Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Webb City Sentinel market column - 6-28-17

The sweet corn came in last week, and that means the Fourth of July is just around the corner. This year the Fourth lands on a Tuesday. We almost always open on the Fourth of July. It’s one of our biggest days as people get the freshest and best for their family and community celebrations. But being open during our regular evening hours seemed a poor plan so we are going to be opening the MORNING of the Fourth of July – from 9 to noon. So mark your calendar and spread the word. 

Come Tuesday morning and load up on tomatoes, sweet corn and all the other good things that we love to enjoy on Independence Day. Want pies or other baked goods?  Stop by the tables of Stewart’s Bakery or Harmony Hill and place an order to pick up Tuesday morning. Barbecuing?  Pick up some meat from Sunny Lane tomorrow or Saturday or Garrett Farm on Saturday.

Stewart’s Bakery plans to serve breakfast on the Fourth and Scott Eastman will be on the market stage. We expect most, if not all, of our vendors. The only thing missing on Tuesday will be the Free Kids Meal. We are giving our kitchen staff the day off.

MoBlooms is at the market on Thursdays
But tomorrow they will be hard at work. The Free Kids Meal, served from 11 to 1 on Thursdays, will be Frito pie, market veggies and milk. 

Tomorrow, the Pommerts take the market stage. Stewart’s Bakery will serve baked chicken with dressing, green beans and salad for $6 and stuffed zucchini boats for $5. Ana’s Bananas will have fresh cut fruit salad and grilled chicken salad for $5 each.

On Saturday, the Kids Garden Club will be planting green beans and kids and adults can learn the benefits of succession planting.

The Granny Chicks will play. Stewart’s Bakery will have chicken pasta for $5 and Ana’s Bananas will have fresh cut fruit salad and grilled chicken salad for $5 each.

Polka among the produce on Saturday with the Granny Chicks
The Free Kids Meal will be baked oatmeal with blackberries from the market’s blackberry demonstration plot at the Mt Vernon Research Center. Now that sounds good, doesn’t it?  We are getting gallons of berries from the plot right now. Some we will use for the Kids Meal, some will go to area food pantries and some the Market Lady will use for demonstrations.

We’re gearing up for Cooking for a Cause. It’s always our biggest breakfast of the year and it’s always reserved for Crosslines, our regional food pantry. 

Why Crosslines?  Well, there are many good causes but Crosslines, which provides food to hundreds of our neighbors in need each year exemplifies the generosity of Americans and that’s what we celebrate at the market on the Saturday closest to the Fourth of July. (We are, after all, all about food.) I hope you will join us in supporting this worthy cause.

Volunteers from Central United Methodist Church will prepare and serve the breakfast. We’ve got 30 dozen eggs on order and will pick up extra of everything – biscuits, gravy, sausage, farm fresh tomatoes, drinks - so we are ready for a crowd.

It’s our busiest time of year and we are so thankful for the organized parking and the new gravel parking lot the city has provided. Hopefully the traffic won’t be so terrifying that folks will continue to come to the market after this very busy time because the produce will continue to pour in by the truckload for two months yet before it begins to taper off. 
Thank goodness for our volunteer cart driver De Hunt who ferries people in from far parking until the crowd thins out. Our manager, David Hill, does the same thing on busy weekdays. It’s always fun to hear De’s report. He’s good about visiting with the customers and often passes on excellent suggestions to us. Last Saturday though was more of a “can you believe it?” day. He gave a ride to a couple from St. Louis who frequent markets in that part of the state. They commented on the quality of our market’s produce, saying it was the best they’d come across. (All that training pays off!)  But the real surprise was the lady who told De that she drives from Tulsa every Saturday to come to the market. “The produce is great and it’s FUN!  It’s a great place to be.”   We couldn’t agree more. 
 It’s high season at the market. Come have a high time with us!