Lawton Farmer's Market Open For Business

LAWTON, Okla_Despite a late cold snap that took a toll on many local farmers crops, a display of farm fresh eggs, vegetables and fragrant lavender were proof that the Lawton Farmer's Market was in full swing Saturday morning.

The Farmer's Market opened for the first time this season after weeks of delay as farmers waited for crops that's survived this year's chilly temperatures to ripen.

Vendors and farmers lined up in the parking lot of the Great Plains Coliseum, popping up tents and unloading goods for customers eager to get their hands on the freshest produce in town.

"Mother Nature has told us stuff isn't going to grow early like it did last year, " said Southwest Growers Association President Ed Legako.

With the late freezes and colder temperatures things are getting off to a slower start, but by the looks of the Lawton Farmer's Market you'd never know.

Squash, cucumbers and okra, those are just a sample of the smattering of produce the vendors have to offer, and they stand by what they grow.

"A lot of people ask us why should I buy fresh stuff? I tell them number one it tastes better and number two it lasts longer, and I think it generally makes you feel better, said Legako.

Barbara Adams makes and sells soap from goat's milk, and she couldn't agree more.

Her creamy, rich soap is an alternative that many have come to enjoy.

"It has no chemicals. I find that a lot of people don't itch, it doesn't leave a bathtub ring...I'm serious it really doesn't, " Adams said.

Mary Molsbee, a farmer from Temple, Oklahoma, said the Farmer's Market is no time to judge a book by its cover.

"Buying from the farmers it may not look as good as the stores but you , it tastes better it's fresher, " said Molsbee.

And that's exactly what keeps shopper Jean Petersen coming back year after year.

"You get great produce and great products, " Petersen said.

She also said she looks forward to one item in particular.

"Tomatoes. Summer is a homegrown tomato, and you know they should never be refrigerated. I quit gardening a while ago, and so I can come here and get fresh tomatoes and onions and that makes me so happy, " said Petersen.

This was just the first day, and they expect to grow with each week. Fruits and vegetables will become more plentiful as the months get warmer.

"Get to know your own growers. Get to know the people that are growing the fruits and vegetables. Come out and have a cup of coffee in the morning, have some lunch and visit with us each Saturday, " said Ed Legako.

The Lawton Farmer's Market is open every Saturday through October from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m in the parking lot of the Great Plains Coliseum.

And if you like tomatoes don't forget to mark your calendar for July 6th for the Lawton Farmer's Market's 2nd Annual Tomato Festival.