TAHLEQUAH — Spring is in full swing, and area residents will get their first opportunity to shop the Tahlequah Farmers’ Market this year on Saturday.

“I’m just so excited I can hardly contain myself,” said TFM President Marla Saeger. “We have a number of returning vendors, along with some new faces.”

The market’s website shows it has 24 vendors.

“We have about 12 committed for this weekend,” said Saeger. “And we really want people to know we have so much more than just produce. We have breads, soaps, jewelry, eggs, meats  and cheese.”

Saeger said that this weekend, the focus will be on seeds, plant starts, eggs and meats, along with non-food items, with the produce selections and other items to increase as the season continues.

“We’re so excited to have added The Kickin’ Taco Truck to the lineup,” Saeger said. “Also new to the board this year is Melina Smyres, who is handling the public relations for the market. We believe she’ll be a wonderful addition, with her expertise  in marketing and previous experience with markets in New York.”

Smyres reiterated items available this weekend.

“For the first market, obviously it’s early in the season, so we’ll have vendors there with seeds and garden starts,” she said. “We’ll have greens available, too, as many vendors have greenhouses.”

Smyres is pleased with the variety of the TFM vendor offerings.

“We’ll have fresh eggs and beef, as well,” she said. “We do offer more than just produce. Our produce is great, but we have breads, meats, cheeses and eggs.”

Smyres, who moved to Tahlequah from New York, said she and her husband were involved there in farmers’ markets, which often coincided with other festivals.

The opening of the Tahlequah Farmers’ Market in Norris Park will be on the same weekend as the Good Food Festival and Home and Garden Show, also to take place in the park. Market hours will be 8 a.m. to noon.

“When we lived in New York and worked the farmers’ market, they often had festivals in the same park, so I’m kind of used to that,” said Smyres. “I’m hoping the people who visit this area for other reasons will take notice of our nice little market, and return for future visits.”

Smyres and her husband grow organic produce, which they will offer at the market this year.

Marty Tinsley, co-owner of Canyon Ridge Farm with her husband, Chrys, said this is the fourth year they’ve participated in the market.

“This year we will, of course, be bringing all of our goat cheese flavors, as well as our goat’s milk,” said Tinsley. “In a few weeks, we should be releasing one of our new cheese flavors, so be sure to be watching for it. In addition, this year, we will have some local honey and sorghum available, along with our farm-fresh free-range eggs.”

Tinsley said her family enjoys being a part of TFM.

“It is located in a beautiful setting, and the customers are all so wonderful and friendly,” she said. “If you are looking for a great place to spend a little time on a Saturday morning, come by the farmers’ market.”

Teddye Snell writes for the Tahlequah Daily Press.

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