Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Webb City Sentinel market column - 5-17-17

Our farmers are putting in long hours and will do so until late fall. Some are even busier than normal because they lost plantings in the heavy rains and are now replanting. Others escaped the floods but are still busy with their usual sequential plantings. Some of our farmers do eight plantings or more of sweet corn, usually about two weeks apart. That doesn’t mean they’ll harvest two weeks apart. Sometimes the weather or some other unknown force causes several plantings to ripen at the same time regardless of the schedule. While we love having plenty of corn, we don’t want to see any of it going to waste and we really don’t like those gaps in supply!  Here’s hoping for a steady supply of produce throughout the summer. If there are gaps, it sure won’t be for lack of the farmers’ efforts.

The market will be open tomorrow from 11 to 2 pm. Stewart’s Bakery is serving chicken fried steak sandwich with potato salad for $5. The Hairy Vetch String Band will be on the market stage. Thursday is a great day to enjoy a leisurely few hours at the market with many of our usual vendors without the hustle and bustle (and traffic) of Saturdays.

Saturdays, however, are worth the trouble, especially this Saturday when we have our annual Birds, Bees and Butterflies Celebration. Amos Apiaries will be there with their demonstration hive and with HONEY!  The supply is limited now that they have downsized so come at opening if you want to stock up. Wildcat Glades Audubon Center will
be on hand with learning activities. Our farmers will have signs indicating what produce depends on pollinators like bees and butterflies. Find out what you would miss if we didn't have pollinators. Moth and butterfly collector Rae Letsinger will be on hand with several trays of his butterflies. The Kids Garden Club will plant a variety of zinnia loved by the bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The kids can color a butterfly mask while adults can get pollinator friendly gardening tips.

Cooking for a Cause will benefit the Relay for Life team of General Mills. The biscuits we serve are donated by General Mills and, as you can guess, that adds up to a very generous donation each year so we hope our customers will turn out in droves to say thank you by supporting their team. Biscuits and gravy, sausage, eggs cooked to order and a drink are served from 9 to 11.

And even though it may be a bit cool and rainy, you must not miss The Geriatrics. We discovered this band last year and we love them!  Made up of professional musicians retired from the USO tours, they are top notch musicians and play favorites from many eras.

On Tuesday, Catalyst debuts at the market. 

We’re expecting a crowd because we are hosting our city employees in the big yellow and white striped tent (that's where the Free Kids Meals will be served starting Thursday, May 25). It’s a long overdue thank you for all the many kindnesses the city extends us. The parks department and public works comes to our aid on a regular basis, city hall helps with grants and other support, the water department always gives us a call if someone has left the water on at the kids garden, the police department has come to our rescue more than once, the fire department advised us on how to keep the kitchen safe, and the list just goes on. I doubt there is a department in the city that has not helped us out. So Tuesday, supper’s on us when it comes to city employees. Everyone else can get a great meal Tuesday from Stewart’s Bakery. 
And, of course, you’ll find lots of fresh local produce, baked goods and other delightful things at every market, because, while the music, meals, and activities are fun, our primary reason for existing is to connect farmers and the community.

It’s going to be a great week at the market. See you there.