Home Grown – Relationships with Local Food & People

Three Ways to Connect with your Food in OKC
Three Ways to Connect with your Food in OKC

There are few that would say they do not want to be healthy; however, it seems like we rarely look at the fundamental idea that health depends upon our food.

On a daily basis we all eat food. Unfortunately, many do not know anything about the food they buy. Knowing when, where, how, and by whom our food was grown is just one aspect of moving towards a sustained healthy life for ourselves and our families. It’s a journey in building relationships with the food as well as the people behind it.

Our family decided to shift our dollars to local people and places, rather than national chain stores as a part of our health journey. We quickly found that there were a lot more options than we originally thought! My three favorite options are the OSU-OKC Farmers’ Market, Native Roots Market, and my own garden!

OSU-OKC Farmers’ Market is an indoor market that’s open all year long! Our family gets up each Saturday to collect food from local farmers. (And during the summer they are also open on Wednesday which is nice to go when it’s not as busy). There are so many farmers that are more than willing to share their growing practices, invite us to their farms, and just say “hello” to a familiar face.

CSA (community supported agriculture) and Co-op orders can be picked up there and a variety of organic and conventional produce is available. From homemade crafts to low-heat pasteurized milk and $0.50 organic bell peppers – there are great prices on a varied selection of goods and food. I love knowing details about my food down to who picked it and that I even love that if I go without my family, they notice and it sparks conversation.

Entry way area at Native Roots Market
Entry way area at Native Roots Market

Sometimes, though, I need to go shopping outside of those hours, but still want to keep money and food local. My favorite local grocery store is Native Roots Market. It’s a small store in downtown OKC that carries all of my essentials, and they’re willing to explore other product suggestions. They carry the same low-pasteurized milk, my favorite granola, local meat, and a small bulk section. Another bonus, they accept Keep It Local OK for a discount on local products!

Deli and Spice area at Native Roots.
Deli and Spice area at Native Roots.

One of my favorite aspects is their back counter; they have a beautiful spice wall and tasty deli! My husband loves the coffee and we’re constantly buying sandwiches and hummus. It’s also a breath of fresh air to see a local establishment embrace the low-impact lifestyle. They sell re-usable bamboo utensil sets, use paper sacks, and serve coffee in compostable cups with low-impact lids.

And finally, while I’ve aspired to have a “yarden garden”, I’ve currently settled for small containers. I’ve attended classes on organic gardening and gained insights from local farmers to help me grow some of my own because every little bit counts both in terms of my health and wallet.

I love being able to show my daughter that her food comes from the ground and not a box; studies show  the more involved a child is in the growing of their food, the more likely they are to take pride in it and eat it. And I can definitely eat to that!

One of our small containers of lettuce while we were growing micro-greens.
One of our small containers of lettuce while we were growing micro-greens.

The best relationship we can have with our food is for it to truly be home-grown. So what’s your relationship with local food?

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Kara is married and has one daughter and plans to have a large family. She loves being a eco-conscious mom and is a huge advocate of the organic, all natural, and "leave no trace" kind of lifestyle. She is a certified History and English teacher and uses her degrees to write freelance curriculum and run www.ALLterNATIVElearning.com. She is a Christian, an environmentalist, a researcher, a teacher, a mom, and an entrepreneur. She and her husband blog about DIY and renovating their OKC house at http://rehabit.at


  1. Our friends have a small farm and we love to get eggs from them and homemade pear sauce when the season is right! There is also a great Co-op in the Plaza District to get all sorts of food from!

    • AH – bum that reminds me I forgot to take home eggs from my SIL’s house yesterday 😉

      I love finding great co-ops around the city. There are more and more cropping up! I am hoping that Harvest Crates and Bountiful Baskets come into the City soon.

  2. I love this post! We are always trying to eat a little healthier… especially with a little mouth to feed. We love growing our own food and are always looking for local growers that we can support! Thanks for posting this!

    • Thank you so much! I think eating healthier always becomes exponentially more important when there are kids involved 🙂

      The best part about local growers and grocers really is getting to know them and the same friendly faces every time. I hope you get the same out of the FM and NRM as me!

  3. Just read this article again! Love it! Now that the weather is warming up and the baby is getting older, I am getting more motivated to shop local and consider gardening. I am definitely a gardening novice…what are some key tips you could give me? I am interested in whatever requires the most minimal effort…in method and in what to grow.

    • Oh my goodness, I could probably go on for days. Well peppers are pretty hard to kill in general and are pretty low maintenance. Lettuce is also pretty low maintenance. You might get some bugs, but if you’re growing leaf lettuce and harvest it as baby lettuce, then there’ no real worry. Carrots are really easy and so are onions. Almost all of your plants that you plant a seed directly in the ground are easy like beans and peas. I also really recommend going to the Organic Gardening class put on by the couple from Sun Rise Acres. It’s usually bi-annually at OSU OKC before the farmers market one weekend. He is so incredibly knowledgeable. I would recommend buying some sample seed packs from seeds now because they’re really high quality and don’t break the bank if they don’t grow or if they die. Their site also has a zone look-up section. We should e zone 7a, but it should tell you along with what plants are best suited for our climate. And honestly, I would try to grow whatever it is you want. Life is about learning and you never know when you’ll be successful! 🙂 Good luck!

  4. Local food sure is our future in OKC. My husband are trying to improve our health and life and got a greenhouse from http://cookingfirewood.com and although there is a learning curve I’d say my husband needs a lot of help with eating local and sustainable. We all have to start somewhere and thank you for your blog!

    Jenni Stinsons


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