Wildwood Farmers Market on Main
16860 Main Street, Wildwood MO
Saturday July 15, 2017
Last Sunday my brother and I prepared, cooked and hosted a small group of family and friends to HONOR and remember our dad in a memorial picnic. Writing the market blog has been challenging for me the last couple of weeks, but it needs to be done. The market vendors need the advertising, marketing and interest focused their way each week. The amount of work and hours that they put into growing, harvesting, cleaning, packing, driving, unloading and setting up is immense. I respect and HONOR all of the work that they do and always want to do what I can to support them and entice you, the community and customer to head our way on market days and pick up some of the first of the week, just picked produce, pastured meats, eggs, honey and all that the market vendors have to offer. The market is a great community event and a place that relationships are formed, but first and foremost for these folks, it is a place of commerce.
My dad was a good man that loved to tell stories and share food. He was an avid gardener, fisherman and hunter. He loved to cook. He loved to make ice cream, or put us in the back of the pickup truck on hot summer days and take us to get ice cream at a local dairy. He loved to take evening drives and look for wildlife along the roadside meadows. An evening swim in the local creek was a treat after a long summer afternoon of work and play. Ice cold watermelon, peach juice streaming down our arms, homemade jelly from summer fruits are favorite memories. Fish fry’s with cousins, BBQ’s, a platter of corn on the cob for supper with a plate of tomatoes, cucumber and onions in vinegar and sugar, cobblers and that homemade ice cream will forever be my go-to summer highlights. The memories that he created with my brother and me will always be with us. They have made us who we are in many respects. He is still in our being, our very fiber. And with this, I hope that ALL of you create some great food memories and life memories with your loved ones.
And the subject for this week’s blog and market report has been days in the making, tweaking, changing and editing. This morning it all came together, but to be quite honest I could write pages more!! Some of you say, OHHHH NOOO!! And some of you enjoy it immensely.
It started a few days ago. But it happens EVERY market season. I get immersed, really immersed in Agronomy!! Haaa. When the farmers market season gets into high gear and the farmers have lots and lots and lots of our favorite Missouri summer produce, I feel like it’s a big part of my responsibility to assist them in marketing their farm fresh, just picked seasonal produce. My job as the market manager is to educate the community, the consumer as well as the producer so EVERYONE (most everyone??) can leave the market space HAPPY and CONTENT. The consumer leaves with great food and the producer leaves with less food and more income in their till.
At the moment, there is a lot of sweet corn available. A lot of tomatoes and summer squash and soon more peppers, etc etc. How do I get YOU, the consumer to BUY all or most all of what the farmer’s bring to market? I need to convince you, to entice you, educate you on the benefits of buying, taking home, using, preserving, enjoying and sharing the HARVEST. Each and EVERY week of market season.
ONE of the ways that I do this is by studying and gaining knowledge of the food that is produced. It can be the meats, the eggs, or the produce in any given week. It can be a specific vegetable or animal. And this week it seems to be SWEET CORN.
Sweet Corn, Super Sweet, Su, Se, SH2, Synergistic, Shrunken…I had no idea. Sweet Corn is the result of a naturally occurring recessive mutation in the genes which control conversion of sugar to starch inside the endosperm of the corn kernel. Fifty years ago, sweet corn was not all that sweet and it had a short shelf like. It was difficult to stock for grocery stores. Through hybridizing traits and taking the best traits from different varieties, we now have sweet corn varieties that have all the attributes we enjoy. Sweet, creamy, crisp, uniform and maintains good quality for at least 5 days. This week’s varieties of sweet corn are all different. Stuckmeyer’s have Trinity and Montauk, Cadet Creek has Serendipity and Triple Sweet, Three Girls and a Tractor will have Coons Choice!
Now’s the time to stock up on sweet corn. Canning and preserving sweet corn is something that we have been doing for quite a while. Cutting the kernels off the cob and processing can be time consuming, but the deliciousness and convenience of having it available later in the year is well worth it for us. Some folks blanch and freeze entire ears. We tend to cut ours off the cob. We have frozen it in freezer safe bags and pressure canned it. Last season I made several quarts of corn chowder and pressure canned it. One can also freeze chowder. Fresh corn salad has been a favorite or ours and it keeps in the fridge for a few days.
Cut kernels off, blanch, rinse in cold water. Add chopped onion, peppers, cilantro, lime juice, a little vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. An option, just before serving is to add fresh avocado and Mexican cheese (Cojita is really good). If adding the avocado and Cojita, the leftover lifespan is more limited. This is a GREAT salad to take to summer potlucks and picnics.
We put fresh corn on homemade pizza, make cold corn soup, add it to corn muffins and corn bread, make corn pudding, corn relishes and barely cooked, hot corn on the cob with butter and a little salt! Skillet fried corn is amazing as well as a creative succotash.
This week’s message. Buy the sweet corn. Lots of sweet corn!! Enjoy!
Vendor info and produce report:
We have a nice variety of produce, meat and egg producers this week. The peaches, corn, tomatoes, green beans, eggplant, some peppers, berries and summer squash are plentiful. The melons are starting to come in. Visit Three Girls and a Tractor, Cadet Creek, Stuckmeyer Plants and Produce, Condo’s, Brushy Creek The Cerny Family, Hunters Ridge and Rosy Buck for your just picked, delicious, nutritious, local produce, eggs, jams and honey. Farrar Out Farm, Stuart Farm and Clover Meadow will have a good variety of locally produced, humanely raised, pastured meats and pastured eggs. Two Men and a Garden has a variety of locally made salsa and pickles. Great Harvest Bakery will be there with a variety of breads and cookies. Trail Lodge Tea has a nice assortment of tea blends and many of them are made with Fair Trade tea leaves. Annette works at the St Louis Zoo and many of her teas are inspired by places around the world and the people groups that grow and harvest tea leaves.
Visit the Rosy Buck, Flower Hill Farm tent for beautiful, locally grown cut flowers. The Cerny Family might have some as well.
Donna Harvey, Deb Sinn and Ann Sedovic are our non-food vendors this week.
We have our monthly Author Fest this weekend and welcome Laine Boyd as well as Braxton DeGarmo.
I am still waiting to hear from a few more vendors.
See you at the market and thank you for your continued support.
(George and René)