POSTED ON APRIL 23, 2008:
Where the Good Fruit Grows
Tulsa and surrounding areas rake in the freshest fruits and veggies around
Spring, summer, fall, winter. When it comes to seasons, everyone has their favorite. But when it comes to Oklahoma, one season (the really hot one) oftentimes finds its way into the majority of the other three. Still, spring is a wonderful time filled with love (for some of us), sunshine (not a guarantee), and farmers' markets. The Tulsa metro is dotted with them, and, as with most things, UTW is here to shed some light on a few of them in anticipation of a little growth. Why? Because everybody deserves a fresh turnip.
Cherry Street Farmers' Market-- 15th St. and Peoria Ave, 7-11am, Saturdays. Cherry Street is more than antiques and vintage stores. But there's another reason why Tulsans gravitate to Cherry Street and it has little to do with actual cherries; it's more like asparagus and egg plant. The Cherry Street Farmers' Market has been supplying 15th street with fresh foods for about a decade. Guess that makes this spring a birthday of sorts. Whether it's fatha beans or hummus you're after, you'll find Cherry Street's Farmers' Market has a feel uniquely its own. Think of it as an event where that kindly elderly woman at the antique store and that pierced weirdo at the vintage store unite in a neighborhood celebration of fruits and veggies.
Cherry Street Farmers' Market on Brookside-- 41st St. and Peoria Ave (Westlake Ace Hardware parking lot), 8am-12pm, Wednesdays, starts May 7t. You know what there just isn't enough of nowadays? Spin-offs. It's true. Sure there are plenty of TV spin-offs. If only there was a farmers' market that could fix this pregnant chad of a problem. Wait, there is! The Cherry Street Farmers' Market on Brookside was born out of the success of, well, the aforementioned Cherry Street Farmers' Market on Cherry Street. For those of us with a schedule that prevents actual fun on a Saturday afternoon, the Brookside location is perfect for Wednesday afternoon shopping.
Owasso Farmers' Market-- Owasso YMCA, 8300 Owasso Expressway, in Owasso just off U.S. 169, 8am-12pm, Wednesdays and Saturdays, starts May 7th. Owasso seems to be growing month by month, but even in the midst of all this development there is one constant, the YMCA. What's so great about the YMCA you ask? Did you ever experience the thrill of half court basketball with your friends down at the Y? No? Well, The Owasso Farmers' Market is pretty darn close to that experience of youthful exuberance. Imagine the YMCA surrounded by peaches, plums and free range chicken eggs. The Owasso Farmers' Market has certified organic foods, a guest speaker on the last Saturday of each month, and has tripled in size in recent years. All that fresh food goodness plus the possibility of joining a game of H.O.R.S.E. Has there ever been a more pressing reason to visit the Y?
North Tulsa Farmers' Market-- 2620 E. 56th St. North, 8:30am-12:30pm, Saturdays, starts first week of June. For the North Tulsa Farmers' Market, community isn't just a word; it's the reason why they grow. The market was set up specifically for a low-income community that doesn't have very many grocery store options or the opportunity to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. The Market is a service of Newsome Community Farms, a non-profit organization that teaches North Tulsa residents how to grow and sell their own fruits and vegetables and even provides the necessary seeds. The North Tulsa Farmers' Market also includes traditional African and Native American crops and is working on incorporating more Spanish crops for this spring. The Market didn't open until October last year due to bad weather, but this June should be special not only for new customers, but for the community as well.
Jenks Farmers' Market-- Riverwalk Crossing parking lot, 7am-12pm, Saturdays, starts May 3rd. Riverwalk Crossing really was a great idea. Whether you're enjoying an after dinner dance at Los Cabos, sipping a Chai Train at Nordaggio's, or just taking an evening walk along the river front, the Crossing has been a nice benefit to the Jenks economy. In addition to the usual sights, this spring ushers in another farmers' market season to the Riverwalk landscape, but with a wee little location change. Over the past two years the Jenks Farmers' Market was located on the Pedestrian Bridge, but with this upcoming season the Market has moved to the Riverwalk Crossing parking lot, which makes for a great opportunity to buy cantaloupes, blackberries, birdbaths, green beans, and hand-painted gourds without ever leaving your F-150.
Downtown Tulsa Farmers' Market-- 3rd St. and Boston Ave, 10:30am-2pm, Tuesdays, starts May 6th. You know what a hungry downtown employee needs more than anything else on a warm weekday afternoon? Peanut Pecan Brittle. That's right. Of course, why not pick up some blackberries while you're there. Oh, and those plants sitting on that table would look great on your window sill right above the kitchen sink. It would be a shame not to pick those up while you're out (and before someone else beats you to it). The Downtown Tulsa farmers' Market has been helping out downtown with a plentiful supply of fresh foods for 15 years now. Beyond the natural beef, candy, plants, flowers, fruits and veggies, what really makes this market stand out is its friendly feel. The vendors and growers have become really close over the years and that community feel makes its way to every market visitor. Plus the Peanut Pecan brittle won't eat itself, but it's so good it just might try to.
Pearl Farmers' Market-- Centennial Park, southwest corner of 6th and Peoria Ave, 4:30-7pm, Mondays, starts April 28th. You know what was a great sequel? The Empire Strikes Back. Awesome sequel. You know what another great sequel is? The Pearl Farmers' Market second season. Pearl strives to have a little piece of everything at their market (except dairy products, which cannot be sold at Oklahoma farmers' markets) and they look to be pretty darn close. From farm fresh eggs, watermelon, corn, fresh cut flowers, spices, coffee, handmade soaps, pottery, music, and Yoga in the park, they have so much to choose from. Pearl has gone through a lot of growth since their debut and this sequel looks even better than Hot Shots! Part Deux. Classic.
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