, Muskogee, OK

October 16, 2012

Cool nights give fall garden crops a boost

Broccoli, radishes, turnips plentiful at Farmers’ Market

By Doug Walton

— Much cooler nighttime temperatures are greatly helping the growth of fall garden crops such as turnips, radishes, broccoli and other dark leafy greens now available at the Muskogee Farmers’ Market through the end of October.

Broccoli is one of several vegetables in the cabbage family that can be grown in the spring or the fall in Oklahoma. But, the fall crops are often the best, when shortening day lengths and cooler soil and air temperatures prevail. Whereas in the early summer, when spring planted crops are nearing maturity, the days are getting longer and a hot spell can accelerate flowering and “over-ripening” in a short period of time, leaving a narrow window for harvesting.

Lettuce is also similar in this way.

Besides fresh broccoli, other Oklahoma-grown produce currently available at the farmers’ market includes sweet potatoes, winter squash, onions, cabbage, bok choy, turnips, lettuce, mustards, kale, green onions, eggplant, red ripe and green tomatoes, hot and mild chili peppers, slicing and pickling cucumbers, watermelon, potatoes, green beans, colored sweet bell peppers and a variety of micro greens.

Other items at the market include potted mums, authentic tamales, burritos and tortillas; hot dogs and links with grilled veggies; natural pet treats; handmade soaps and candles, woodcrafts, painted pumpkins, gourds and other much more.

Food stamps/SNAP benefits 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.

The Muskogee Farmers’ Market is located under the covered parking pavilions in front of the Muskogee Civic Center and runs from 8 a.m. to noon every Wednesday and Saturday, rain or shine, through Oct. 31.

Reach Doug Walton, Muskogee Farmers' Market manager at (918) 686-6939, or email him

Easy Broccoli with Herbs

Makes 6 servings

1 bunch broccoli

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon fresh dill weed, fennel or basil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. Wash, then cut broccoli into stalks or florets. Steam 6 minutes, until just tender and bright green.

2. Meanwhile, melt butter. Stir in minced herbs and lemon juice.

3. Pour butter mixture over hot broccoli and serve at once.