For Matthew Zitterkob, the best way to start the day is to walk out to his backyard, get some eggs from the chickens, some salad greens from the garden and make some breakfast.
“The food that is grown closest to you is going to be the healthiest, freshest, most nutritious food that you can come across,” he said.
Zitterkob, an owner of Fertile Ground, spent Saturday talking with people at the Healthy Living Healthy Planet Expo about composting and growing their own food.
The expo was part of the OSU-OKC Farmers Market Holiday Celebration at the university's campus. Throughout the day, about 2,000 people attended the event.
Outside, attendees were enjoying free horse-drawn carriage rides. Nearby in the horticulture building, about 36 vendors sold vegetables, meats, breads, eggs and other products at the OSU-OKC Farmers Market. The market is open year round from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays on OSU-OKC's campus horticulture pavilion at 400 N Portland Ave.
Cheryl Camp, the OSU-OKC Farmers Market manager, said they started the holiday celebration as a partnership with Natural Awakenings, a monthly health magazine, and they have a similar event during Father's Day weekend.
Anyone who missed the event has a weekly opportunity to visit the farmers market and buy high-quality, local products, Camp said.
“The eggs, the dairy, the baked goods — it's all really, really fresh because they picked it yesterday probably, which is awesome,” Camp said.
Fertile Ground was one of the many community organizations and businesses at the expo. Several local businesses and community organizations had booths with a focus on natural health and wellness.
Through Fertile Ground, Zitterkob and fellow owner Terry Craghead teach Oklahoma City residents and restaurant owners how they can raise their own gardens and maintain compost piles. They also build raised gardens and help customers set up composting bins.
In past years, Zitterkob grew 30 percent to 50 percent of his own food. Anyone can have a garden, he said, regardless of whether they have a small patio or a nice-size backyard.
“Sometimes it's just so intimidating, like, ‘How do I start a garden?'” he said. “I remember that, for myself when I started my first garden, I was like, ‘What do I do?' It would have been really helpful if I could have just called somebody and said, ‘Hey, can you show me how to do this and get me started?'”
IF YOU GO
OSU-OKC Farmers Market
When: OSU-OKC's Farmers Market is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: OSU-OKC Horticulture Pavilion, 400 N Portland Ave.
What's there: Organic fruits and vegetables; baked goods; eggs; organic meats
Upcoming: The Farmers Market will close Dec. 29 but reopen Jan. 5 with its 2012 Food Celebration. Kamala Gamble, a local chef and organic gardener, will give cooking classes with some of the foods found at the Farmers Market. Also, vendors will have recipes at their booths that include foods they sell.