Gardening & Farming

Published on May 23rd, 2023 | by TLV News


Oxford Community Market and Public Library Launch Farmers Market 101 Summer Educational Series Thursday, May 25

Oxford Community Market and the Lafayette County and Oxford Public Library will launch its 2023 Farmers Market 101 series of classes at 5:15 pm Thursday, May 25 at the library. The first class to kick off this free educational and enrichment series is “On a Roll! Homemade Egg Rolls” with OXCM vendor Irish Leigh of Manila Skillet

 Local farmers markets are known for being full of fresh produce, farm-raised eggs and meats, and beautiful artisan baked goods, but markets are also full of talented, skilled people carrying on important food and agricultural traditions: the local farmers and food producers who work hard to keep their communities well-fed.

“I marvel each week at the wealth of talent, skill and knowledge in our local food community,” said Oxford Community Market director Betsy Chapman. “These people who grow and produce local food are quite literally experts in their field – pun intended.”

Being surrounded by all of the knowledgeable farmers and food producers each week at the market gave Chapman the idea of creating a series of educational classes featuring OXCM vendors as the instructors in classes that showcase fresh, local ingredients sourced from local farmers as well as teach practical life skills. 

OXCM first collaborated with the Lafayette County and Oxford Public Library to launch the Farmers Market 101 class series in 2022 and it was a hit. 

“We actually made homemade jelly in the public library. Surely a first,” said Chapman, “We also hosted classes on topics like organic gardening, beekeeping, West African cuisine, and Southern cooking. People just loved learning about local food and farming and interacting with our farmers in this fun and educational way.”

It was important to OXCM that this series of educational classes be free and accessible to the public. So the public library was a perfect partner and has supported nine classes in 2022 with several more planned for summer and fall of 2023.

“We love our partnership with the market because it helps us provide diverse and interesting programming to our patrons,” said Lafayette County and Oxford Public Library head librarian Laura Beth Walker.

The series of summer classes include:

Summer Farmers Market 101 Classes, Thursdays:

  • May 25: On a Roll! Homemade Egg Rolls with Manila Skillet
  • June 8: #G.O.A.T.: Goat Cheese Making with Flowering Tree Farm
  • June 22: Backyard Barnyard: Chicken Keeping for Beginners with Falkner Farms
  • July 6: Southern Cooking Traditions with Bridgette Gordon of Live Again Events
  • July 20: Jelly’s Last Jam with Professor Stark Aldridge

Classes are free and open to the public. To reserve a spot in the class, call the library at 662-234-5751. For more information about Oxford Community Market, visit or visit the market every Tuesday, rain or shine, from 3 to 6:30 pm at the Old Armory Pavilion.

Country Cooking class in 2022.

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About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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