Thursday, July 29, 2010

What's In Store...for July 31st

This Saturday, we have loads of good produce and some fabulous regular crafters as well. Here's the list:
  • Lutz's with tomatoes and a variety of peppers
  • St. Andrew's UMW with muffins, baked goods, and coffee
  • Stuart J. Lippman and his wife with birdfeeders, bat houses, and crocheted items
  • Pauline Seidl with lighted wine bottles, novelty signs, bracelets, and keychains
  • Steve Heuer will have tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, peppers, and assorted squash, including some spaghetti squash (don't be scared; it's simple to prepare)
  • Ott's Produce will have cantalope, spaghetti squash, tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, a variety of peppers, and some hot pepper mix that is made fresh...and yes, that's cantalope!
  • DAP's General Goods with baking mixes and spice mixes
  • Carter's Produce with tomatoes, potatoes, several varieties of squash, and sunflowers
  • Team Miller Homestead with baked goods and assorted produce
  • Kurt Lantz with fresh eggs
  • Grandma Mb's Baked Goods with baked goods, pies, breads, etc.
The band is on from 9-11 and the kids are making Toad Abodes from 9-11 as well. We'll see you there!

New Look for the Blog

You should check out the new look for the blog. Click here to view it.

National Farmers Market Week

United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has proclaimed August 1-7, 2010 as National Farmers Market Week. In celebration, De Soto Farmers’ Market is hosting Tomato Fest on Saturday, August 7th from 8 AM until noon. Activities for the event include cooking demonstrations at 8:30, 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30 AM, vegetable sculpture competitions, tomato contests (largest, oddest shape, etc.), and an appearance by the Tomato King, who will be judging the contests!

This year marks the 11th annual National Farmers Market Week. Since the USDA began declaring National Farmers Market Week in 2000, the number of farmers markets has almost doubled, from 2,863 markets in 2000 to 5,274 in 2009.

According to the USDA, De Soto Farmers’ Market is one of the approximately 6,000 in the country operating in 2010, of the 167 in Missouri. The De Soto Farmers’ Market began in 2009, and currently has an average of 10 venders selling a wide variety of products, including squash, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, eggs, homemade breads, baked goods, and more. In the most recent season, De Soto Farmers’ Market helped generate sales for these local producers, a valuable economic boost for the region. In addition, the De Soto Farmers’ Market accepts EBT and debit cards to further improve sales and access to fresh produce.

“Farmers markets are good for your health, good for your community, and good for the economy” says Stacy Miller, Executive Director of the Farmers Market Coalition, a nonprofit supporting farmers markets across the country. “During Farmers Market Week, we invite everyone to celebrate the freshest foods from America’s most entrepreneurial farmers by supporting their local farmers markets.”

According to Cindy Valle, Market Master at the De Soto Farmers’ Market, “the…market was formed so our local community could come together and have an access to buy and sell local, fresh produce and wares. Our vendors take pride in what they have made or grown themselves and we are glad we can give the community the opportunity for quality items locally.”

Other facts about farmers markets:
  • California, New York, Iowa, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Kentucky are the states with the most farmers markets.
  • The USDA estimates that farmers markets provide income opportunities for at least 150,000 direct-marketing farmers and food producers across the country.
  • More than 870 markets operate nationwide between November and May in 2009, a time often considered ‘off season.’ This number is growing rapidly.
  • It’s estimated that approximately $1.3 billion in direct farm-to-consumer sales occurred in farmers markets in 2009.
  • Farmers markets accepted over $44 million in WIC (Women, Infant and Children) and SFNP (Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program) vouchers in 2009 – making fresh food available to millions of low income families.
  • More than 1,000 farmers markets are estimated to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits in 2010. Between 2008 and 2009, the amount of SNAP dollars redeemed at farmers markets increased more than 100%.
  • Farmers at farmers markets donate hundreds of thousands of pounds of fresh produce to local social service agencies across the country each year.

Cooking Demonstrations

With some help from the Health Department, we've managed to arrange a couple of cooking demonstrations at the market. The first round of demonstrations will be this weekend, and they will be a sort of practice for doing them the next week during Tomato Fest. Everything seems to be falling into place, and this weekend, Carrie Weatherholt will be doing demonstrations of healthy cooking techniques and healthy food preparation at 8:30, 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30. She'll give away samples of what she cooks at the end of each demonstration, and she'll have copies of the recipe she uses as well. It should be lots of fun!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tomato Fest Contest Rules

During the Tomato Fest on August 7th, there will be two contests. The Royal Tomato King will be crowned and will preside over two different competitions. First, there will be a Tomato Contest. You can enter tomatoes in four categories:
1. Biggest Tomato
2. Smallest Tomato
3. Most Outrageously Shaped Tomato
4. Miss Congeniality/Personality (for the best decorated tomato; watch that's rough on tomatoes)

Each category has an adult and youth division, so please bring your entries regardless of your age. The Biggest Tomato will be determined based on weight, and the other categories will be at the discretion of the Tomato King. Entries must be at the market by 8:30 AM, so get there early to avoid the line at the entry table. The winners will be announced around 10 AM that morning, and we'll be sure to send pictures to the Leader of all the fabulous winners.

