Tahlequah residents will have another opportunity during the week to pick up fresh, homegrown produce at the Tahlequah Farmers' Market, when the first Mid-Week Market opens Wednesday.
The TFM is typically held on Saturdays under the Leoser Pavilion, but on Wednesdays in July, the Mid-Week Market will be set up under the Cherokee Nation Peace Pavilion, from 4 to 7 p.m.
"A lot of people who work downtown, they live out in the county, they go home on Friday evening, and they come back Monday morning," said Marla Saeger, TFM president. "So that's who we're targeting. We're just spreading out the love."
While a few vendors have day jobs and won't be able to make it, the usual lineup of produce providers will be on hand.
Saeger said TFM wanted to wait until tomatoes started coming in before they branched out.
"In all caps, TOMATOES ARE IN," Saeger said.
With a large group of vendors, customers can find nearly everything they're looking for - not just tomatoes. Available at the market includes a wide variety of vegetables, meat, baked goods and more. Much of what is available is of a higher quality, too.
Tabitha Findley, her husband, and their eight children make up the staff at Rare Breed Farms. Findley's husband actually quit his corporate America job in Houston, Texas, so the family could move to Hulbert to offer healthy, quality produce.
Customers who buy from Rare Breed Farms contribute directly to the family's dream of running their own farm, said Findley.
"For one thing, when you are buying from a family farm, you're supporting a local family," she said. "This is our full-time job. This is our family dream and passion, so when someone buys from us, they're supporting our dreams and our livelihood."
When customer go to the grocery store, they only see the final product. However, Findley encourages area residents to visit Rare Breed Farms to see exactly how the family runs its operation. Findley said the fact that people can actually witness the process gives their food some more personality.
"They know exactly where their food is coming from," she said. "We sell raw milk, so there are people who love to come out and meet our Jersies and they know them by name. They'll even call and say, 'I want Annabelle's milk, or Sadie's milk,' or whichever cow they really prefer."
At the TFM Mid-Week Market's grand opening Wednesday, customers will also have a chance to taste a meal made with fresh, homegrown ingredients.
Justin Phillips, owner and chef of Legrubs, will be on hand, whipping up some dishes.
"He's our chef and he's going to have a sample meal prepared from stuff from our market," said Saeger. "I'll have to sample everything before everybody else."
The TFM plans on posting a menu of what Phillips will be serving on his Facebook page.
Check it out
The Mid-Week Market will run until July 24. For more information about the Tahlequah Farmers' Market, visit its Facebook page or go to www.tahlequahfarmersmarket.org.