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:

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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.


Patawpha Fest Spring Celebration Saturday

The First Annual Patawpha Fest Spring Celebration is this Saturday, May, 22, at Yokna Bottoms Farm CSA in Oxford, MS, just five minutes south of  The Square. Show your support for locally grown food, organic living and sustainable agriculture. Attendance is free, though donations for the farm are encouraged upon entrance.

Activities will include:
Farmer’s Market
Crawfish Boil
Live Music from 1:00 p.m. til
Games for Children
Craft Booths
Artist Exhibits
On Site Camping Available Friday – Sunday

Music Lineup:
Silas Reed and Da Books
Wayne Irby Ensemblers
Mark Adamec
Larry Tyler Band
Orange Dog
Mouse Will Roar
Seth Libbey and the Liberals
Zephyr Ellis
Tate Moore and the Cosmic Door
More Still to Come …

Support Sustainable Farming February 12th

Yokna(patawpha) Bottoms Farm is a new Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm eight miles south of Oxford. A CSA is the perfect opportunity to utilize local land for food production, helping to encourage sustainable agricultural practices and provide a center for community agricultural, educational, and artistic activity.

Members who become involved in this new CSA will earn shares through volunteering to work on the farm and/or providing much needed resources (loaning or donating a tractor, fencing material, manure, compost). The current plan is to siteote 50% of all produce to sell at (and support) local Farmers Markets in Taylor, Oxford, and Water Valley. The proceeds from the sale of this produce will be used to finance farm operations. The remaining 50% will be divided into equal shares to be distributed to Yocna Bottoms members.

Learn more and take a walking tour of the property, or just show your support for sustainable farming practices on Friday, February 12th between 4:00-6:00 PM when a walking tour will be given at 4:30 followed by a brief presentation. Interested parties are welcome to visit at any time to walk around on their own.

Click here for more information.