Shop for fresh produce this summer: The farmer’s market I found in Rich Hill, MO

Summer is a perfect time to buy fresh produce at farmer’s markets. Recently I read in our local free shopper paper about a farmer’s market in Rich Hill, MO. Yesterday I was on a mission to go and am so glad I did!

This farmer’s market is just outside Rich Hill, a tiny town with a population of 1,362 (in 2012). You know it’s in the boonies when Ray draws me a map of how to get there. 

(My note at the top of the map below was from Ray asking me to go to the bridle maker by the farmer’s market, and ask if he could repair Ray’s bullwhip…a collectible item Ray has that makes him feel like Harrison Ford playing Indiana Jones. I never saw the bridle maker’s store, so Ray’s whip repair will have to wait for another day.)

map

I’m directionally challenged, get lost easily, and NOT a map girl. Just tell me the roads’ names and turn left or right (not north or south), unless it’s the name of a highway. Ray said this place is so rural that GPS on my smart phone would be of no benefit!

Ray carefully drew the map above, and then I asked him to just tell me the directions so I could write down things like, “Just outside of town is a cemetery and then PP highway. Turn left.” You know you live in a hick, rural place with these kinds of directions.

 But it was a sunny day with puffy, white clouds in the blue sky and a beautiful drive in the country~ very relaxing. 

drive in country

drive in country

I knew I was on the right path when I saw the rows and rows of corn.

Corn

Corn

This farmer’s market is owned by an Amish man. He was wearing his hat and was very friendly, but I didn’t want to interrupt him serving the customers by taking his picture. Here’s the sign outside.

Farmer's market sign

Farmer’s market sign

His horse and buggy were by the entrance. I think the Amish and the Mennonites may be onto something. They live such a simpler, less stressful lifestyle. 

Horse and buggy

Horse and buggy

As I walked in, a woman who was also shopping there asked if it was my first time there and I said yes. She said there were plastic bags all over the market that you could use to put your “groceries” in…or you could buy produce by the box. A box of peaches was $27. Have you ever seen something so beautiful? The peaches were my first pit stop and purchase!

Peaches

Peaches

When I walked in, I felt as if I had found produce heaven…like winning the lottery. Beautiful fresh veggies and fruit!

Fresh tomatoes

Fresh tomatoes

There were some green tomatoes besides the red ones. I immediately thought of the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes. I’ve never had a fried green tomato (Gasp! How could this be, with me being from the south?), so I bought one to try one. 

Green tomatoes

Green tomatoes

The rows of fresh veggies -yellow squash, green zucchini, cucumbers, jalapeno peppers, and especially green beans – brought back memories of my paternal grandmother Leola. When I visited her, sometimes she would have a big bowl of green beans to cook for supper and would sit me down in a chair to snap them. I thought it was fun. I was a city girl, so this was the little exposure I had to farm life.

I’m from generations of small farmers on my father’s side, but daddy wanted to go to college and have his own successful business. He was the first college graduate in his family. I share about the importance of education to my dad in my new book, Promises In The Dark: One Woman’s Search for Authentic Love.

Fresh veggies

Fresh veggies

This was one of the few eggplants I saw. Isn’t it magnificent? I’m going to ask Ray to cook the veggies on the grill, with some fresh corn on the cob we recently bought from a farmer, too – yum!

Eggplant

Eggplant

Ray loves anything pickled, so I bought him sweet dill pickles, pickled okra, and some salsa.

Pickles

Pickles

I must say that I’ve never seen garlic that looks like this. Yes, I am a city girl, alright! We use a lot of garlic and onions for our meals at home.

Garlic

Garlic

This is the first place locally that I’ve seen which sells raw honey, which has health benefits such as naturally suppressing coughs, soothing burns, providing sleep relief, healing wounds, and boosting the immune system with its phytonutrients. I added a jar of that to my cart, too! This market offered huge jars of honey. I bought the smaller one to try it first.

Raw honey

Raw honey

The Amish and the Mennonites do everything with excellence – growing fresh fruits and veggies, cooking and baking delicious, healthy food, sewing colorful quilts, and making quality furniture. This market also had some beautiful, hand-made furniture for sale, such as hope chests.

Furniture

Furniture

  There were other cute, little things like cookbooks, baby beads, and these home-made duck candles.

Duck candles

Duck candles

And of course home-made soaps.

