Urban Agrarian the Link Between Farms and Kitchen

June 7, 2011Katie

Urban Agrarian
Market Times and Places:
Friday – Midtown Market at Saints (In the Saint Anthony’s parking lot near 10th and Walker), 2:30 – 7 p.m.
Saturday – Edmond Farmers’ Market booth (on 1st St. west of Broadway), 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Sunday – Market C parking lot (23rd and Hudson), 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Don’t you just love tomatoes that have been ripened on the vine? Or how about some radishes, dirt still clinging to them pulled fresh from the ground?   How about some locally grown mushrooms?

I remember growing up, my dad would drive to a local farm in Michigan to get us this incredibly sweet “Peaches n Cream” Corn.  Mom would boil it up and I could have just lived on corn all summer long.

Wouldn’t it be nice if I didn’t have to locate a farm and knew exactly where to drive each week to find myself some fresh farm goodies?

Enter Urban Agrarian and Matthew Burch.

(Jassen Smoot & Matthew Burch (left to right))

Who or what is Urban Agrarian you ask?

Why, it’s the brainchild of Matthew…pickup produce or goods from all kinds of farms or local producers around Oklahoma and take them  straight to his own personally run markets.  We, the lucky recipients, get to visit these markets, like this one at Midtown Market at Saints.

Matthew has been working in produce since he was at Akins several years back as the produce manager.  This led him on a journey to Georgia, where he worked on an organic farm.  In 2008 he started Urban Agrarian and uses his Veggie Van to drive around the state each week and collect produce, meats and goods so that he can set up his markets on the weekends for us. I see them most weeks at the Edmond Festival Market on Saturdays.  I was intrigued with their philosophy from day one.

This Veggie Van is fueled with waste vegetable oil furnished by local restaurants looking to dump their used fryer oil.  They also have a smaller van (still large by my standards) that runs on natural gas.

Due to the fact that Matt is running around the state every week in a low emission vehicle, this also saves you the consumer on having to pay for expensive gas costs built into your product, lets the farmers stay on their farms and work, and is better for the air! And eating locally shortens the time your food goes from the dirt to the table, is a lot better for you, and supports your local economy in Oklahoma as well.

And that is my “support local” plug for the day my friends.  It’s the right thing to do.

So what products do Urban Agrarian bring to the market?

Everything locally and sustainably grown or produced in Oklahoma.  You’ll see things like beets and onions from  Conrad Farms in Bixby, Crow Farms in Shawnee, or Granny Had One Farms in Guthrie.

And lots of other fresh produce (whatever is in season) –

There are locally grown peanuts and peanut butter from Snider Farms in Hollis.

These sang to me from their beautiful jars of goodness.  Livesay Orchards lovely jeweled jars of goodness with things like Porter Peach Salsa and Porter Peach BBQ Sauce.

There are meats, eggs (cage free) and cheeses from Oklahoma towns.  Just check out this board…

There is local honey (raw) from George’s Apiary in Noble.

There is a bevy of stuff from these people – Earth Elements Market & Bakery.

Those burritos above? With ingredients sourced from Oklahoma, they specialize in many products including baked goods, canned goods, and ready to eat food that comes primarily from our state.

More products offered?  There is even non-alcoholic grape juice from grapes grown locally by Redland Juice Company in Lexington.

Probably the most unique thing I saw at the market that day was this guy.

Phil Young from Two Tomatoes Veggie in Piedmont, Oklahoma.  You know Piedmont? Home of the recent terrible twister? Much of Phil’s tomato crop and his home were destroyed in it.  You would never know it from his sunny disposition.  This is the nicest guy in the world and he sells gourmet garlic.

I searched for his website and found this video from some of my favorite restaurant guys from Ludivine.  It made me a little sad to see the tour they took of Phil’s property pre-tornado.  Please in the name of all that is good…go buy stuff from Phil.  I roasted this elephant garlic and spread it on bread the other night and it’s amazing! He grows on his farm with “organic principles” which is a nice way of saying they are organic but without paying all the hefty prices and headache fees that come with being labeled “certified organic”.  Phil and Matt told me that if you want to know if a farmer is organic, without the certification, pay attention when they invite you to come out to their farm and see how things are done.  Phil asked me to do that at one point..and I am pretty doggone sure he’s organic.

There is homemade granola.

And bread from the fabulous Prarie Thunder Baking Company.

And I love this – local jarred produce of every type (mostly all from Earth Elements).

I also met another super nice guy.  Rick from Renrick’s Farms and Garden.  Rick had some gorgous Lilies.

Tomorrow on the show, we’ll be making a salad made entirely of produce from Urban Agrarian’s farm haul(s).  Below is the printable recipe.  Please, please, I urge you….go shopping with them at one of the locations at the top of the post…I’ve met many of these farmers at local markets…they love their land, their product and the people of Oklahoma.

Won’t you support them?

And while you’re there? Thank Matthew Burch for his passion and hard work in providing such a blessing to all of us ..and the farmers.

Katie’s Printable Recipe – Farmer’s Market Roast Beet and Greens Salad


  • Sarah

    July 28, 2012 at 11:37 am

    I know these guys! They're awesome - and so is this post! :D Hi from a fellow Oklahoma food blogger. Just happened upon your site this morning. What a great place to check out what's going on here in OK and discover new places and dishes. Thanks!

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