Market Time. Summer Produce is POPPING!

Point Labaddie Farmers Market
Thursday, June 28, 2018
at Point Labaddie Brewery, 1029 Thiebes Rd, Labadie MO


Some of you might not have even noticed! As we FINALLY returned at 3am last Thursday in the nick of time for market last week (YAWNNNNN)!  I had been taking vendor roll call, blogging and doing the market report via long distance from the Pacific Northwest. Some days I was standing out on a parking lot, in a more remote part of the mid-Oregon coast in order to get a signal to send a message or make a phone call. Monitoring weather radar and texting with my boots on the ground market manager substitute making sure everything was AOK. I am quite thankful that the market is able to continue and run smoothly even when I am out and about with little to no computer or cell access! Thank you to ALL. It was also quite nice to hear from the vendors these last few days commenting that I was missed over the last week or so. AWWW!
While in the Pacific Northwest via Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, Long Beach, Tillamook, Yachats and other destinations I was able to enjoy some delicious seasonal produce, great beer, wine, fish, beaches, whale watching, great weather and family and friends! I have also been above and beyond grateful that I did not return to 100 degree temps with sweltering humidity.  I have been able to ease back in with some overcast skies, moderate summer temps and rain showers! Ahhhh. One afternoon as we were having lunch in a pub in Astoria the server made the comment about it being “so humid” that day! Oh my! It’s all relative I suppose.

So back to the summer in far WEST St Louis County and Franklin County farmers market season! It is good to be back. Summer produce is here for us to enjoy. And it’s just starting. I suspect that we are going to see a bounty over the next few weeks and month. Sweet corn season and tomato season ARE HERE and melon season is not far off. Soon we will see more peppers, eggplant and green beans.

Does anyone out there still eat sandwiches? I love sandwiches; especially cold sandwiches in the summer. I am enjoying the variety of locally grown grains being used by some of the bakeries here in town. The types of breads being created and available are really unique and delicious. At the market this week, Ana of El Chico will be bringing a limited amount of traditional Mexican sandwich breads Telera and Bolillo.

I MIGHT work on having some BLT’s at the market this week. Tamale Man will be our main food vendor and you can count on them for some great fresh or frozen tamales.
If I don’t get BLT’s ready for the market, take home the ingredients of bacon, sprouts and tomatoes, along with some El Chico bread and make one yourself for lunch on Friday!!

Summer sandwiches! When it’s hot outside; almost too hot to cook (even with AC), summer sandwiches, salads and sides are a staple in our home. Summer means seasonal to us. I have those stories and memories that start with “when I was a kid….” in the early Sixities! I still have the images and the video in my head of our house, our yard, our kitchen and dining room. Our refrigerator was not jam packed with tons of food. We had a glass jar with a lid that had cold water. Sometimes one with iced tea. I don’t recall soda in our fridge. We had a few pieces of fruit like apples and oranges, a head of iceberg lettuce, a jar of mayo and jar of mustard. It was really simple, basic “stuff”.  We had a huge garden. Our neighbor had a big garden too. I remember my dad walking across the ditch to the neighbors garden and they would visit and they would usually trade veggies if we had something or he had something in abundance. We had a bit of corn, but would go to Rombach’s and come home with brown grocery bags with dozens of ears. We would sometimes have sweet corn and tomatoes for supper! We had fish from the farm pond, creeks and river. New Potatoes and green beans, cucumber and onion sweet and vinegary salad, beets, more green beans, squash, tomatoes, fried potatoes….I don’t remember a lot of meat. BLT’s, cold tuna salad in a big tomato, a hamburger on the grill or in the cast iron skillet, fried pork chop, cold ham, ham salad and on the weekends, usually BBQ chicken or pork steaks. Our eggs came from Grandma Bartold across the road. I think they were  $.35 a dozen maybe? Watermelons were also a favorite. We had watermelon a lot. We didn’t grow them.  I  remember coming east into Ellisville; the house is still there.  He had great watermelons and a big cooler. Getting ice cold watermelon was a bonus! We also had a neighbor named Joe Crum that lived on Hwy 100 and Melrose (maybe) that had a large garden with melons and then pumpkins. We had a metal milk box outside our porch and got milk delivered when I was really young. There were a couple of local butcher shops that we would get bologna, ham, steaks etc from. Yep….when I was a kid! Now I am considered a “foodie” by some because I still eat local, seasonal, homemade food and I cook a lot.

The cold sandwich that I have the fondest memories of are the thick slices of smoked ham that my dad would slice off of a big half ham, white bread, mayo, crunchy cold ice berg lettuce, warm thick slices of tomato just picked from the garden and sometimes homemade pickles. I cannot replicate that sandwich today. I have tried! I think it’s the white bread! They don’t make it like that any more! How often have you heard that? My dad had a jar or bowl of sourdough starter on the counter some evenings and would bake bread or make pancakes or cinnamon rolls on weekend mornings. Ahh, and that bacon! I am fortunate that I can still find good bacon and good eggs at the farmers market. The ham from vendors is also quite good! It’s hard to find crunchy, organic, iceberg lettuce these days! Egg Salad is also quite good. I used to work at at tea house and would come up with many variations on egg salad, chicken salad and cucumber sandwiches.

I write these stories and share information regarding the local, seasonal, food scene and farmers markets to inspire you, educate you and to hopefully have fun thinking about why YOU should shop local and seasonal and not only BUY the food, but use it, enjoy it, create food memories and relationships. Local, seasonal, just picked food is going to be more nutritious, taste better and more than likely last longer than conventionally grown and produced food. I had a conversation with someone just a few days ago and we were discussing how long our market produce is staying surprisingly fresh and pretty. With just my husband and I at home,we don’t go through a lot of food quickly and it’s amazing how long and how fresh the local, seasonal produce stays!

Summer sandwiches. I have already and will continue to share some recipes and ideas. We have  sprouts, eggs, meats, bread, lots of veggies to create great summer sammies! I shared a recipe for homemade mayo. Aioli is also a great condiment. I make mustard and will share the formula for making your own. Using Point Labaddie beer and fresh fruit will make a very nice mustard!

I  am getting some responses from our market vendors and will post the updated list and market report on Thursday morning.

Live Music by Wayne Imboden, great beer, great vendors, great venue and lots of community fun. Shop local, support local!

See you at the market,
market manager


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