See ya’ll at the market

There is so much market news this week that a column is in order

Eileen Nichols

First, some sad news.  Long time vendor Joe Palmer with Fairhaven died on Saturday after being in poor health for several years.  His service will be at. 11 a.m. Dec. 1 at Green Lawn Cemetery in Schell City.  Joe was a dear friend to many at the market, but he was a tease as well.  You were always sure of getting good produce, delicious jams and jellies, fresh pecans and addictive candy brittle at his stand.  And whether you made a purchase or not, you were guaranteed a smile and probably a hug.  Back when we did the Roots Celebration, which included signs about the heritage of all the vendors and volunteers, it seemed very appropriate when we learned that Joe was a direct descendant of Chief Red Cloud and Irish pirates.  We will sure miss him.

On a happy note, the market will be open this Saturday from 9 to noon, and there will be a pavilion full of produce and products.  Clair Owens performs on the market stage.  There will also be several special activities:

1)      The raffle of a harvest basket full of more then $200 worth of gift certificates, fresh produce, and lots of products from market vendors.  Tickets, $2 per entry, are available on line at and on Saturday until 10 p.m. at the market information table.  The drawing is at 11 a.m.  If the winner is not present, the market will contact the winner for pickup. All proceeds from the raffle will go toward new sides for the pavilion to allow our winter market. 

2)      The Pie Baking Competition – details: the entry fee of $20, the fabulous prizes, the judging criteria, are available at Entrants must bring two pies by 10 a.m. Saturday, one for judging and one for the pie auction.

3)      The Pie Auction begins at 11 a.m. and will include one of each pie entered in the baking competition plus a caramel pecan pie and a gooseberry pie from Granny Shaffers.  The competition is restricted to home bakers, but we couldn’t have a pie auction without the area restaurant best known for pies, which also happens to be a former market vendor.

All proceeds from the competition and the auction go to support the market’s ability to provide two $5 coupons per week to WIC households. The coupons are good for the purchase of market produce, eggs, and meats.  Women, Infants and Children is a government program designed to ensure that young children, 5 years plus one month old and younger, have access to the foods needed to grow healthy strong bodies. While the market’s WIC program uses no government funding, it does use the WIC card to identify eligible families.

On Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the Holiday Market will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the pavilion. This is your chance to load your Thanksgiving table with local bounty.

Expected vendors are Braker’s Farm, Lykou Lee Farm, Easy Peasy Meals, Nana’s Mercantile, Helm honey, Stormy Farms – meats and eggs, Countryside Bakery, Sunflower bakery Pepper Ridge Farms – sauces, Hopeful Harvest – veggies, baked goods and a lunch of homemade noodles with meat sauce and a green salad featuring their own lettuce for $5.  Robin’s Hood will be on the market stage.

You can pre-order baked goods at Hopeful Harvest, Countryside, and Sunflower at this Saturday’s market to make sure you have just what you want for your Thanksgiving table.

Then a week from Saturday the Christkindlmarket begins!  Did you know the Webb City Christkindlmarket began in 2013?  I think 2023 will be the best yet.  Some farmers markets close when the frost nips.  In Webb City we celebrate the holidays (and the fact that our farmers have learned to grow great produce year-round)!

I’ll see you at the market – really.  Phil and I are coming in for the Pie Auction, ready to bid.  We are looking forward to spending Thanksgiving week in the place we called home for 40 years.

Eileen Nichols founded the Webb City Farmers Market in 2000. From a handful of producers, the market has grown to become nationally recognized.