Thursday evening markets start May 19
For the last several weeks the market has been busting at the seams with colorful bedding flowers, hanging baskets overflowing with blossoms and bright green vegetable plants. I say “busting at the seams” but this should be noted only when the opening bell rings because by the time market closes those plants have found homes.
People are ready to beautify their lawns and fill their garden plots, or pots, with favorite summer veggies. We are thankful to have a community focused on shopping local with our farms who all raise their plants within 50 miles of Webb City.
Here at the market, you will notice the kiddos have been hard at work in the educational garden planting cherry tomatoes and cucumbers for their summer meals. The herbs are all blooming, providing honey bees with some much-needed food. Speaking of bees, this Saturday the 14th, Helms Family Farm will present Bees at the Market. You can come to talk to one of our market beekeepers and see his suit and live bees secured in an observation hive.
We aren’t only feeding bees at the market, we hope to help your hunger too. Cooking for a Cause starts this weekend, May 14th, with a wonderful group supporting the Ronald McDonald House of Joplin. They will arrive early to start cooking breakfast and serve it between 9 and 11 a.m. The complete breakfast could get a farmhand ready for the day; Biscuits and gravy, sausage patty, scrambled eggs, hashbrown casserole, and orange juice! All for $7 while supporting a great organization whose mission is to help keep families together while undergoing some stressful times. Thank you Ronald McDonald House for all you do!
Another big thing happening this month is the addition of our second weekday market. May 19 will be our first Thursday market of the season. Our Thursday market will join our Tuesday market in being open from 4 to 7 p.m. – no longer during the heat of the day. Culver Creek Eatery will be here most Thursday markets and Songbird’s Kitchen is also providing dinner.
Another big thing happening is Mo’Mushroom’s debut of a Golden Oyster Mushroom. It’s something many young people are excited about, and it’s starting a mushroom-eating trend with our customers. This makes me realize something. Let me take a break from the weekly news to tell you something I’ve noticed and am encouraged by.
We joined with the professors who organize the Missouri Southern Lion Co-op Pantry, to start up a scholarship program for food insecure college students. This demographic is egregiously overlooked when it comes to food assistance. These young adults are going to college, some still living at home and help win the bread and butter. Our hope is with a little help these up-and-coming leaders can be eating more good foods to give an assist in their studys and demands of life starting out.
Since these students began shopping here a year ago, I have had several conversations with them. You’d be surprised how many are mindful about their dietary choices. They eat fresh vegetables and think it’s fun to cook! They buy JuiceBox Juicery’s fresh fruit and veggie drinks to get in enough servings of fruits and vegetables per day. They’re interested in a smaller consumption of meat and when they do eat meat they prefer quality, organic meat from local farms. I was 30 before I took into consideration what I ate and it’s connection to how I felt. These kids got a 10 jump on a lesson I wish I’d learned sooner.
But, that’s why we do it all. We educate and share with everyone the joys that come with living the farmers market lifestyle. We are connected to what we eat, just as much as we are connected to community. I’m so glad we can help nurture those things here.
We look forward to seeing them again in the fall, and wish all our Missouri Southern, Ozark, and Crowder students a great summer!
Now I mentioned in passing the kids planting our educational garden but I would like to take a second to let you know more about what’s going on. If you look at our Facebook page you’ll see the schedule for “Learning to Love Gardening” and a short explanation of when it’s happening.
At each Learning to Love Gardening event, Master Gardener Nancy teaches children the techniques involved in caring for a vegetable garden. She and the kids also talk about pollinators, wiggly worms in compost, and companion plants.
There are two Learning to Love Gardening sessions offered each time – at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. In between will be outdoor storytime.
Um, yes, I just said “outdoor storytime.” In conjunction with Ms. Nancy’s gardening sessions, every other Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. retired teacher Ms. Deb is going to read books and lead children in fun rhymes and songs. You’ll be shocked to know that these storytimes will always be themed toward farming, gardening and healthy eating habits.
For adults, Master Gardener Eric is back this weekend Helping Others Learn to Grow. His advice and topics are a little beyond amateur, but folks from beginning gardeners to professional growers can always get something out of a conversation with Eric.
So, with the area’s biggest supply of locally grown produce now being available three shopping times a week. With gardening focused education for children and adults. With live music, fresh meals, and a vibrant atmosphere, we hope to enhance your summer as you come to shop at the Webb City Farmers Market. See you all at the market!