Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Webb City Sentinel market column - 5-24-17

This is the week we plunge into the full market schedule, when we start the Free Kids Meal and look forward to several hundred children joining us under the big yellow and white tent to eat at every market. And we are ready!

Tomorrow the kids will enjoy market tomatoes, carrots, sugar snap peas and smoked hamburgers (it pays to hire the catering manager at Cloud’s Meats – Clouds generously lets their caterer who is our head cook use their equipment to prepare parts of the market meal). The Kids Meal on Thursdays is served from 11 to 1. And, in case you missed it, the meal is free to anyone aged one through 18, regardless of where they live or what their income.

Yep, you're seeing cucumbers & new potatoes!
Stewart’s Bakery will service a hot pork sandwich with mashed potatoes for $5. The Pommerts are performing.

Tomorrow we also welcome the American Legion Auxiliary who will be giving away poppies in honor of Memorial Day. Donations received go to help local veterans.

On Saturday, the Kids Meal is breakfast casserole with a biscuit, market veggies and milk. Stewart’s Bakery is serving broccoli chicken rice casserole for $5 for eat-in or take-away. Cooking for a Cause benefits the Webb City High School Choir Boosters. JR and Corky will be on the market stage.

Tuesday the kids will have soft tacos, more market veggies and milk. No word from Stewart’s on their menu, but it will be tasty. The Comments return to the market stage.

Braker Farm has baskets!
Off site activities this week include the Kids Community Garden. We met for the first time last week and got all the plants donated by Fredrickson Farms put in, and some seeds sown. We meet on Wednesdays at 3 pm for an hour regardless of whether school is in session. We have more seeding to do and lots of mulching. In fact, we’re pretty much out of straw so if you know of any old straw that we could buy cheaply, let me know! I think we need either two large rounds or probably 20 small bales. Call me at 417 483-8139 if you have a lead.

Tomorrow we have our second Twilight Tunnel Walk of the year. The walks are part of the Year-Round Growing Education Center located on the Yang Family Farm at 1213 Route U, Rocky Comfort. It’s a mile south o the intersection of State Highway 76 and Route U. This month extension experts and experienced growers will be leading the walks with a focus on tomatoes in the heated tunnel and transitioning from cool weather crops to summer crops in the unheated tunnel. 

High tunnels were first developed to extend the growing season by a few months in spring and fall. It was not long before innovative farmers found ways to grow all winter and now we have found the tunnels can be very useful for summer growing as well. The crops are protected from many pests in the tunnels and the farmers can control the amount of rain and sun, which can result, in tomatoes, in less loss due to cracking and sun scalding. However it is very much a learned skill which is exactly why the market established the Center.

E & O still has hundreds of gorgeous baskets!
 The Twilight Tunnel Walks are free and open to everyone, including folks who just want to learn more about how their food is grown. No reservation is required.

Whether at the market or far afield, we are doing our best to build a healthy community and a healthy supply of food and farmers. See you at the market!