Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Webb City Sentinel column - 7-26-17

First things first. It’s watermelon season!  The market has many delights, but for me nothing tops watermelon. While I didn’t do an official survey yesterday, I’m pretty sure we have at least five different kinds of watermelon right now. I chose for my first one an Orange Crisp. As the name implies, the “meat” is orange, and it has a lovely firmness, but I love it because it is so sweet and seedless. I’ll have worked my way through it by tomorrow so I can try another variety then. Luckily for me, my husband Phil isn’t much of a watermelon eater so I don’t have to share. And, yes, I do like it so well that I can go through a medium sized melon in three days – easily.

We also have truckloads of cantaloupe, plus canary and honey dew melons. It’s pretty much melon heaven at the market.

The sweet corn has come in as well, and the field tomatoes, the sweet and hot peppers, the eggplant. It may be hot, but the produce is well worth frequent trips to the market. 

And if you get too hot, just run through the kids’ sprinkler. The park’s new splash pad is so popular that we stole the idea, as well as the sprinkler from the kid’s garden and set it up on the fenced lawn north of the kids’ tent yesterday. From the squeals and laughter coming from that direction, I’d say it was a big hit.

Tomorrow we have Scott Eastman on the market stage. Stewart’s Bakery is serving bacon lettuce and tomato on Ciabatta bread with fruit salad for $6. There will also be fresh cut fruit salad and chef salad at Stewart’s. I am writing this Tuesday night and just finished the chef salad. It was delicious.

Along with our usual excellent vendors, MoBlooms is coming to the market tomorrow with their beautiful locally grown bouquets.

The Free Kids Meal, which is served from 11 to 1 on Thursday, is turkey and cheese cubes with crackers, corn on the cob, watermelon and milk. Yes, that would be market corn on the cob and watermelon.

On Saturday, the Pommerts will play. Cooking for a Cause benefits Webb Cares, the school – community collaborative that makes sure kids in need get basic necessities like school supplies, a bed to sleep on or clothes to wear. The Latimer family is supplying all the volunteers - that’s Karen and Jim and two of their daughters’ families, the Millers and the Parkers. Breakfast is served from 9 to 11.

The Free Kids Meal on Saturday is baked oatmeal with market blackberries and milk. 

Stewart’s Bakery is serving vegetable soup with crackers for $5 for eat in or take away.

We had some visitors from Columbia this week. Two students from the MU journalism school were in town to do a documentary on the market’s work with our Hmong farmers. 

We learned the market was featured in last month’s Feast magazine, the food magazine based in St. Louis, for our work with the Hmong. And Fue Yang who manages our education center has become something of a media star.  He was recently featured on the web site of the national Farmer Market Coalition and by the University of Missouri Extension news service.

We have so much good going on for us as a market and a community –  stellar growers, a fun splash pad, AND it won’t be long before the street car is back on the tracks. And some of the best produce of the season – all waiting for you at the market. See you there!