Local grower gets media attention

Today’s Oklahoman has an article featuring John Leonard, a farmer I’ve frequented at the Edmond Farmers Market. Once I cleared him out of Cherokee purples and he gave me a free one that had a soft spot. He has contracts with these local restaurants:

Wedge Pizzeria, OKC (46th and Western)

Deep Fork catering, OKC

Trattoria il Centro, downtown OKC

The article is great; in addition to discussing the labor and pay-offs of organic gardening, it publicizes upcoming organic gardening workshops and gives harvesting tips. I wish the writer had mentioned how it feels to buy directly from the grower. And how the connection is evident in the way John handles the produce and lit up when I expressed interested in his funny-lookin’ tomatoes. Perhaps she didn’t want to get into the emotional aspects of food, and I don’t really blame her. It may turn some people off. On the other hand, there are practical reasons for knowing the grower: recipes and advice. The recipe part is pretty self-explanatory. The advice part: I bought a lovely hanging plant from John several months ago. His dad was manning the booth and wasn’t quite sure how to care for the plant. No problem. It was too pretty to pass up. So, a couple of weeks later, I returned and John was there. I described the plant and right away he said, “Oh yeah! My dad told me about you!” And he proceeded to explain how to care for the plant. Luckily, I was doing everything right. Well, “everything” was just to make sure the plant was in the shade. So, there you have it, knowing the grower can help you to not throw money away.

Also, as you become a familiar face, a relationship forms and your food develops a story, or at least a story that you can stomach.

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4 thoughts on “Local grower gets media attention

  1. Two things: did you ever go back to Pops and did you ever email Barbara Kingsolver?? Just wondering…I guess I could send you an email too. Hmmm
    About the relationship: totally agree. I also love how the farmers can tell you exactly how to cook their product. It encourages me to try new things. I can’t tell you how giddy I was all day when the Bull and Boar people thanked me for our blog. It felt soooo good to think that I was doing something positive for them. That I made a difference. So keep on plugging away!

  2. We haven’t gone back to Pops yet. I’ll post as soon as we do. Their web site now has certain times for dining “due to such enthusiastic response.”

    Thanks for reminding me about contacting Barbara Kingsolver. Let’s compose an email together. They’ve got the Local Food Adventures page on the AVM web site. We can submit our adventure!

    I can imagine how giddy you were! I could tell by your voice! That is so awesome, Mary!

  3. Is this farmer male, female, or both? I’m confused by the changing pronouns.

    Having an avid gardener for a father, I completely understand what it means to get your food directly from the person who grew it. The grocery store will never have the same pride in its tomatoes as my dad does. His connection to the land he works is almost spiritual to him, and the food is all the better for it. Now I’m sounding like the fruitcakes I worked for in Ireland that believe every plant has its own faerie spirit. All I know is the food from our backyard and farmers’ market tastes so much better than any corporately grown stuff ever will.

  4. Yo, Kimberly.
    The farmer is a male. The farmer is a male. Hi ho, the derry-o, the farmer is a male!

    Sorry for the confusion. The writer, Penny, is the “she.”

    I can relate to your dad. The little gardening I have done has been a wonderful experience. Several times I have found myself, crouched and weeding, thinking, “Damn, this is great.” Growing up, I never thought I would get into this gardening stuff, so it’s kind of surprised me when I realize just how much I enjoy it.

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