The second contest that day will be a Vegetable Sculpture Competition. You'll need your creative juices for this one. Using fruits and vegetables that can be grown in Missouri (no exotics please, and that means bananas and other things that don't grow here), construct a sculpture of whatever suits your fancy. It can be a house, a dog, a file cabinet...the possibilities are possibly endless! And just like the Tomato Contest, there will be youth and adult divisions. Winners will be determined by the Tomato King, and entries must be at the market by 8:30 AM. Once again, come early! During the band's break at 10 AM, we'll announce the illustrious winners, and the Tomato King will bestow gifts on the winners. (Okay, so it might just be certificates for Tomato Contest winners and a free t-shirt or tote bag for Vegetable Sculpture winners, but you'll be the envy of everyone and bragging rights last until the Tomato Fest next year!)

I hope you have toothpicks, tomatoes, paint, and zucchini at the ready. Don't forget, entries need to be at the market by 8:30 AM.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What's In Store...for July 24th

This Saturday, we will have some fabulous produce and a couple of artisans. There will also be a garage band consisting of Larry Bay, Margie Roedel, & Mike Klaus. (Some of the normal musicians are out of town.) Kids' Corner will be from 9-11 and it will be Fun with Bubbles!

The vendors that have signed up so far are:
St. Andrew's United Methodist Women with muffins and coffee
Stuart J. Lippman with birdhouses, crochetted items, and other hand-made crafts
Steve Heuer with zucchini, potatoes, and other produce
Julie Ott with squash, peppers, and a various assortment of veggies
DAP's General Goods with baking mixes
Team Miller Homestead with fresh made bread, produce, and other baked goods
Dan's Produce - green beans. zucchini. wooden trellies and garden gates
Less Stress - massage

We'll keep the Market nice and warm for your arrival! See you Saturday...

Market Swag

The term "swag" has multiple meanings. In this case, we aren't referring to the top part of a curtain or to valuable loot obtained in a questionable manner. Nope, we're talking about promotional items that show off your love for the De Soto Farmers' Market. We have t-shirts and market totes for sale at the Market Master booth. Be sure to ask Cindy about them when you see her, and you too can have your very own market swag.

Canning Basics Class

The Canning Basics Class went really good the other evening. Mary Schroepfer with University of Missouri Extension taught the class, and 21 people participated. The class learned about water bath canning and pressure canning and prepared pints of fresh peaches in light syrup and blanched green beans.

Special thanks goes to Jill Porter and Jim Foster for letting us borrow their pressure canners. Both were good examples of just how many variations there are concerning pressure canners.

We also need to thank Casey Donahue for donating the peaches required for the class. Casey is a member of the Jefferson County Extension Council and has a farm just outside of De Soto. They were the first peaches of the season, and they turned out beautifully.

A good time was had by all, and door prizes (consisting of peaches and canning jars) were dispersed at the end of the evening. To keep in touch with what is happening with the market and its various educational partners, and to learn about upcoming classes, feel free to check out the calendar on the right, subscribe to the blog, and find us on Facebook.

Jefferson County Fair

The Jefferson County Fair is here!

It runs July 22-25, and all sorts of things are happening. Whether you enjoy tractor pulls or Collective Soul, there's a little something for everyone at the fair. For more information, including a schedule, check out the fair's website:

Salsa and Guacamole Increasingly Important Causes of Food borne Disease

Earlier this month, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) released a brief analysis of food borne illnesses that highlighted the increase in illnesses caused by salsa and guacamole. The Jefferson County Health Department has long contended that salsa is something you should be careful in preparing because it is an acidified food that is often made and stored incorrectly. It would seem that the numbers agree because the number of outbreaks related to salsa and guacamole more than doubled when comparing the incidences from 1998-2008 to those that occurred from 1984-1997.

Most of the outbreaks were related to restaurants and delis, and the article sites improper storage as a culprit. It also explains that salsa and guacamole are often made in large batches, and even a small amount of contamination can lead to a serious outbreak. (My guess is that the number of restaurants serving salsa and guacamole has also increased as the our nation's demographics change, and that probably contributed to the jump as well.)

At any rate, we don't want to discourage you from eating up yummy salsa and guacamole but instead wanted to remind you that you won't see any home canned salsa or guacamole at the market because of the potential risks. To see the full article from the CDC, click here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tomato Fest

Get ready for Tomato Fest. August 7th will be a celebration of all things tomato. We are anxiously awaiting word from the Honorable Tomato King to find out if we shall be graced with his presence. His crown and scepter await him.

