Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Webb City Sentinel market column 1/31/18

Chuck Lonardo is back at the market this Saturday sharing another family recipe – his mother’s beef stock. The versatile base can enhance any number of soups, sauces, stews and more. Stop by Chuck’s demo table to see stock prepared with flair.

Ghetto Taco will serve biscuits and gravy, sausage and bacon, hashbrown casserole and orange juice and coffee. They will also have chili mac for eat-in or take-out.

Our musician came down with whatever dread disease is going round, but by the time Saturday rolls around I’m sure we’ll have lovely music for everyone to enjoy.

This Saturday we’ll have fresh local produce from five farms. Fairhaven will have picked out pecans (and homemade candy and jams and jellies), while Misty Morning Farm will have cracked pecans (and produce).

Lettuce in one of Oakwoods Farms high tunnels. 
We’ll also have all-natural pork, lamb, beef and chicken, barbecued meats, honey, kettle corn, baked goods, hard candy, freshly roasted coffee beans, and honey. Both our soap makers will be at the market, as well as our fire starter vendor and our knife sharpener. 

Dinner's Ready! will have pork tenderloin with potatoes and carrots, chicken breast with potatoes and green beans, taco soup, chicken and noodles with carrots.  Each package comes frozen, ready to pop in the slow cooker.  The package serves 4 and costs $15.

And, of course, we’ll have everything but the meat in our heated and enclosed pavilion. Our poor ranchers operate out of their big trailers so they’ll be right outside the north entrance.

We will introduce our new food stamp matching token Saturday. The silver metal tokens represent a new funding stream for the program. (The old wooden matching tokens are still good, too.)  The market has used wooden tokens for food stamp purchases for over ten years. Three years ago we secured funding to match those purchases up to $25 per market with tokens good for uncut fruits and vegetables. The match program has served hundreds of food stamp customers, giving them more purchasing power for healthier diets, while increasing sales for our farmers to the tune of some $15,000 each year. That may sound like a lot, but compared to the amount spent with food stamps just in our county it is a small percentage. So we’ve never donemuch publicity about the program, not wanting to run out of funding mid-season. 

Our new funder, Fair Food Network, has challenged us to reach many many more food stamp customers so we will be using every opportunity to share the news. If you know anyone on food stamps, or if you belong to an organization that serves low income folks, let them know and let us know. We have flyers to help spread the word.

Recently we asked for comments from some of our food stamp customers. These are a few responses:

"I use the snap program at the farmers market ....It helps me out so much ...I have heart issues, this makes my heart healthy diet affordable for someone on fixed income."


"I was a recipient of this program. As a grandparent raising 3 beautiful granddaughters it is a blessing to me. My girls love not only coming to the market but being able to pick their own produce and learn from the educational classes offered. Not only do they enjoy the lesson we also shop then we come home and practice our cutting, preparation and cooking skills. They try a new vegetable every time we shop and have yet to find anything they don't like. Financially it helps my grocery money go just a little bit further, towards healthy fresh food! Thank you for this program!" 

"This program is an amazing win-win-win for our community! Low income folks get better access to quality local produce and foods, growers and producers get support to expand their products and farms, and more money stays local for our economy. As a participant, I really love seeing how successful this program is over any other 'charity' that addresses food insecurity. I'm also very happy that participants have freedom to choose foods appropriate for their own dietary needs. Furthermore, on foods that are new to me, and outside my cultural norm, I've been given educational information directly from the farmers on how to prepare and eat different produce. This has been a really fun and engaging experience for me particularly with the Hmong refugee immigrant farmers who have brought so many new and amazing flavors to my table! I love being able support them while learning new things."

Stop by the information table to learn more about the program.

See you at the market!