MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Features

June 18, 2013

Fresh onions on the shelves a sign of summer

— Even though nighttime temperatures have been unusually mild for mid-June, the quickly approaching longest day of the year is a telling sign that the season is officially turning from spring to summer.

Another indication that summer’s upon us is the availability of fresh-pulled sweet bulb onions at the Muskogee Farmers Market, operating in front of the Muskogee Civic Center from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Wednesdays and 8 a.m. until noon Saturdays.

Plentiful spring rains and relatively mild temperatures have helped the growth of onions and many other crops planted several months ago during the much shorter and colder days of late winter. At that time, many growers probably didn’t imagine we’d end up having such a nice long spring.

Besides onions in many shapes and colors, market growers will have a variety of locally grown produce such as yellow squash and zucchini, cucumbers, green and red tomatoes, sugar snap and snow peas, Brussels sprouts, basil, cilantro and other fresh-cut herbs, radishes, beets, turnips, kohlrabi, cabbage, garlic, lettuce, baby carrots, broccoli, cilantro, spinach, collards, swiss chard, kale, mustards, micro greens and more.

Producers will also have farm-fresh eggs and various cuts of frozen grass-fed Dexter beef, plus bedding plants, hanging baskets, fresh cut-flower bouquets, potted herbs and vegetable transplants including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and more.

Other food items expected at the market include a wide variety of ready-to-eat lunch and breakfast items for enjoying on location or taking on the fly. These include yogurt parfaits, tamales, burritos, hot dogs and links with grilled veggies, salads, and hot and cold sandwiches.

Vendors will also have hand-made candles, soaps, natural body care products, pet treats, jewelry, aprons, handbags and more. Not all produce or other products listed are available on Wednesdays.

SNAP benefits (food stamps) are accepted at the farmers’ market. To purchase eligible foods with an Oklahoma Access card, visit the farmers’ market tent, swipe the card in exchange for tokens, and shop with vendors offering eligible items, which include food-bearing plants.

And on most Saturdays, B.J. Charbonneau of the Muskogee Swim and Fitness Center will teach free tai chi classes near the bandshell and lawn area next to the market   about 10 a.m., weather permitting.

For more information, reach Doug Walton at (918) 360-2012 or email him at doug.ewalton@gmail.com.

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