Before it’s too late, I’d like to talk about National Farmers Market Week 2013, which began on August 4th and ends August 10th. Farmers markets provide a local source for fresh, nutritious food, encourage local businesses and give communities a gathering place. This is what the Pearl Farmers Market, located in Centennial Park in Tulsa, does on Thursday evenings by hosting farmers, vendors and live music from 4 to 7 p.m.
The Cherry Street Farmers Market is another well-known market in Tulsa. They operate in two locations, Cherry Street on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., and on Brookside on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. And if you can’t make it to the Pearl or Cherry Street markets, have no fear. There are plenty of other farmers markets in the area, as the Tulsa World reported on in April. The USDA also has a directory where people can search for local farmers markets all over the U.S.
Like a growing number of farmers markets, the Cherry Street Farmers Market accepts SNAP benefits. As part of their efforts to promote access to nutritious food, the USDA funded efforts to equip markets across the country with the wireless equipment necessary to take the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card used by SNAP recipients.
While not all farmers markets are equipped to take EBT payments, many individuals in food insecure households are taking advantage of the system where it is available. The USDA reports over $16 million in SNAP funds were spent at farmers markets in 2012.
When visiting participating farmers markets, SNAP recipients can purchase fruits and vegetables, dairy products, breads and cereals, as well as meat, fish, and poultry. Seeds and plants can also be purchased with SNAP funds, if they can be used to produce food.
There is still time left this year to visit Tulsa area farmers markets, so be sure to check the list either in the Tulsa World article mentioned above or the Farmer Markets of Tulsa brochure, mentioned below. Also, feel free to comment with information about your favorite market.
- For more details, you can check out the USDA’s SNAP at Farmers Markets: How-To Handbook.
- Courtesy of the Pearl Farmers Market website, here is a link to The Farmers Markets of Tulsa County 2013 brochure.
- Find out more about local foods in Oklahoma by visiting the Oklahoma Farm and Food Alliance.