Our farmers are busy planning for the new year. I just heard that Braker Berry Farm is expanding their corn plantings and the Braker boys have added more plants to their strawberry patch. Of course, the weather will have a lot to do with whether we see the fruits of their labor at market, but it’s sort of like grants, if you don’t write the grant, you for sure won’t get it. If you don’t plant the seed, you for sure won’t get the harvest, but there are no guarantees. OakWoods Farm plans to increase their fresh herb production as well. This is the time of year when the market manager touches base with all the farmers to identify where we might have gaps. One gap that is going to be filled immediately is breakfast for adults. This Saturday Harmony Hill will offer scratch biscuits and sausage gravy for $4.50 with an option of eggs, scrambled, over easy or sunny side up for $5. Breakfast is served to-go. Harmony will not be doing drinks, but you can get some exceptional coffee at Juniper’s. The Free Kids Meals, which are packed to-go, are: Breakfast – strawberry parfait with house made granola and milk. Lunch – vegetable beef soup with a cheese stick, a biscuit and milk. The kids meals are handed out from 9 to 11 on Saturday mornings in the south end of the pavilion to any child aged 1 through 18. Parents and grandparents can pick up meals for their kids by showing a photo of themselves with the kids so we can get a head count. Justin Cauble will be on the market stage. The pavilion will be heated this Saturday since the forecast is for cold weather. Wear a mask and social distance if you can, please. Misty Morning Farm is back this week and will have ground beef and acorn squash. It’s sign-up time for their summer CSA. If you’re interested, just stop by Misty’s table for more information. Other farms we expect include:
Harmony and Redings Mill will have baked goods. Meat vendors include:
We also expect:
This is also the time of year when training takes place in earnest for our farmers. The market will once again sponsor the Midwest Winter Production Conference, but this time online. Every Tuesday evening in February from 6:30 to 8, we will show a video focused on a particular farm, followed by a Q&A live session with the farmer and the extension colleague who worked with the farm on the video. The sessions are free and you can attend any or all. You might be especially interested in learning more about the winter production of the two farms that sell at our market – Yang Family Vegetable Farm and OakWoods Farm. For more information and to register, go to the market’s website: Training.
I want to share some news about the Great Plains Growers Conference that will also be online in February. This year our own manager, Rachael Lynch, will be on the panel called Adaptations at Farmers Markets, sharing best practices about weathering the COVID pandemic. Rachael is the sole market manager on the panel.
The other two panelists are market vendors, one from Missouri, one from Iowa. It’s quite an honor for Rachael to be recognized for her excellent job in steering our market through the pandemic and to be sought as a resource for this conference serving Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and other Midwest states. Kudos, Rachael, for your work and for being willing to share your expertise.