By Doug Walton
Fresh at the Market
The mid-week farmers market opens today, and now is a good time to plant or re-plant a garden, especially after such a long, cool and wet springtime like we’ve had in eastern Oklahoma.
And this Saturday gardeners can find some plants at the annual Herb and Plant Sale put on by the Muskogee Farmers’ Market from 8 a.m. until noon. The market is located downtown, in front of the Muskogee Civic Center.
Local growers will have a wide variety of herb plants, such as basil in many different varieties (sweet, lemon, cinnamon, Thai, holy, etc.) garlic chives, fennel, French sorrel, Greek and Mexican oregano, lavender, scented mints of all flavors such as chocolate, lemon, orange and cuban; rosemary, sage, marjoram, lemon grass, German and golden lemon creeping thyme, yarrow, sweet annie, rue, lemon balm, catnip, borage, and much more.
Besides all the herbs, vendors will have colorful locally-grown bedding plants and vegetable transplants including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and squash and more.
The Muskogee County Master Gardeners will be on hand to field gardening questions throughout the day.
A good selection of early spring produce will also be available such as asparagus, green onions and garlic, radishes, turnips, lettuce, baby carrots, cilantro, spinach, collards, swiss chard, mustards, micro greens and other leafy veggies.
Other food items expected at the market are farm-fresh eggs, various cuts of frozen grass-fed Dexter beef, hand-made tortillas, tamales, burritos; plus hot dogs, polish sausage and hot links with grilled veggies. Fresh-brewed coffee, yogurt parfaits, homemade granola and a variety of dips, spreads and other goodies will also be available.
Vendors will also be there with hand-made crafts, candles, soaps, natural body care products, pet treats and more.
SNAP benefits (food stamps) are gladly 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 eligible items, which also include food-bearing plants.
On most Saturdays, 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 located under the covered parking pavilions in front of the Muskogee Civic Center and runs from 8 a.m. until noon every Saturday, rain or shine. The mid-week market is open from 8 a.m. to1 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Beginning today, and on most Wednesdays, OSU Nutrition Educators will be at the market fixing simple, affordable and healthy meal and snack ideas with free samples and recipes, featuring items fresh from the market. Demonstrations at today’s market will feature fresh salad greens with variations on the homemade salad dressing below.
Also beginning this Wednesday, a new food truck, “Two Broke Ladies” will be at the market, offering a wide variety of ready to eat breakfast and lunch items for eating on location or taking to go.
Not all products listed are available on Wednesdays.
Reach Doug Walton at (918) 360-2012 or email@example.com.
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil, chives, dill or tarragon
1/8 teaspoon salt
In small jar with tight fitting lid, combine all the ingredients. Cover and shake vigorously. Season to taste with fresh ground pepper.
If you go
WHAT: Muskogee Farmers Market.
WHEN: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays.
WHERE: Under the covered parking pavilions in front of the Muskogee Civic Center, 425 Boston St.