MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

October 10, 2012

Fall market harvest ongoing

By Doug Walton
Fresh at the Market

— Saturday is the Fall Harvest and Arts Festival at the Muskogee Farmers Market from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., and a great chance to celebrate the end of summer and the coming of winter.  But it’s not yet the end of the farmers market season, which continues on Wednesdays and Saturdays through the end of October.  

At this year’s festival, the Muskogee Area Arts Council is teaming up with the Farmers Market to host fifteen local artists who will be selling their original artwork such as paintings, photographs, sculptures, jewelry and more, beginning at 9 a.m.  

Dr. David Jones from the Arts Council points out that “local art makes really nice gifts for friends and family.  And we’ll have a wide variety of great art work available straight from the artists on Saturday.”

One of many noteworthy artists attending will be Ben Sparks, the award winning chainsaw sculptor from Ft. Gibson who will have over 35 of his sculptures available for sale and will provide live demonstrations throughout the day.

Festival goers will also enjoy the sounds of live acoustic music throughout the day, complementing the casual and comfortable atmosphere for shopping or catching up with friends and neighbors.  Ken Yates, as well as several up and coming artists from the Roxy’s Saturday Evening Spotlight will begin performing around 8:45 am.

Other special activities taking place throughout the day include free potted trees such as maple, redbud, Chinese Pistache, oaks and elms from Muskogee Parks and Rec, with a limit of 2 per household; Tai Chi at around 10 AM near the band-shell and lawn area next to the market; and a demonstration from Glad Wags, the dog obedience performance team at 10:30 am.

To see a complete schedule of all the Festival happenings, visit www.maacok.com.  Also, Heritage Days at Three Rivers Museum and the Antique District Block Party will be going on concurrently, within easy walking distance from the Civic Center.

The harvest festival is also a great time to stock up on storage crops such as sweet potatoes, winter squash, onions and cabbage. Other fresh Oklahoma grown produce currently available at the farmers’ market includes bok choy, turnips, lettuce, mustards, kale, green onions, broccoli, eggplant, red ripe and green tomatoes, okra, 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 grass-fed Dexter beef in a variety of frozen cuts; potted plants such as fall mums, asters and succulents; authentic tamales, burritos and tortillas; hot dogs and links w/ grilled veggies; natural pet treats; handmade soaps and candles, woodcrafts, painted pumpkins, gourds and other much more.

Not all items listed are available on Wednesdays, so stop by the market to see what’s there or call Doug at the number below.

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. until noon every Wednesday and Saturday, rain or shine, through October 31st.

Reach Doug Walton, Muskogee Farmers’ Market manager at 918-686-6939, or email him at doug.ewalton@gmail.com.