In addition to meeting the Tomato King, we plan on having some tomato and vegetable contests. We'll give you all the details later this week, but here's a preview. Be on the lookout for oddly shaped tomatoes like this one. I spied this one growing on a tomato plant outside Kate Bigelow's house. It could be that I didn't find it exactly like this...(I may have added the fu manchu and eyes with a Sharpie, but you get the idea!) Start mulling over your various plants and veggies because we want everyone to be able to enter the contests. Any be on the lookout for the Honorable Tomato King as well.

Horse Riding Postponed until September

Due to the extreme heat, horseback rides will be postponed until September. It's just too hot to travel with horses in a trailer and risk getting delayed in an accident coming to or going from the Market. We'll keep you posted and send a reminder once we have the details.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What's In Store...for July 17th

This week at the market, we will have the following vendors and products:

Don Coke-honey
Shenandoah Soaps-cold process soaps, lotion bars, lip gloss, perfumes, and other hand-crafted items
Steve Heuer-zucchini, potatoes, and more
Less Stress-massages
St. Andrew's-muffins, juice, and coffee
Stuart J. Lippman-birdhouses, bird feeders, butterfly houses, crocheted baby items, and scarves Pauline Seidl-fresh produce and some artistic products
Idle Time Jewelry-hand-made jewelry
Julie Ott-zucchini, beans, and other produce
DAP's General Goods-baking mixes
Community Gardens-squash, zucchini, and other produce
Carter's Produce-patty pan squash, zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes, blackberries, and some baked items
Dan's Produce-peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and other produce

The Back Porch Band will also perform from 9-11 AM, and the fire department will set up a hose for water fun for the kids. We'll see you there.

Horse Rides

We're going to give the horseback rides another go on July 24th from 8-10AM. Remember that the cost is $1.50 and the money raised goes to help the girls who are competing in the National Horse Bowl Competition in Lexington, Kentucky. We'll send you a reminder about it next week as well, but keep it in mind!

Labeling Reminder

For vendors at the market who sell baked goods: please remember to label your products appropriately. There is an example label in the Rules and Regulations that you can use as an example. Also, if the product is made with a mix (cake, brownie, etc.), it must be listed on the label as such. For example, if you make a Chocolate Cherry Cake that uses the following ingredients: devil's food cake mix, cherry pie filling, almond extract, eggs, white sugar, butter, milk, and semisweet chocolate chips, then those items should be listed on the label in order of amount used. You should also state what is in the devil's food cake mix and cherry pie filling so that people are aware of any possible allergens.

Please continue to properly label your goods, so that we can continue to be in compliance with the Jefferson County Health Department. Thanks for your diligence in labeling things thus far.

Bring a Towel

That's right! This Saturday, the fire department will be on-site with a very large hose and access to a fire hydrant. Kids (we won't stipulate an age) are invited to run through the incredible spray of water, and parents are invited to bring a towel for the trip home. With temperatures expected to be in the 90s, that cool bit of water may be just the refreshment we all need on Saturday morning.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

What's In Store...for July 10th

I hope you're ready for zucchini and cucumbers. They are turning out to be bumper crops right now, and we'll have plenty for you this Saturday. Here's the list:

Dennis Barnes-produce
Julie Ott-zucchini, herbs, beans, & other produce
Carter's Produce-chocolate covered blackberries, tomatoes, potatoes, and blackberries
Team Miller Homestead-fresh-baked bread
St. Andrew's-muffins and coffee
Less Stress-gluten free cookies and massages
Steve-cucumbers, zucchini, cabbage, potatoes, onions, and more
Kim Anderson-string beans and other produce
Grandma Mb's Baked Goods-pies, cookies, and breads
Dan's Produce-assorted produce
Gail Kniffen-plants

Au Naturale Jewelry-hand-crafted jewelry
Bob Novack-dog treats, wood crafts, and more
Stuart J. Lippman-birdhouses, crocheted items, and other crafts
Loring Donahue-crocheted headbands in a variety of colors
Lisa Uzzle-soy candles

The Bug Doctor will also be available to answer questions about garden pests and critters. Ed Null will play music for your enjoyment from 9-11AM as well. We'll see you then.

2010 Jefferson County Fair

The Jefferson County Fair runs from July 22-25th this year, and the information for Exhibitors is now available. There are several categories that might be of interest to Market shoppers and vendors, but the main categories are Home Economics, Art, Craft, Flower, and Photo Exhibits. You can enter anything from a man's jacket you make with funky purple fabric to a photograph of your latest vacation spot! You can get more information about what categories are available, and to print off your own entry form, at the University of Missouri Extension's website:

Entries times will be Wednesday, July 21st, between 3 and 8 PM and again on Thursday, July 22nd, between 8:30 and 10:30 AM at the Hillsboro Civic Club.