By Doug Walton
Fresh at the Market
A long, cool and moist spring has set the stage for what looks to be a great year of gardening and the opening of the 20th season of the Muskogee Farmers’ Market, beginning this Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon.
The farmers’ market, located downtown in front of the Muskogee Civic Center, will boast local growers with a wide variety of springtime produce including asparagus, green onions, radishes, lettuce, spinach, collards, mustards, micro greens and other springtime leafy veggies, plus a few strawberries.
Other food items expected at the market are farm-fresh eggs, various cuts of frozen grass-fed Dexter beef, handmade tortillas, tamales, burritos; plus hot dogs, polish sausage and hot links with grilled veggies. And new at the market this year will be fresh-brewed coffee, yogurt parfaits and homemade granola from The Bite.
Nursery growers will be on hand with a variety of vegetable and herb transplants for the garden or patio, as well as lots of bedding plants and hanging baskets.
Vendors will also be there with handmade crafts, candles, soaps, natural body care products, pet treats and more.
This Saturday the farmers’ market will also be celebrating Earth Day and will feature live music and special vendors including Muskogee Master Gardeners with tips on growing; USDA-NRCS with free pine tree saplings (while supplies last); and Youth Volunteer Corp sharing their Hunger Awareness Project.”
As always, SNAP benefits (food stamps) are accepted at the farmers’ market. Customers wishing to purchase eligible foods with their Oklahoma Access card can visit the farmers’ market tent, swipe their card in exchange for tokens, and shop with vendors offering qualified items, which also include food-bearing plants.
On this Saturday and most others, B.J. Charbonneau of the Muskogee Swim and Fitness Center will teach free Tai Chi classes near the band-shell and lawn area next to the market at about 10 a.m., weather permitting.
The Muskogee Farmers’ Market is under the covered parking pavilions in front of the Muskogee Civic Center and will run from 8 a.m. until noon every Saturday, rain or shine and will open on Wednesdays, beginning May 8.
Information: Doug Walton, (918) 360-2012, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sauteed Spring Greens
Makes 4 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch mixed spring greens (kale, collard, mustard, spinach), chopped
3 green onions, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Pinch of dried chili seeds
Pinch of sesame seeds
Large handful of fresh parsley and/or cilantro, chopped
Heat oil in a large skillet and add the garlic and carrot. Sauté until soft.
Once the carrot and pepper are soft, add the greens, onions and chili seeds.
Sauté for about 10 minutes to warm them through but not to overcook them.
Add the sesame seeds, parsley and coriander and stir in to heat them, briefly.
Serve immediately while still warm.