Summer in Oklahoma is delicious. Weekend farmers markets dot the city, and they’re a great way to get some fresh air, enjoy some community camaraderie and pick up a variety of fruits and veggies at peak perfection. Plus, adding fresh produce to your diet is always a good idea. We’ve crafted a list of a few of our favorite farmers markets, assembled market-going pro-tips and created a seasonal produce guide on how to select the most delicious fruits and vegetables.
The Eastside Fresh Market
Eastside is a family-oriented market. This new market serves as a food access hub for Northeast Oklahoma City and created new market opportunities for the NE OKC farmers and other Oklahoma City area food producers. They have weekly educational classes along with fun activities for the entire family. The market runs every Tuesday through November 1, 2022. Hours of operation are 4-7 p.m.
Shop all local Oklahoma farmers, producers and artisans in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City. Make this part of your Saturday morning routine and pick up the freshest produce, meats, poultry, honey, coffee, spices, baked goods and more. Free parking during market weekends is available around the perimeter of the Park and in the special event parking lot on the northwest corner of Oklahoma City Boulevard and Thunder Drive across from Paycom Center. New this season, the Silver Flyer shuttles guests with limited mobility from the parking lot to the Farmers Market. Look for signage directing to the pick-up/drop-off areas.
Open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., all year round and located on the first floor of the beautiful, historic building, the farmers market features produce, dairy, meat, and other goodies, like honey, canned goods, soaps and detergents, teas, jams and jellies, herbs and spices, vegetable plants and more.
The NEOKC Farmers Market has locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables and a fun, family atmosphere. They are open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, with other events such as cooking demos on other days.
This is an online, year-round neighborhood farmers market with pop up in-person market events. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram to see when and where they're planning to turn up. Weekly pick up for online market orders are at Flora Bodega.
OK, this isn’t technically a farmers market, but it’s basically a grocery store version of a farmers market. Urban Agrarian delivers! So if the markets above conflict with weekend plans or nap times, you can check out Urban Agrarian for local produce, meats, dairy, pasta, baked goods, preserved foods and more. You can shop online for delivery or pickup, at the original storefront in the Historic Farmers Market District or the newer location in downtown Edmond. Lots of what you might find at farmers markets, you can get at Urban Agrarian: full range of local produce as well as milk, eggs, grass-fed beef, pastured pork and poultry, artisanal pasta, farmstead cheese and much more.
Tips & Tricks
Bring a little ‘cabbage’ of your own. Many vendors now use a square or similar device to enable transactions with debit or credit cards, but some may not. Stick a few small bills in your pocket just in case.
Dress for the weather. Most farmers markets are either partly or completely outdoors, so dress for the weather. Oklahoma summers are hot. Stick with light-colored, loose clothing, a hat with a brim and sunscreen.
BYOB. Bags, that is. Some vendors may offer plastic or paper bags to wrap your goodies in, but bringing your own grocery tote or string bags is a more sustainable way to store your stash.
Go with the flow. Don’t make a definite list. Sure, if you know what’s in season, plan to grab a few ears of corn if you need them, but otherwise shop like the French. Plan your meals around the produce that’s fresh and seasonal. Don’t forget to grab a peach for a snack!
Questions are welcome. See a vegetable you don’t recognize, or know how to cook? Ask about it! Farmers and vendors are happy to talk with you about their wares. You’ll learn a lot, add to your recipe repertoire and maybe you’ll make a new friend!
Peak Produce Month-by-Month
Through June, look for asparagus, blackberries, blueberries, broccoli, radishes and strawberries
Through July, make sure to get carrots and onions.
All summer, cantaloupe, cucumbers, green beans, okra, peaches, peppers, potatoes, summer squash, tomatoes and watermelon are in season
Summer faves: Tips for choosing the best of the season
Corn: Ripe sweet corn has bright green, moist husks. The silk should be stiff, dark and moist. Fresh corn, if possible, should be enjoyed the day it is picked or purchased.
Green beans: Look for slender beans that are crisp, bright-colored and free of blemishes.
Squash (Summer): Select squash that are tender and well-developed, firm and fresh-appearing. You can identify a tender squash, because the skin is glossy instead of dull, and it is neither hard nor tough. Avoid stale or over-mature squash, which will have a dull appearance and a hard, tough surface. Such squash usually have enlarged seeds and dry, stringy flesh. Also, avoid squash with discolored or pitted areas.
Tomatoes: Select tomatoes from their smell instead of color. Smell the stem end; it should retain the garden aroma of the plant itself. If it doesn't, your tomato will lack flavor. Tomatoes don't develop adequate flavor unless allowed to ripen on the vine. Try locally grown tomatoes whenever possible. They may not be as "pretty" as store bought, but beauty, of course, is only skin deep.