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Thrive Oklahoma
farmers' market this time of
year is a weekly event for lo-
cal farmers to sell their home-
grown goods to the commu-
nity. In addition to Oklahoma
grown seasonal produce, it's also likely
that you'll find prepared foods, decora-
tive plants, honey, homemade cheese
and preserves, and handmade crafts at a
farmers' market. Another great feature
of shopping at a farmers' market is the
opportunity to visit with the farmer or
vendor. This allows for customers to ask
questions, get to know their farmers and
understand where their food comes from
and how it is raised.
Shopping at a farmers' market offers
many advantages to the consumer.
Because the produce is grown locally, it
is often fresher than what one may find
at a supermarket. Heirloom produce and
other unique food items may only be
available at a farmers' market. Visiting a
local farmers' market in your city offers
up the chance to experience local flavor
and specialties. Prices are not necessarily
higher or lower than those at the super-
market, but without a middleman, the
consumer knows that all of the money
spent is going to the farmer and support-
ing the local economy.
The farmers' market also has ecological
benefits. Many of the food items offered
there are grown organically or humanely,
and the relatively short distance that ven-
dors must travel to sell their goods cuts
down on fuel use and air pollution. Buy-
ing produce that is not mass produced by
today's industrialized farms also sup-
ports biological diversity and sustainable
farming practices.
By supplementing your weekly shopping
with a visit to your local farmers' market,
you can both support your community
and add some unusual items to your
pantry. Prepared foods are often avail-
able for lunch, and can be provided for
live entertainment events as well. Why
not spend a fun afternoon at a farmers'
market in your hometown or the next
time you go on vacation?
At the markets this year you're sure to
find something unexpected and delightful
and maybe even a little strange. Don't
be afraid to try it, even those things your
mom brought home as a child. What
comes from the garden is very differ-
ent than what you bring home from the
grocery store.
The following is a statewide list of
certified farmers' markets that offer all
Oklahoma grown products. If you're
concerned about GMO's, insecticides
and herbicides, ask the farmer behind the
stand about their farming practices and
watch the owner answer with pride about
his or her produce and the farm. Please
come by and share in the bounty of the
farms that have worked so hard to bring
us the wonder produce that can only be
experienced at the farmer markets.
"The joy of eating the first fresh fruits and
vegetables of the season is just amazing. I
am so thankful that the farmers' markets are
at it again- in full swing. From fresh greens
and tomatoes to watermelon, you'll find it
fresh and grown local. I can't wait for the
year to progress as more and more good
things become available. My favorite way
to prepare summer greens and tomatoes is
with a little homemade feta and olive oil
that's all it takes."
Kristy Kaminshine of
Kaminshine Farms in Mangum,
Thrive in the Garden