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Lane pictured with vendors at the Neosho Farmers Market

Written by Kelsie Young, The Market Lady Video Producer

Shade is not something you will find at most farmers markets this time of year, at the 10th Street Farmers Market in Lamar you’re in luck! With all vendors being under a shaded area you do not even skip a  beat in the 90 degree weather. Lamar features an array of options from diverse produce, fresh flowers, clothing and even custom art and wood pieces. One vendor even had elephant garlic, new type of garlic to me that I was able to learn about. The 10 street farmers market can be found just off the square in Lamar, Mo., and you are sure to be welcomed with a smile.

We visited the Lamar Market last week and had a great time visiting with vendors and consumers alike.  Head on over to our Facebook page to see photos of our travels.

It was an early morning for our visit to Neosho and we had a couple extra folks tag along- Lane’s husband, Charlie, and son, Caston.

Kelsie Young with the Lamar Farmers Market Board Members

What a welcoming place! Smiling vendors, friends, families and regulars that return for their favorite products are what to be expected at the Neosho Farmers Market. In the heart of downtown Neosho you will find vendors with a vast amount of sweet goodies, fresh baked breads, a vendor weaving thread and of course produce galore. At the Neosho Market I was able to walk around and find a new story everywhere I turned. One vendor even offered Kohlrabi samples and offered great tips on how to eat and prepare it. Kohlrabi was crunchy and fresh I cannot wait to enjoy it in the next stir fry I make.

Come see at our next market- June 25 in Lebanon.

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The Market Lady Crew

Today we visited the Webb City Farmers Market and we were in for a treat!

I recall visiting the market about 4 years ago and was impressed by the tables of colorful produce and smiles across every vendor’s face.

Not much has changed at the Webb City Farmers Market…except there are more smiling faces, new farmers offering items like raw milk, cheese curds, a variety of breads and don’t forget about the wonderful plants, meat and produce!

What makes the Webb City Farmers Market so special (in my opinion)?  TOGETHERNESS

I’ve visited well over 100 markets and can walk into a market and get a “vibe” from the market.  At Webb City the vendors support and care for one another.  I had three of them tell me to go and visit another vendor, so I could try one of their products.  It’s a family atmosphere at the market…as all community markets should be.

Beautiful Tables

I talked with young mothers today about feeding their little ones locally this season and ways to make homemade baby food, and was so happy to hear mothers are interested in ways to incorporate fresh, local ingredients in their young ones diets.

Find ways to make your own homemade baby food here.

Today I’m sharing a recipe for Bok Choy- a Chinese cabbage that is sure to please your palates.

You won’t have trouble finding this cabbage variety at the market.  Look for a plant with firm stalks that is free of brown spots. Wrapped in paper towels and stored in the vegetable crisper section of the refrigerator, bok choy should keep for up to a week.

When cooking Bok Choy there are a variety of options from boiling, steaming, stir-frying and even deep-frying are all possibilities.

We are busy editing film and will be posting videos soon…see you at the next market!

Bok Choy Sidekick
3 T. olive oil
1 cup chopped green onions, including green ends
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound baby bok choy, rinsed, larger leaves separated from base, base trimmed but still present, holding the smaller leaves together
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
Salt
1/2 cup chopped, roasted, salted cashews
Grated ginger and a shake of crushed red pepper flakes

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add green onions, then garlic, then bok choy. Sprinkle with sesame oil and salt. Cover, and let the baby bok choy cook down for approximately 3 minutes. (Like spinach, when cooked, the bok choy will wilt a bit.) Bok choy is light and sweet in flavor, has a crisp texture and a high nutritional value. Not only is bok choy high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and calcium, but it is low in calories.

Remove cover. Lower heat to low. Stir and let cook for a minute or two longer, until the bok choy is just cooked.

Eileen Nichols, Market Manager at the Webb City Farmers Market

Gently mix in cashews (that we have already toasted- by toasting nuts you release the oils in the nut, making for a richer flavor.)

I like to finish this dish with a little freshly grated ginger or you could shake in a little ground ginger and some chili pepper flakes.

If you have a recipe question, ask us and leave a comment.  We are here to answer all your questions about eating locally at the farmers market.

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Eileen Nichols, Webb City Farmers Market Manager and Grant Manager

I met Eileen Nichols, the Market Manager of the Webb City Farmers Market, about 4 years ago in a previous job. I was working with farmers markets and cities from around the state providing marketing assistance and helping to structure new markets.  Eileen, who is also the Secretary & Treasurer of the Missouri Farmers Market Association, was a huge asset to me, as I was learning about farmers market rules and regulations at the time.  Through her knowledge I have learned so much to help others in the industry and I am truly thankful for her help through the years. 

Last year Eileen had an idea for The Market Lady Project and recruited me to serve as The Market Lady and handle marketing.  I was more than welcomed to come on board, as I knew that Eileen was well organized and made things happen.

Eileen says, “I don’t grow – I’m just a big fan of eating – especially of local foods made or grown by people I know and love.” Since being market master, Eileen has watched the Webb City Market grow from a small 3-farmer market to a regional market hosting some 40 vendors and drawing customers from many miles away.  FACT- Some consumers come as far as 50 miles away to visit the market. 

The market has taken the lead in education, training over 200 farmers in food safety and holding many workshops and field days on topics from soil fertility to pest control.  The market also sponsors a Kids Community Garden for middle-schoolers where children learn growing skills as well as how to sell at the market and how to prepare fresh produce. 

The Webb City Market is serving as the lead market on The Market Lady Project, recruiting myself and securing funding from the USDA Specialty Crops Block Grant program.  The Market is working with a Webb City educator in developing curriculum for 4th graders about fresh local produce that will be available nationwide, hopefully this fall.

A special thanks to Eileen for all her hard work and dedication in their project!

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The Market Lady Video Producer

The Market Lady Video Producer Kelsie Young

It takes a team to accomplish a goal.  Our team consists of three ladies who each bring their own flare to The Market Lady Project

Our Video Producer, Kelsie Young, is a sophomore Agriculture Communications major at Missouri State University. She attended Aurora High School where she took an interest in media productions and agriculture classes, as well as the FFA. In 2005, Kelsie and her family started a small cow-calf operation.

Through the FFA, Kelsie quickly found a passion for agriculture. FFA brought her many opportunities. She has traveled Missouri doing leadership workshops and has been an advocate for agriculture as a State FFA officer in 2009-10. Kelsie even had the opportunity to travel to Taiwan, for an agricultural tour, to further her learning of the industry.

She has a passion for educating others about agriculture and cannot wait to help spread the word of agriculture. Kelsie is interested in media productions as well as public relations for a future career and that is what brought her to The Market Lady Project.  I, The Market Lady, held internship interviews to find a person that fit our project.  After talking with Kelsie, it was clear where her passion was and that she would make a perfect fit to our team. 

Kelsie has many years of experience filming and editing videos and her lively personality works well with our team.  Look for Kelsie out and about while shooting videos across the Ozarks this year!

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