Farmers markets shift gears for fall in final weeks of operations
BY NICOLE MARSHALL MIDDLETON World Scene Writer
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
10/10/12 at 2:44 AM
Sweet potatoes, pumpkins and fresh greens are some of the foods that fill farmers markets in the fall.
But there are many other local products available as the regular season of the city's largest markets draws to a close.
Find beef, chicken, pork, lamb, eggs at the markets as well as crafts and handmade products such as soaps, loofahs and yarn.
Coleen Thornton with Heaven Sent Food & Fiber is one of the vendors who sells these products. Thornton specializes in natural color and white merino and Alpaca fleece and yarn, local honey, goat milk, honey soaps, free-range eggs, and milk-fed pastured pork in addition to seasonal vegetables.
Thornton formerly worked as a clinical dietitian and food service director and in marketing before farming. She started in Arlington, Texas, and moved to Oklahoma in 2009 to have a larger farm, adding draft horses, jersey cows, merino sheep, alpacas, ducks and turkeys.
"Both my grandfathers were farmers. One was a dairy farmer with 200 dairy cows and several hundred acres of grain in Ohio and the other had a small 25-acre farm with horses and dairy goats," she said.
The desire to follow in their footsteps didn't start until she read "The Container Garden" and decided to try farming herself.
"Of course, it was the best possible gardening year, and I got hooked. After that it was larger every year," Thornton said.
She now has a 60-acre farm near Tahlequah where she has started experimenting with grains and added an 80-tree orchard last year.
Thornton enjoys working with yarn and fiber as a relaxing hobby.
"Yarns and soaps provide non-perishable items for times like this season when the conditions make it very difficult to have any income that will support a farm," Thornton said.
In addition to the yarn and soaps, she expects to be selling broccoli, cabbage, green beans, kale, peas, radishes, beets, turnips, purple-hull pinkeye southern peas, pickling and lemon cucumbers, lettuce and spinach at the market this fall and then begin meat sales in November.
For more information about her farm, go to tulsaworld.com/heavensent
Final weeks of the season
The Cherry Street Farmers Market at 15th Street and Peoria Avenue will be open 7 to 11 a.m. Saturdays through Oct. 20. The Brookside Farmers Market near 41st Street and Peoria Avenue is open 8 a.m. to noon Wednesdays through Oct. 17.
Original Print Headline: Gears shift for farmers markets
Nicole Marshall Middleton 918-581-8459
In addition to edible items, crafts and handmade products such as soaps, loofahs and yarn can be found at local farmers markets this fall. Courtesy