Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ode to the Farmer's Market

I grew up in Decatur, Illinois. This fine city just so happens to be the soybean capitol of the world, so I was pretty well surrounded by agriculture growing up. When I left for college at the University of Iowa I had to explain to all the Chicago kids what the herbicide commercials on TV were about. I feel like I always had a pretty healthy appreciation for the process of growing food.

Now as an adult I have to make tough practical decisions about my food just like everyone else. In this crazy age of genetic manipulation, hormone and antibiotic overload, and mass pesticide use I have to choose carefully what I feed my family. Although I hit the neighborhood market like most of America I also utilize a secret weapon in my campaign to feed my family good food. This weapon is the OSU OKC Farmer's Market.

For all of you OKC residents, the market is located at about 8th and Portland on the OSU OKC campus and runs year round on Saturday mornings. This market is a great place to stock up on grass fed hormone free meat, delicious cheese, fresh eggs, amazing produce, and hundreds of made in Oklahoma products. I ran over to the market this morning and then got to make myself the most amazing all local, made in Oklahoma lunch when I got home. It is nice to know the people making my food and it tastes out of this world amazing.

Last year Lance and I bough into a CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically we paid Berry Creek Farms in January for a veggie, fruit, and egg share. Each week from May- October we stopped by the farmer's market and picked up a dozen eggs, fruit, and a bag of whatever veggies were in season on the farm. It was a wonderful exerience. This year we have decided to go back to a-la-carte shopping as the one downside to the CSA was that we got more than we could use and some items we didn't really love. (Feeding kids turnips? Not without a pound of butter...) So, here is a list of my Farmer's Market must-haves.

OSU OKC Farmers Market, oh how I love you. Let me count the ways...
1. Harvesthyme Bread: garlic rosemary bread. So fabulous.
2. Christian Cheese: Cowboy Cheddar, Colby Cheddar, Really Any Cheddar.
3. Crow Farms: Great produce all the time, but the tastes like summer greenhouse cherry tomatoes in April are something special.
4. Berry Creek Farm: All types of fruits and veggies as well as wonderful fresh eggs.
5. Wichita Buffalo Company: Buffalo meat is lean, delicious, and good for you. My kids love this meat and cannot tell the difference between it and ground beef.
6. The "General Store": I honestly don't know the name of this operaton, but they are always on the back left of the pavillion and they sell EVERYTHING! We love the honey, peanuts, peanutbutter, jams, pizza crust, and more!

Hope you will take some time to explore what the Farmer's Market has to offer near you. Take your kids along too- it is cool for them to meet the people who grow the food you buy and will make them more adventurous eaters (except maybe turnips...).

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