MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Features

December 4, 2012

Local produce still available even after summer

— Just because the farmers’ market season is over until April doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to buy locally produced foods. Locavores in the Muskogee area still have several options when it comes to finding and purchasing food items grown or made in Oklahoma.

First off, at least one regular vendor from the Muskogee Farmers’ Market still offers their products — frozen cuts of grass-fed Dexter beef, via orders placed by email and a monthly delivery drop-off in Muskogee. Contact Randy Hall at Rocking H. Dexter Ranch in Poteau, (918) 649-4820 or randy@dextercattlefarm.com.

Also, some retailers in the immediate Muskogee area carry various food items created in Oklahoma. The Peach Barn on U.S. 69 near Porter currently has locally grown pecans, peanuts, apples, sweet potatoes and honey; as well as peach jams, butters, salsas and barbeque sauce, in addition to packaged soups from Altus. Store hours will run through Christmas Eve. Call (918) 686-0440 or visit www.thepeachbarn.com for more info.

The Arnold Fruit Company at 1412 W. Shawnee, commonly known as Arnold’s, also has local pecans, available both whole and cracked and is open seven days a week. Call (918) 682-1821 for more information.

Some area grocery stores also carry an assortment of “Made in Oklahoma” food products, just look for the logo on the package label which says so.

Or if you’re up for a scenic road trip into the foothills of the Ozarks, visit Doyle’s Country Garden farmstore in Stilwell, three miles north of town on Oklahoma 59. Burl Doyle offers a variety of storage crops he’s grown including onions, sweet potatoes, turnips and more. Call ahead to check availability and hours, (918) 696-5369.

And then one other major source for finding a wide variety of tasty locally grown and made foods is the Oklahoma Food Cooperative, where a modest lifetime membership fee allows online ordering from a huge listing of artisan foods and other products. Members fill their virtual shopping carts during the first and second week of each month, and then items are delivered to designated drop-off sites around the state on the third Thursday of each month.

The Muskogee drop-off site is in the former Wal-Mart parking lot at the northeast corner of North York and Shawnee Bypass. The amazing distribution system for the co-op is almost entirely run by volunteers, with exception of a couple paid coordinators in the Oklahoma City warehouse, where all the ordered items are received from producers and sorted for delivery across the state to customer members each month.

To learn more about it or to join the Cooperative in time for the December delivery date on the 20th, visit www.oklahomafood.coop and click on the “Welcome” tab.

With so many options for finding local ingredients for making good fixins, I’m reminded of Bob Waldrop, the founder and past president of the Co-op, who often says, “y’all bon appétit, you hear!”

 Easy Roasted Turnips

Ingredients:

2 pounds turnips

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon dried sage

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel and trim turnips. Leave baby turnips whole; cut larger turnips into large-ish bite-size pieces. Put turnips into a baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Use your hands or two large spoons to toss the turnips to coat them thoroughly with the oil. Sprinkle with sage and salt.

Roast turnips until tender and browned, turning with a spatula after about 15 minutes and begin checking for just tenderness after about 30 minutes. It may take them up to an hour or more to finish cooking, depending on the size and age of the turnips, and desired tenderness.

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