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Farmers markets connect growers and consumers for the freshest local produce

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Norman Farmer's Market, summer produce in this file photo from 8-3-2011.  mh
  • Norman Farmer's Market, summer produce in this file photo from 8-3-2011. mh

Spring is a time of renewal as plants emerge and begin bearing tomatoes, okra and corn. But it’s 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.

“There’s 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 can’t 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.”

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OSU-OKC Farmers Market

9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays year-round

OSU-OKC Horticulture Pavilion

400 N. Portland Ave.

osuokc.edu/farmersmarket

405-945-3326

Market Saturdays 

9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays year-round

Oklahoma City Farmers Public Market, first floor

311 S. Klein Ave.

okcfarmersmarket.com

405-232-6506

Delmar Sunday Market

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays beginning May 7

Delmar Gardens Food Truck Park

1225 SW Second St.

facebook.com/delmarsundaymarket

405-232-6506

Edmond Farmers Market

8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays through October

(closed May 6 during Edmond Arts Festival)

Festival Marketplace

30 W. First St., Edmond

edmondok.com

405-359-4630

8 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays June 7-Aug. 16

Mitch Park

1501 W. Covell Road

edmondok.com

405-359-4630

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

clevelandcountyfair.org/35/farm-market

405-360-4721

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.

facebook.com/mwcfarmersmarket

479-200-5541

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

cityofmoore.com/farmersmarket

405-793-5090

Kinfolk Farmers Market

10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays through October

Northeast Community and Cultural Center

1128 NE 23rd St.

oklahomaagritourism.com/producer/kinfolk-farmers-market

405-667-0384

OU Medical Center Farmers Market

11 a.m.-2 p.m. the first Thursday of each month

The Children’s Hospital atrium

1200 N. Childrens Ave.

oumedicine.com/the-children’s-hospital

405-271-3932

El Reno Farmers Market 

8 a.m.-noon Wednesdays and Saturdays beginning June 11

Ross True Value

100 S. Choctaw Ave., El Reno

elrenomainstreet.com

405-262-8888

Print headline: Pick-up lines; Farmers markets connect growers and consumers for the freshest local produce.

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