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Oklahoma farmers have 'fresh' idea

The Oklahoma Farm to Fork Market hopes it has solved a problem for farmers trying to sell their goods straight to consumers. It has a bus, and the market travels to different places in Oklahoma.
BY JONATHAN SUTTON jsutton@opubco.com Published: April 23, 2013
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Paulette Rink said she knows every person who grew or made the products for sale in her farmers market on wheels.

That's kind of the point, she said, which is evident by the bumper sticker displayed above the driver's seat that reads “Know Your Farmer.”

The concept is similar to that of most farmers markets: fresh produce grown by local farmers.

But what the Oklahoma Farm to Fork Market has done is solve a problem for farmers trying to sell their goods straight to consumers.

Rink said she and her family, who have a farm in Covington, once hauled their produce to the market, set up stands and hoped for a good day.

“You work so hard for hours, and then you sell $20,” she said. “Then you're like, ‘What do I do? I don't have market until next week.”

So, Rink and her family decided to diversify.

They had several friends in the same situation, and they came up with the idea of buying a bus and collecting diverse goods to sell.

They started out with a small bus. After a bit of success in Enid and Oklahoma City, Rink ran across a full-sized bus and decided to go for it.

The big yellow bus is what now transports the Farm to Fork Market to Enid, Stillwater and Oklahoma City four days a week.

‘This is their living'

Rink said they buy most of their products wholesale from about 25 farmers and businesses, and sell some on commission.

That makes it easier for the farmers to spend more time working with their crops and producing goods.

“With most people who sell their goods with us, this is their living,” she said. “And with us, their products get distributed four or five days a week, and they still have time to be at the farm doing what they need to be doing.”

The bus' shelves and fridges are stocked with seasonal produce, meat, dairy products, jellies, jams, peanut butter, baked goods, flours, prepared meals, teas, coffees, salsas and much more, all from Oklahoma.

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IF YOU GO

Oklahoma Farm to Fork Market

Tuesdays

Hope Outreach, 215 S Van Buren St., Enid, 4 to 6 p.m.

Wednesdays

Bank NA, 800 W 6th Ave., Stillwater, 2 to 6 p.m.

Thursdays

Heritage College, 7100 S Interstate 35 Service Road, Oklahoma City, 11 a.m. to noon.

Prairie Gypsies, 411 NW 30, Oklahoma City, 12:30 to 1 p.m.

Oklahoma Heart Hospital North, 4050 W Memorial Road, Oklahoma City, 3 to 8 p.m.

Friday

Oklahoma Heart Hospital South, 5200 E Interstate 240 Service Rd., Oklahoma City, 3 to 7:30 p.m.

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