If you’ve been to the market lately, you will realize there’s a lot of local deliciousness available right now. Tomatoes are everywhere. We’re up to our ears in corn. You can’t swing a cat without hitting cucumber or squash. We’ve got everything you would expect to see at a farmers’ market this time of year. We also have lots of things that you may not expect – there is cheese. Who doesn’t like cheese? There are vendors with baked goods made from freshly-milled grains – Mae Benson’s Conejo Cookies are pretty darn tasty! You can get a cup of freshly brewed coffee and buy a bag of beans or ground coffee to take home (all varieties from both vendors are fair-trade). The watermelons and cantaloupes have been a hit for the last couple weeks and they are grown right down the road in Osage County.
It has been mentioned that what some people like about our little market is the variety. You can find so many varieties – heirloom and hybrid of tomatoes. Want pole beans or bush beans? You can decide! Our farmers want to grow things you will enjoy. There are many different types of peppers coming into season right now. Do you like your peppers hot or sweet? Do you want a mild jalapeno or a fiery one? You’ve got a choice. And the best part is you get to ask the grower, the person who knows that produce best, what it tastes like or how it was grown.
You can really do a large chunk of your shopping at the market – pastured beef, pork, chicken and eggs are all available from farms in Cole and Callaway counties.
You may have noticed the Native Plants/Sprouts and Roots tent at the market. All week long a group of 18 kids ranging in age from 5th to 8th grade have been participating in a camp which focuses on gardening, agriculture and nature. We spend a bit of time working on entrepreneurial pursuits as well. Students learn about farmers’ markets and what it takes to sell something they have made. This week we have learned about native plants and the community garden, pollinators, and crawfish farming. Campers have spent a day hiking a wilderness area and experiencing nature, learned the importance of activity through archery, and seined crawfish from a farm pond. They’ve spent time in our commercial kitchen learning to make salsa, and bake cookies. They’ve helped prepare gumbo and a crawfish boil with crawfish they caught themselves. They will be participating in our market this Saturday. Please stop by and support this great program. Try a jar of their fresh salsa or a package of persimmon cookies. All proceeds go to the program. They will also have various crafts they made during the week available.
There will also be live music this week from Mike Gorman and friends. Grab a cup of coffee and a tasty cookie, pie, blueberry swirl or cinnamon roll and hang out with us for awhile!