Spring is a time of renewal as plants emerge and begin bearing tomatoes, okra and corn. But its also a time of mourning because some of us have a tendency to murder those newly emerged plants with overwatering and general incompetence.
But everyone deserves to eat fresh, locally grown produce. The metro has long been a destination for farmers to sell produce to restaurants and grocers, but farmers markets put shoppers closer to the food by connecting them with the people who grew it.
We have consumers that have a desire to be involved in their community or at least to know their community, said Meriruth Cohenour, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry agritourism coordinator. Shopping at the farmers market lets them have a conversation with the person that grew, picked and presented their food. It makes them feel more connected.
While the interaction is important, she said the product quality is a real driver for consumers.
Theres a big difference in the taste of a vegetable that was picked yesterday versus something that spent a week coming in on a truck, she said. There are varieties of produce you cant find in grocery stores.
The number of markets is matched by the growing hunger for minimally processed food. Cohenour said the integration of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits at many of the venues promises to deliver better, healthier food to a new segment of the population.
I think the availability of SNAP at the farmers market really opens up who can shop there and who wants to shop there, she said. There are also some programs through the tribes that provide vouchers for farmers markets.
OSU-OKC Farmers Market
9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays year-round
OSU-OKC Horticulture Pavilion
400 N. Portland Ave.
9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays year-round
Oklahoma City Farmers Public Market, first floor
311 S. Klein Ave.
Delmar Sunday Market
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays beginning May 7
Delmar Gardens Food Truck Park
1225 SW Second St.
Edmond Farmers Market
8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays through October
(closed May 6 during Edmond Arts Festival)
30 W. First St., Edmond
8 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays June 7-Aug. 16
1501 W. Covell Road
Norman Farm Market
4-7 p.m. Tuesdays and 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturdays through October
Cleveland County Fairgrounds
615 E. Robinson St., Norman
Midwest City Farmers Market
9 a.m.-1 p.m. every other Saturday October through May, and then every Saturday June through September
Soldier Creek Oklahoma Home Community Education building
9104 SE 15th St.
The Farmers Market at Central Park
3:30-7 p.m. Thursdays and 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays May 4 through Sept. 2
Central Park Multi-Purpose Pavilion
700 S. Broadway St., Moore
Kinfolk Farmers Market
10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays through October
Northeast Community and Cultural Center
1128 NE 23rd St.
OU Medical Center Farmers Market
11 a.m.-2 p.m. the first Thursday of each month
The Childrens Hospital atrium
1200 N. Childrens Ave.
El Reno Farmers Market
8 a.m.-noon Wednesdays and Saturdays beginning June 11
Ross True Value
100 S. Choctaw Ave., El Reno
Print headline: Pick-up lines; Farmers markets connect growers and consumers for the freshest local produce.