Tahlequah Daily Press

May 8, 2014

Cookson Farmers’ Market open for business

By TEDDYE SNELL
Staff Writer

COOKSON — Residents of the Tenkiller Lake area won’t have to travel far to get farm-fresh vegetables, fruits, eggs and other items this spring, as the Cookson Hills Center, United Methodist Mission kicked off its second season Wednesday.

The market, at 323087 State Highway 82, welcomes all vendors, large and small.

“There are no fees to set up and sell items, and vendors retain all the profits,” said Debbie Humphrey, Cookson Hills Center program coordinator. “This is their way of earning income, and we like to help any way we can. It’s open to anyone who has a garden and wants to sell their produce.”

According to Humphrey, last year, the market touted 10 vendors. She’s hoping for an even larger response this year. The market is open every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to noon.

“Sometimes, they’ll go have lunch, come back and keep selling,” said Humphrey. “Periodically, we’ll have baked goods here as a fundraiser, in conjunction with the market. But as far as vendors are concerned, you’ll find everything from eggs, to homemade pies, to fruits and vegetables. I’ll tell you, the pies go pretty quick!”

Cookson Hills Center has its own community garden, said Humphrey.

“Plus, every year, starting around the end of February, we hand out 18 varieties of seeds for free to encourage people to grow gardens,” said Humphrey. “Whatever we have left, we use for our community garden.”

This year, the garden will have potatoes, peppers, green beans, okra and tomatoes, and later on, watermelons and pumpkins.

“We keep having the market every Wednesday until the growing season is over, or until vendors stop coming,” said Humphrey. “I’d say it slows down right about the time that school starts, but we don’t ever have a cutoff day. We just go until nobody comes anymore.”

The market also welcomes any people who offer arts and crafts, with some limitations.

“If someone wants to sell crafts, we’d like them to call us first, as we want to be sure they don’t involve alcohol or things like that,” said Humphrey. “But basically, anyone who has overflow from their gardens is welcome to come up, park, and sell their items.”

Those interested in learning more about the Cookson Hills Center, United Methodist Mission Farmers’ Market may call Humphrey at (918) 457-5181.

CHECK IT OUT

The Cookson Hills Center, United Methodist Mission Farmers’ Market is held from 8 a.m. to noon each Wednesday, at the center at 323087 State Highway 82.

WHAT YOU SAID

The Daily Press polled its online readers, asking how often they shop at farmers’ markets in either Tahlequah or Cookson. Of 75 respondents, 39 percent, or 29 voters, indicated they’ve never shopped at either market. Twenty percent, or 15 respondents, said they shop at the markets several times each season. Fifteen percent, or 11 respondents, said they shop at the markets a few times each season. Thirteen percent, or 10 voters, said they shop at the markets almost every day it’s in session during the season. Another 13 percent, or 10 voters, said they shop the markets maybe once per season.

tsnell@tahlequahdailypress.com