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Oxford's Local Produce Community Continues to Thrive

Yokna Bottoms Farm produce. Photo by Talbert Toole.

Oxford’s local produce scene continues to thrive as the Oxford Community Market (OXCM) and Chicory Market offer locally grown goodies weekly from across North Mississippi.
Gretchen Williams, owner of Heartbreak Coffee, is enjoying her second year at OXCM, located at the Old Armory Pavilion, since moving back to Oxford from Southern California to rebuild the coffee brand she started on the west coast.
“Last year when I started doing the Market I didn’t have a physical retail location or any other place that sold my coffee,” Williams said. “[OXCM] was the perfect spot for me to be able to set up every week and sell my products, as well as be able to talk with the shoppers about what I was doing.”
Williams said the market is a unique place because she gets to see regulars and meet new customers at the same time. 
“The market has done a great job of planning different family-friendly activities and having live music for all the markets,”” Williams said. “These different things are attracting new people.”
Williams also said she enjoys being immersed in the diversity of goods the market offers because each vendor brings someone new, which in turn supports one another.
“It’s a good community feel that you don’t have in your own retail shop,” Williams said.
Farm Fresh
Doug Davis, founder of Yokna Bottoms Farm, frequently brings his fresh produce to each OXCM event. 
Davis said broccoli, lettuce and arugula were this season’s best producing vegetables. 
Chicory Market located on North Lamar. Photo by Talbert Toole.

For those who can’t make it to OXCM on Tuesdays, Chicory Market, located on 274 County Road 101, offers a variety of local produce including blueberries, squash, cucumber, zucchini and strawberries. Strawberries from from Native Son Farm (Tupelo, Mississippi) are currently in peak season. 
Kate Bishop, one of the owners of the establishment, said there are many reasons to shop organic and local versus supermarkets.
“When you support local farmers, you’re supporting your community and investing in your community,” Bishop said. “The money you are spending on local produce goes directly into the farmer’s pocket.”
Bishop also said Mississippi produce tastes better than what’s being shipped into supermarkets from the west coast and other parts of the world. 
The OXCM is open Tuesdays at the Old Armory Pavilion from 3-6:30 p.m. and Chicory Market is open 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday 

By Talbert Toole, associate editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at talbert.toole@hottytoddy.com.

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