NORMAN — The Noble Farmers Market has been awarded a $2,000 grant by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
The grant funds, available pursuant to the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Farm Bill, will be used to purchase and place signs near the farmers market as well as on the roadside on the way into Noble. Robin Stead, Farmers Market manager, said funds also will be used for advertising, recipe book publishing and similar activities.
The purpose of the project is to enhance specialty crop production by advancing the availability of locally grown produce and products throughout the state of Oklahoma and help stimulate rural economic development.
The market, located in front of Noble City Hall, 304 S. Main St., opened May 11 and will continue each Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through early October. Vendors at the market offer fresh fruit, vegetables, homemade soaps and crafts, including natural, handcrafted soaps, handmade jewelry, quilts and other gifts. Local schools and community groups set up booths to raise funds for their causes.
“We may be small, but we have a big heart,” said Stead.
The market partners with other groups for activities including the Healthy Noble Partnership, Noble Public Schools and the Noble Community Gardens located off 8th Street and Maguire at Dane Park.
Booth rental is free, but vendors must commit to selling only Oklahoma-grown and homemade products.
“We offer locally grown produce at a reasonable price,” Stead said. “Our goal is to convert every customer into a fresh produce aficionado. Once you have tasted a fresh, locally grown tomato, you realize the incredible flavor difference. There is no comparison. It truly is the same with all the vegetables. Our customers come back every week because they enjoy the social atmosphere and friendly vendors. Many people consider our vendors their friends.”