Building the Movement: Delivering Local Food
As we slip into the hot, humid weather of July and August, I can apologize only ceremonially for the tardiness of the corn and the tomatoes. The rain that delayed their fruit was much needed after years of drought and, though the excess moisture has aggravated many, not a single farmer has complained. They know the wet years are salvation.
I hope you enjoyed the snap peas and the epic green garlic. The strawberries were incredible while they lasted but, subject to the ever-present moisture, they tapered away, lost to the perennial progressions of the Oklahoma seasons. The weather didn’t stop Erik Reynolds at SMOKE from deftly applying them to his smoked black pepper jam served over triple-cream brie, though! Or Trevor Tack at the McNellie’s Group serving short-lived asparagus, braising greens and spinach to the Tulsa Drillers while they were available. I applaud the creative and community-minded chefs in Tulsa.
Deliveries have been rocking since the last publication and we are starting to get the hang of the logistics of moving local products. We have discovered that we are boxed in by lots of other distributors but they don’t really offer what we offer: local food. I have been stunned by how easy it is to recruit new accounts, because we are delivering such a unique and valuable product, with a personal touch. Every crate of produce, meat, dairy or eggs I deliver is carefully and thoughtfully harvested by a farmer in our community, who cares about more than just the bottom line. There is a pride inherent in handling loved food that you can’t replicate from a factory farm or a large distributor. I care about our growers and our customers. The Tulsa Farmers’ Market Wholesale Division only exists to fit those two halves together.
Though I write a month before publication, I know that upon printing, we will be further along, with more customers and more products. I hope by that time we can bring my beloved Ananas San Juan melons to market. I look forward to the seedless watermelons and the sweet corn from Shelby and Ross farms and the enterprising chefs who will incorporate the full and fleeting flavors of our best produce into their menus.
I believe that through our dedication and diligence we can make Tulsa into a lighthouse of sustainability and food culture that honors our farmers and ranchers as the providers they are.