Tahlequah Daily Press


April 3, 2014

Farmers’ market set for Saturday opening

TAHLEQUAH — Spring is in full swing, and area residents will get their first opportunity to shop the Tahlequah Farmers’ Market this Saturday, April 5.

“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.”

According to the market’s website, this year, the conglomerate has a total of 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 growing as the season continues.

“We’re so excited to have added The Kickin’ Taco Truck to the lineup,” said Saeger. “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,” said Smyres. “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,” said Smyres. “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.

This weekend, the opening of the Tahlequah Farmers’ Market in Norris Park will be held the same weekend as the Good Food Festival and Home and Garden Show, also to take place in the park. Market hours are 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 use 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 will be offered at the market this year.

“My husband does organic produce, and he’ll have herbs this weekend,” said Smyres. “We’re also working with some recent NSU graduates, who are creating ceramic pots for planting, and we’ll be offering those, too.”

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,” said Tinsley. “If you are looking for a great place to spend a little time on a Saturday morning, come by the farmers’ market. There is no other place where you will find happy vendors, happy customers and excellent local products all at the same time.”

Saeger announced another group planning to join the market soon.

“We’ve had inquiries from the elders of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma,” said Saeger. “We’re happy to welcome them and believe they’ll be a wonderful addition.”

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Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
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