Summer’s Bounty (Oxford Citizen column June 27)

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Setting a Local Table in Oxford

In honor of last week’s Earth Week and the second season of Oxford City Market, I asked Betsy Chapman from Yokna Bottoms Farm to submit a post about Oxford Farms and Farmers. Check out her post below, and say hi the next time you see her at the farmer’s market. –Liz

We’re All in This Thing Together

betsyBy Betsy Chapman

It might come as a surprise, but there’s not a whole lot of “mudslinging” among Oxford’s community of growers and producers. Mud, yes. Slinging, no.

Despite our differences in philosophy and farming practices, the prevailing theme among local farmers: We’re all in this thing together

Whether we’re all under the big tent at Oxford City Market or side-by-side at Midtown, there’s a strong sense of mutual respect, support, and admiration. We know better than anyone the tremendous amount of hard work, time, and dedication it takes to bring thousands of pounds of food into town twice a week to feed our friends and neighbors.

Sure, more farms mean more competition, but it’s healthy competition and that competition is what will drive the market as we work together to build a strong local food economy. Simply put: No farmer wants to sit alone at the market….Fewer farmers means fewer customers.

That said, let me introduce you to the Multi-Farm Dinner my family and I enjoyed after last Tuesday’s first Oxford City Market (OXCM) of 2014:

On the menu:

yokna post 3

Yokna Bottoms spring salad mix with mild, crisp radishes from Charlie Dawson of Canebreak Farm tossed with Yokna Bottoms Green Garlic Vinaigrette – sweetened with Mardis Honey.

Sauteed kale from Will and Amanda Reed of Native Son Farm mixed with Yokna Bottoms collards, seasoned with Yokna Bottoms green onions and spicy peppers, slow-smoked on the farm.

Yokna Bottoms Chow Chow deviled eggs with the farm’s green onion and smoked sweet peppers and my freakin’ awesome homemade chow chow from neighbor and friend Stacey Sanford of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council.

Delicious homemade whole wheat bread from Christy and Marie of M&J Farm.yokna post 2

Peas from Bost Farm of Mid-Town Market, frozen from last year – still really good!

Iced sweet tea with Yokna Bottoms mint and Mardis Honey.

Dessert: Native Son strawberries with M&J Farm chocolate sauce!

See what we just did there? We made an incredible meal from the collective efforts of several local growers….

What’s on your local plate?

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Betsy Chapman works at Yokna Bottoms Farm and cooks up a storm in her tiny, ill-equipped Oxford, Mississippi, kitchen. Find her and her farmer friends at OXCM Tuesdays from 3-6:30 p.m. on West Oxford Loop and Saturdays 7-11 a.m. at Mid-Town Market, in the Sears parking lot off of North Lamar. For more information on Yokna Bottoms, give Betsy a call at 662-380-2367.

 

***On the subject of our community of local farmers, Will and Amanda Reed (Native Son) are facing a tough time. Their baby Magnolia Jane was recently diagnosed with a rare cancer and is undergoing treatment at Lebonheur in Memphis. Find out how to help support these incredibly hardworking Tupelo farmers: Thoughts and Prayers for Magnolia Jane.

 

New Farmer's Market to Open in April

city market

The new Oxford City Market is scheduled to open under a 40 X 60 sq. ft. tent on West Oxford Loop, next to Southland Body Shop, at the end of April.

The city-run farmer’s market will be open from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. each Tuesday and may add a second day if all goes well, according to market manager, Katie Morrison.

Fees for booth rental are $10/day for produce, $15/day for prepared foods, and $20/day for arts and crafts.

For more information, as well as a vendor application, visit the market’s Facebook page here or contact Morrison directly at 832-7257 or katiemorrison@oxfordms.net.