Hand-made soap

Hand-made soap

Naturally, I couldn’t leave without buying something chocolate! A chocolate whoopie pie. 

Chocolate

Chocolate

The prices are very reasonable. I thought all the fruit and vegetables that I bought would be $100, but they were only $40! The farmer’s market is open every day except Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. I can’t wait to go back. 

There’s fewer things more delightful than the taste of a summer, fresh tomato. When I came home, I made myself an avocado, cilantro, ranch-spread sandwich with one of the fresh tomatoes, slightly salted. Just divine!

avocado-cilantro-tomato-cheese-sandwich

Avocado-cilantro-ranch-cheese-tomato sandwich

 What an incredible blessing from God! I’m so excited that I found this farmer’s market in Rich Hill and intend to buy our fresh produce there the rest of the summer!

 Are you taking advantage of the farmer’s markets this summer?

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. “~ Galatians 5:22-23, ESV

Inspired Living – Horses

Me on quarterhorse Western show horse Ace

Me on quarterhorse Western show horse Ace

Yesterday I recorded the last training video for my Just Write! No Excuses Virtual Summer Bootcamp students. I wanted to make it a special surprise, so I prayed, talked to a friend about what I wanted, and then God made it happen! He’s so good!

The surprise was a horse in the video! My friend Diane Bishop knew a woman with horses, Sandy Lowrance. She and her husband have an amazing ministry called Gentle Hands Horses Ministry in Pleasant Hill, MO, using horses with autistic children and teens.

I made an appointment with Sandy yesterday to use one of her horses, and then she recommended her friend Chris, who actually lives in Butler, where I do. It would be a lot closer and save gas…and it turned out to be a blessing!

I love horses. I used to take English riding lessons when I was pregnant with our daughter Leah, and then had to stop a couple weeks before I had her by planned C-section (I had pre-eclampsia.) As my doctors Leanne and Dr. Hull put me under anesthesia, I dreamed of laughing, riding on a beautiful, running horse. There were other horses in my dream, too.

Years later, Leah expressed interest in riding horses and when I went to a barn in Harrisonville, MO, that advertised riding lessons, to my shock, there was my riding instructor Tina, who had taught me years ago when I was pregnant with Leah!

I knew immediately I could trust her with my child’s safety and that Leah would be in excellent hands being trained. Tina had won national awards doing English riding shows.

Leah learned fast and became an excellent rider. Tina told me she thought Leah had the ability to be a champion show rider. The day Leah won first place in her second English show, I was overjoyed and so proud!

Several years ago, we went through a financial crisis and horseback riding lessons was one of the extra costs in our budget we had to cut. My heart was broken for Leah, because she loves horses.

Yesterday was the first time in years that Leah and I had been on a horse. This put a beautiful smile on Leah’s face, and on mine. 

The owner, Chris Cumpton of Butler, MO, not only allowed me to record the video on a horse, but also let Leah get on the horse too – and has offered to let us ride the horses this fall when it’s cooler!

I am SOOOO excited about this! This is a huge answered prayer for me and Leah both!

The horse who starred in my video was Ace. He’s a beautiful white quarterhorse, and is about 10 years old. Chris has had him since he was about 6 months old. She shows him in Western horse shows.

 

Our daughter Leah on Ace

Our daughter Leah on Ace

Ace was very gentle, an answer to prayer because I needed a horse who would cooperate standing still while videoing. He amused me looking at the camera once while videoing.

ace-chris

Ace and his owner, Chris Cumpton

I was on Ace first, and then Chris let Leah get on. The stirrups were too long for her, so she had trouble keeping her heel down. I reminded Leah later, “Remember, boot heel DOWN!” This is something that Tina was constantly emphasizing to me when I took lessons. But Leah had so much fun being on a horse again. Me, too!

leah-riding-ace

Chris also has other beautiful quarterhorses. They show as well in Western riding shows. Leah liked the pretty mare in the middle best.

Chris' quarterhorses

Chris’ quarterhorses

Leah thought this mare looked really sweet.

Pretty mare quarterhorse

Pretty mare quarterhorse

I love horses and was so happy being on one again! Horses inspire me.

What inspires you? Do what you love. Leave your comments below.

You can view the video of me and Leah on Ace that I created for the Writing Bootcamp students, Inspired Living, Inspired Writing,  by clicking here.