I’ve been trying to visit the Urban Agrarian (UA) Sunday food market at N.W. 23rd & Hudson (located in the Cheever’s parking lot) for several weeks. Today, I finally made it…with five minutes to spare before they closed. Mick and I had left my grandmother’s farm about forty-five minutes earlier and we were driving our truck eastbound on N.W. 23rd Street, hitting every red light possible. I finally pulled out my cell phone and Tweeted:
“@UrbanAgrarian driving back from grandma’s farm in Tuttle. Getting there with maybe 5 min to shop! Eek!” In less than a minute, I got a notice about this reply to my message: “@RedDirtKelly no worries, we will be here.”
Here, why don’t you enjoy a short introductory video about the Urban Agrarian while I finish driving down 23rd St., okay?
“No worries” seemed to be the prevailing sentiment when I arrived. Three smiles greeted me when we pulled up, and helped me quickly pick through their inventory to select my purchases. Today’s list: 2 quarts of Oklahoma strawberries, one bee-ee-a-yoo-tiful hunk of Maitake mushrooms from Om Gardens, 2 dozen range fed chicken eggs from “Bishop’s Beauties” of Tecumseh, a bag of micro-sized arugula and a jar of Porter Peach Jam (made in Oklahoma, of course) by Livesay Orchards. I said “hello” to Matt Burch and two wonderful UA staff “from Nancy at Cordero Farms,” took a few photos and we were “outta there.” Mission accomplished.
Mick drove our truck out of the parking lot and we headed home, loaded down with our treasures from UA, and our own collection of treasures from “Grandpa Frank’s Treasure House.” There’s a little “Victory Garden” to that story, so I think I’ll share it with you right now…
About twenty-seven years ago my grandparents, Frank and Emma Lee Bennett, built a home on some land in Tuttle that had belonged to Frank’s family. The old Bennett farm home stood on the property and was left intact, probably for many reasons. Over the years, both my cousins and I (as young adults) and then our children, Frank and Emma Lee’s grandchildren, would visit the house that continued to grow more and more full of “Grandpa’s treasures.”
Our children loved to visit the place, roam around and be granted Grandpa’s “go ahead – choose one thing and take it home” blessing. The place was literally packed with junk. Real, thrift store, five-cent junk. But it was also packed with treasures. Real, antique store, some-quite-valuable treasures. And most of the time, the value point was placed depending upon the eye of the beholder.
Grandmother told us a story once of their home-town church holding a fund-raising garage sale. She donated items (some of which came from the Treasure House), only to find that Grandpa had then visited the sale and repurchased those items. My grandparents have a history of giving to the church for many different purposes, but I’m not sure she ever planned on getting those items back!
Two years ago, Grandpa Frank died. My dad, mother and grandmother have basically been cleaning out, and off, the property ever since. The lawn is now completely free of old farm equipment; gone are stacks of metal from buildings, antique farm tools, etc. The Treasure House is much cleaner and now boasts good sized walking paths from room to room. It’s a little easier to “see” what inventory it holds, now that about half of the contents are gone.
My husband had recently been thinking about a screen door he saw in the house for a few weeks so we called grandmother to see if we could have it. That turned into a Sunday dinner invitation, and then the trip down there (for me) turned into “one last walk through Grandpa’s Treasure House.” Here are a few photos of my sentimental tour.
I’ll show you why this is a Little Victory Garden topic in just a moment:
As I looked around the rooms, I found several treasures I thought perhaps needed to stay in the family. And, in my kitchen.
I chose an old fashioned coffee grinder, an antique grain grinder and an antique cherry pitter. I also picked up an antique corn/crop planter. I think they still have use in them and look forward to cleaning them up and showing you how or if they work.
However, what I think I wanted to put in the bed of the truck was really just the whole house.
The light coming through the windows on such a beautiful Oklahoma day was a special blessing from the Treasure House I won’t quickly forget. And, if I ever figure out how to move it into our back yard, you’ll be the first to know!
To end this particular post, I wanted to share something I made from my homegrown cabbage and the Livesay Porter Peach Jam I purchased from the Urban Agrarian. I was wracking my brain on the way home thinking, “How can I best use that cabbage…and how could I use some ingredients from local vendors?” I came up with an idea and decided to try to create some “Peach Jalepeno Slaw.” I’m glad I did. Here’s the recipe and the process:
2/3rds cup olive oil; 2/3rds cup Porter Peach Jam; 6-10 finely minced pickled jalapeno peppers; about 80% of a 1/3rd cup measure filled with white wine vinegar…then fill the rest with the pickling juice from the jalepenos; and ground black pepper to taste.
The rest is up to you. I like to balance a nice chargrilled burger out with slaw. In this dish, I garnished it with a few extremely tender new radishes. A little sea salt and ground pepper on the radishes, and THIS is one great way to eat a summer burger. (Rave reviews from my family members…”they ‘don’t eat slaw, but they would eat this again'”).
Next week…”California Strawberries are for Shipping, Oklahoma Strawberries are for Eating!”
Have a good week. Love,