Tahlequah Farmers’ Market opens Saturday
TNE Editor
/ Categories: Feature, Local

Tahlequah Farmers’ Market opens Saturday

Published 3/31/16

Charity Muehlenweg 
TNE Writer

 

The Tahlequah Farmers' Market is set and ready to open this weekend. This marks the ninth year of operation for the market, which continues to grow and expand each year, offering a wide variety of products for the Tahlequah community.

Marla Saeger, Tahlequah Farmers' Market president, said although the market is seasonal they have plenty to offer customers from spring to fall.

"The market will be opening with greens, onions, fruits and bedding plants," said Saeger. "We will also offer items such as meats, cheeses, breads, jewelry and crafts."

As the season continues, the market will offer tomatoes, okra, squash, herbs and flowers.

Jonathan Frost, Wagoner freshman, said he used to eat quite a bit of fruit before he came to NSU but finds he does eat less fresh produce now that he lives on campus.

"I try to eat fruit every time I go to the cafeteria," said Frost. "I had not heard about the farmers' market, but I would definitely be interested in purchasing some fresh fruit."

Saeger said the market has a lot to offer NSU students and the Tahlequah community.

"We are proud to have set up the Farms 2 School program, which is a mini market that we drive to elementary schools," said Saeger. "Students are given veggie bucks and are allowed to go shop the farmers' market through this program."

Saeger also said participants of the Women, Infant, and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program receive $10 veggie bucks to use at the market and they are currently working on setting up a system where Double Up Food Bucks and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can be used at the market. 

"We offer local food, grown right here around the Tahlequah area," said Saeger. "We have the lowest carbon footprint and the freshest produce available, as well as seasonal specials and live music each week."

The farmers' market benefits NSU and the community in more ways than one. NSU works hand in hand with local farmers who are a part of the market to offer continuing education classes that center around organic farming and eating fresh.

Debbie Amlin, NSU continuing education coordinator for academic outreach and community involvement, said most of the continuing education classes that are offered are not geared toward college students, but this is just another way that NSU reaches back out to the community that supports the university.

Robert Smyres, local small scale organic farmer, owns a greenhouse where he grows vegetables and herbs. Smyres, who does most of his work manually with hand tools, is a part of the farmers' market and is currently scheduled to teach a seed planting class at the end of April.

"We aren't on the academic side so NSU students can't use their money to pay for

the gardening class or other continuing education workshops," said Amlin. "This area of our university is geared more toward reaching out to the Tahlequah community."

Amlin said they have people contact the continuing education department when they are interested in teaching a class over a topic they are an expert in.

"All of our classes have a fee attached to them because that is how we pay our instructors," said Amlin. " We keep a list of courses that people call in and ask about so that we can offer that class when we find a person that is qualified to teach it."

The farmers' market is open from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday from April 2 – Oct. 29 at Norris Park.

"Our market is full of really good people, both vendors and customers," said Saeger. "It's like going to a big family reunion each week."

For a list of available classes, visit https://academics.nsuok.edu/continuingeducation.

For more information on the Farmers’ Market, visit the website at http://www.tahlequahfarmersmarket.org/.



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