Nothing says SPRING like the opening of the Farmers Market. April through October, you can shop the market and make it a weekly ritual…and you should! It helps make up for the winter months. My favorite one to go to is the Cherry Street Farmers Market in my own neighborhood. Reportedly, it’s the biggest farmers market in the area. (I think even the state, but I haven’t confirmed that, yet). Walking to the market puts me even more into the natural mood of the event. Although driving would be convenient if I needed to load many bags into my car to transport home, I purposely walk so that I become a part of my neighborhood experience. I enjoy the porches, gardens and different architectural styles of the houses. The simple pleasure of sidewalks is what many of us Tulsans rank high on our list of what makes neighborhoods great.
Carrying a few bags each Saturday also reminds me of the way they do grocery shopping in many European countries. You get the essentials; what you’ll cook that weekend. I dislike bulk shopping, anyway. It seems you throw away items or forget that you bought them and then you have to store them deep into pantries and fridges. There’s nothing like fresh vegetables and breads! Fresh honey from the local beekeepers is better for you, anyway, because of the local bacteria which is supposed to help you with allergies. I like supporting the local vendors and also popping into the local boutiques along Cherry Street. There are so many chain stores, anyway….even on unique plazas in various cities. So this way, I support local stores and coffeehouses. One home decor store I went into was serving white wine sangria to all the window shoppers and customers. I had coffee in one hand and sangria in the other! So much excitement at 9:00 a.m. in T-town! Another week it was red wine sangria.
The live music is a bonus at the Farmers Market. Anyone who’s had a child with a rock band in their garage or bedroom knows how important it is to support musicians. It starts your weekend off right listening to the soulful beats of live music (before you read your newspaper – ugh.) I also thoroughly enjoy conversing with the gardeners who give sage advice about their herbs. (did you catch that? ha ha). It feels very communal to listen to novices consulting the experts about the best times to plant vegetables, why cilantro doesn’t grow long, how you eat the sugar snap pea straight off the vine, etc.
Highlights of the Cherry Street Farmers Market:
- breakfast tacos
- live music
- herbs and veggies
- art and pottery
- cultural diversity- the Asian and Amish farmers produce stands are some of my favorite
- cheese and dairy
- seasonal products; corn, pumpkins and gourds in the fall; seasonal fruits in the spring/summer
- ending up at Coffee House on Cherry Street for pastries, coffee, music and their charming patio.
Walking back home and quickly putting everything away in my fridge is so much nicer than unpacking bulk items! Exercise, live music, a free community event, a little culture and fresh, natural produce is a perfect way to start the weekend!
The area farmers markets; dates vary. Google it for location and dates/times.
- Cherry Street
- Guthrie Green
- Rose District
- Jenks Main Street
- Downtown Tulsa
Where else can you see a chicken that has been trained to “play dead” by rural children? Strolling up and down the farmers market, seeing fresh eggs, local honey and fresh fruits and vegetables reminded me of the treats I enjoyed in my own childhood backyard. Years ago, I mused to my husband, “I want our sons to grow up like I did—with chickens, beehives, veggie gardens, grapevines….” His answer was perfect, “Then, do it.” So I did! 5 chickens and a huge grapevine later, we are enjoying the inspiration from the neighborhood farmers market and the community of agricultural artisans who enrich our beloved Cherry Street!
photos by Gina