Oxford City Market is a weekly event hosted at the community pavilion on University Avenue from 3–6:30 pm every Tuesday where local farmers can sell their produce directly to the residents of Oxford.
“We’re going into our fourth season,” said marketing director Betsy Chapman. “The Market was started by the city of Oxford using a USDA farmer’s market promotion grant. We started off with a pretty good roster, offering produce, honey, and meats.”
April 26 marked the first week that BTC Grocery was present selling their pork sausage made from the pigs they raise themselves.
This year’s market season has been funded in part by the revenue they brought in last year from vendor fees and beverage sales as well as direct sponsor donations including those from Bradley Hiatt and John Currence.
A large portion of their operating costs were covered by a grant received from United Way of Oxford-Lafayette County.
The Market acts not only as a way to supply farmers with a platform to sell their produce, but also to help educate young and old about establishing a healthy diet through accessible and affordable farm-fresh foods.
“Our main mission is to make local, healthy food available to everyone regardless of financial or transportation barriers,” said Chapman. “We’re a redemption site for the Woman, Infants, and Children Nutritional Program (WIC) as well SNAP, commonly known as food stamps.”
Previously the OCM was located on West Oxford Loop; Chapman says the new location has helped business. The community pavilion, their new location, is actually a stop on the OUT bus route.
“Our customer base seems to get bigger each year,” said Chapman. “But the new location has definitely helped us. We’re on the bus route now, so people using public transit can easily reach us.”
OCM regularly hosts programs and demonstrations from “area masters in cooking, gardening, nutrition, and healthy living.
“We have chefs come in and do demonstrations to help people get ideas for how to prepare their food,” said Chapman.
For those wanting a family outing, the OCM also offers educational activities for children that are aimed to “get them excited about helping mom and dad cook a healthy meal sourced from local ingredients.” The kids programs are supported by the Mississippi Sustainable Agriculture Network.
In addition to the farmer’s stalls full of local produce, OCM also features local craft vendors.
“We try to offer a few vendor stalls that sell products you can use in your kitchen, homes, and gardens,” said Chapman.
If you’re interested in selling your produce or goods at OCM, you can go online to their website, read the vendor guidelines, and fill out the application. Fees will vary depending on the type of stall you want to set up and where your business is based.