, Muskogee, OK

July 29, 2013

Fort Gibson Farmer’s Market off to slow start

— By Travis Sloat

Times Staff Writer

Stifling heat and unforeseen circumstances have caused the Farmer’s Market to get off to a slow start.

Dawn Pinkston, who is better known as “Mrs. Claus” in Fort Gibson, said she has tried to come out every Thursday, but for others, that just isn’t possible.

“It’s been us and the fried pie lady,” Pinkston said. “Occasionally we’ll have a craft lady come out. I talked to the person who handles produce, and she recently had surgery and her car has broken down. She wants to be out here, but she also wants it to be more profitable when she gets here.”

The Farmer’s Market takes place from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday afternoons in Langston Park at the corner of Lee and Cedar streets. The space is free to those who want to market their wares, provided they are homemade.

In addition to the Pinkstons, Klynna Nail, a representative of A Flower Can, was present on Thursday to sell flowers at what she called “special Farmer’s Market prices.”

“I just want to tell folks to come out and see us,” Nail said. “I bring really good deals down here. They are the same flowers and the same bouquets you get in the store, but with lower prices. I know it’s hot, but we’re still out here trying to save you money.”

The market originated on Thursdays so as not to conflict with the Muskogee Farmers’ Market, which takes place on Wednesday. Although the sign the city placed on the thoroughfare says 3 to 7 p.m., Pinkston said sometimes, if there isn’t a lot of traffic, they wrap up as early as 5 p.m.

“Today has been a slow day because of the heat,” she said. “Normally, we’ve been seeing an average of 20 to 25 customers a day.”

Pinkston has been selling different homemade breads, such as banana nut, zucchini and various fruits. She also sells homemade tamales and even gives customers a chance to book Santa Claus sessions while they are there.

Pinkston said even though it’s been a slow start, she hopes to see more people come out and spread the word about the market.

“Summer has been slow getting started,” Pinkston said. “We’d like to get it where we can get a bit more traffic, and we’ll keep selling what we have in the meantime. We want to be out here no matter what so we don’t have to worry about losing the privilege of selling stuff in this location.”

Pinkston also said the new location is much better than the last in terms of heat control.

“The last one was set up over on Poplar,” she said. “It was on that asphalt and it got too hot sometimes. It was scorching. At least in this spot we have some shade and we feel a breeze every once in a while.”

Reach Travis Sloat at (918) 684-2908 or tsloat@