can, increasing the value to the community, whether that be growers, students or consumers, making every grant dollar count.

And you’ll see the results of those efforts tomorrow at the market – tables loaded with fresh local produce in March!  See you at the market.

Here's a recipe from Oakwoods Farm - pick up some just-picked radishes at the market on Saturday!

Roasted Radishes with Butter
1 bunch radishes
1 T. butter
1 T. soy sauce or tamari, optional but a delicious addition
splash of lemon
  • Heat oven to 375. Trim leaves and tap root from radishes. Wash and cut into quarters. I like to leave a little bit of the stems.
  • Heat an ovenproof skillet on medium-high. Add butter. When melted and bubbly, add the radishes. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce, toss, and put the pan in the oven.
  • Roast for about 5 minutes. Squeeze a little lemon juice on top.