View Full Version : MidTown Market

05-13-2010, 08:23 AM
Market to sell locally grown food
By April Wilkerson
The Journal Record
Wednesday, May 12, 2010

OKLAHOMA CITY – Beginning Friday, downtown workers and dwellers will have a new option to pick up locally grown food.

Midtown Market at Saints starts Friday on the east side of St. Anthony Hospital in Midtown and will be open every Friday from 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The market is an expansion of the Urban Agrarian service, said Matt Burch, who operates a Sunday market at 23rd Street and Hudson Avenue, along with the delivery of local food to schools and restaurants. In addition to providing the space, St. Anthony will offer recipes and educational materials that promote a healthy lifestyle.

The new retail spot features farmers market fare, but in a setup like a grocery store. Burch picks up the produce and products in a van that runs on vegetable oil, and customers will check out at one register instead of paying individual farmers.

“It’s a local food and local fuel concept,” he said. “We’ll set it up more like a supermarket, where you’ve got baked goods here, fresh produce there, dairy here, as opposed to having 25 farmer booths where seven of them may have zucchini.”

The start of the market will feature the leafy greens and root vegetables of early spring, along with some indoor-grown tomatoes and organic mushrooms, Burch said. Baked goods will be available and, as Burch obtains his licensure, so will free-range chicken, buffalo, organic beef and pork. Burch said he’ll keep the market open at least until October but perhaps longer, as long as the first freeze stays at bay and crops are still producing.

Burch said he hopes people who work downtown will stop by on their way home, as well as people who live in the area.

The market will be especially handy for employees of St. Anthony Hospital, the largest employer in Midtown. Sandra Payne, vice president of marketing and communication, said the hospital got involved with the project as a way of giving back to the community and the burgeoning Midtown area. The market’s lineup of local food also dovetails with the hospital’s message of healthy eating, she said.

“It supports local growers and the local economy, and it’s in alignment with the hospital because it supports healthy eating, which is a message we’re always working with,” Payne said.

Payne said the market also is a good addition for Midtown as it continues defining its character.

“It helps to evolve the culture of Midtown,” she said. “We’re still finding our identity, and we want to stand out as being different. What Matt is offering is very exciting.”

Burch started his Urban Agrarian efforts in May 2008 as a way of filling a marketing and distribution gap in getting local food to consumers, he said. He works with about 45 farmers, encouraging them to plant or grow a little bit more to meet the demand. Picking up the food from farmers also allows them to spend more time doing what they do best.

“There are so many farmers markets now, which is lessening the amount of time they get to spend growing the crops and harvesting,” Burch said. “A lot of the producers are scrambling to find more labor to represent their farms at these markets, so we’re trying to show this other model of how this can be done.”

The mushrooms of Steve Morton, owner of Om Gardens in Norman, will be featured beginning Friday. Morton said he will offer shiitake, maitake, Lion’s Mane and gray and golden oyster mushrooms, all grown in his two-room basement. In addition to the market, Om Gardens uses Burch’s distribution service for delivery of his mushrooms to metro restaurants.

“What Matt is doing is necessary for local food,” Morton said. “Without distribution, you don’t have one of the cogs that needs to be in the system.”

05-13-2010, 08:45 AM
This is awesome!

05-13-2010, 01:17 PM
This is awesome!
here here

05-13-2010, 02:57 PM
Very awesome..I'm especially intrigued by one guy doing all of these urban farmer's markets. He might want to look into some branding for his "Urban Agrarian" namesake. He could be onto something major.

05-13-2010, 03:19 PM

Saints is pleased to announce the opening of a fresh, locally grown produce market, a collaborative effort by Urban Agrarian LLC and St. Anthony Hospital on the Saints campus in MidTown.

Beginning Friday, May 14, the MidTown Market at Saints, a farmer's market-style outdoor offering, will be located in the hospital's East Plaza at Walker and 9th Street from 2:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. each Friday through October. All members of the community are invited. Plenty of free parking is available adjacent to the market.

For the market debut, an array of healthy products will be offered: leafy greens including swiss chard, spinach, lettuces, a variety of root vegetables including kohlrabi, beets, radishes, first of the season strawberries, organic mushroom variety, and hydroponic tomatoes.

Additional offerings include heritage breed free range hen eggs, local whole wheat and baked items, canned products including jams, jellies, relishes, pickles, juice, and soup, peanut butter, raw honey, cheese, locally roasted and organically grown coffee.

Live plants such as tomatoes transplants, herbs, okra transplants, flowers and ornamentals will also be featured.

05-13-2010, 04:38 PM
This could be very cool and in a great place for it.

05-13-2010, 04:46 PM
This is awesome! I am going to be there every Friday!