By ROB W. ANDERSON
Another season of buying fresh, locally-grown food is on the horizon.
The opening weekend of the Tahlequah Farmers’ Market is set for Saturday, April 6 at 8 a.m. at Norris Park, and patrons can look forward to another year of edibles produced in Cherokee County. Some new vendors have signed up this year, and a few other changes should entice anyone interested in superior food products, crafts, music and other aspects of healthy living.
Twenty-eight vendors are expected to participate, presenting a variety of items from seeds to soap to fiber, to a wide selection of edibles like tomatoes, produce, poultry and beef products. Vendors from neighboring counties are also calling to join the Saturday six-month market, said TFM Board President Marla Saeger.
“We’ve been having people call almost on a daily basis. It’s wonderful,” she said. “I’d say we have at least a half dozen new vendors. Several of them are local, and a couple of them are from the [neighboring] counties to the north of us.”
Among the confirmed vendors noted on the TFM website are Barefoot Farm, Clear Creek Seeds, Daisy Acres Soap, Empire Farms, Canyon Ridge Farm, Heaven Sent Food and Fiber, Morris Farms, Plants Alive Greenhouse, Raincrow Farms, Single Loop Ranch, and Wheatstalks Bakery.
Heaven Sent Food and Fiber co-owner Sue Ricelli, who is also a TFM board member, said folks can expect a wide variety of edibles to be available April 6.
“We have a multiple variety of vegetables. We’ve got 10 or 12 varieties of tomatoes, heirlooms and hybrids,” she said. “We have eggplants, and multiple peppers. We have a lot of basil, and we’re doing spinach, kale, assorted lettuces, Swiss chard, and we’re going to have lemon sorrel this year, which is a new one.”
Wheatstalks Bakery owner Kathryn Alexander is looking forward to spending her Saturdays at the TFM, which is working with the Tahlequah Main Street Association to develop and add new activities.
“I am anticipating the TFM experience again this year – such fine visiting and connecting in Norris Park reminiscent of the friendly public places in some of my favorite towns, only with the added unique flavor of Cherokee County,” she said. “And folks really appreciate their hearth breads, artesian goat cheeses, lovingly grown vegetables and flowers - once the season moves forward. From the back church parking lot to the open and accessible park, TFM has met with increasing warmth from the community.”
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