Once we taste the difference between meals made with fresh, local products compared to those purchased at the grocery store, we often change our habits and become regulars at the farmers market.

Today, we live in a world where many of us have lost the skills needed to prepare fresh, whole foods. We are used to on-demand, drive-thru “fast” food and are wary of the time and money we think is needed to prepare seasonal foods grown close to home. What better place to learn these skills then the farmers market? Here we are exposed to produce we have never tried before, learn how to prepare it, taste the difference, and then purchase the ingredients from our local vendors. Once we taste the difference between meals made with fresh, local products compared to those purchased at the grocery store, we often change our habits and become regulars at the farmers market.

This week, we are excited to welcome INTEGRIS Nutrition Educator, Pam Patty, to the Ottawa County Farmers Market. Pam is a Registered Dietitian and will be showing us how to prepare a garden vegetable pasta salad. This cool dish is a great way to sample all the different fresh veggies available at the market during the summer season. The citrus vinaigrette is light and refreshing and brings out the flavors of the vegetables. Stop by the market to watch her cooking demo, get a taste of this delicious salad, and pick up a recipe.

The heat of the summer brings with it some of our farmer’s market favorites. Expect to see tables loaded with corn, tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, zucchini, melons, blackberries, and much more. Find certified organic produce at the Eden Valley tent and chemical free produce from Thao Farm and Ramer Market and Bakery. Get your peaches from Bob’s Peaches of Wheaton, MO. Purchase homemade baked goods like breads, noodles, pies, cookies, and cinnamon rolls from Ramer Market & Bakery of Miami. Try some fruit wine from Diamondhead Wine of Pryor. Stock up on honey products from Four States Honey of Vinita and pecans, jams, and jellies from Oklahoma Native Pecan Company from Miami. Buy local beef from Sara’s Grass-Fed Beef of Vinita and pasture-raised pork and eggs from Gibson Farm of Afton.

Live music will be performed by Steve Potter of Vinita. Sit under the shade of the pavilion and enjoy his rendition of folk song favorites. To beat the heat, we will have frozen treats available for purchase. Blazin B’s BBQ food truck from Grove will return to the market this week, so stop by and grab your family a delicious BBQ dinner.

The Ottawa County Farmers Market accepts credit, debit, SNAP/EBT, and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition cards. Stop by the information table before you shop for more details. We also participate in the Double Up OK program, which matches every SNAP dollar spent at the market (up to $20 each week) with “Double Up Bucks” that can be used for free fruits, veggies, and herbs at the market.

The market is held every Thursday from 4-7pm under the outdoor pavilion at All Saints Episcopal Church, located at 225 B St NW in Miami.