By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Thanks to a grant from the USDA, the city of Oxford will welcome a new farmers’ market in May.
Oxford City Market, or OXCM, was tentatively scheduled to open April 30, but because of wacky weather, organizers are pushing that date back a bit.
“The weather has been a bit of a concern for us,” said Katie Morrison, market director. “We haven’t made a definite decision yet, but it looks like we’ll open mid-May. We set the original target date back in January.”
The market is made possible by a $61,200 grant from the Department of Agriculture, which deemed Oxford a “food desert,” meaning low-income families in the community face substantial barriers in getting fresh local produce.
OXCM will be located at 2650 West Oxford Loop on the west side of town, next to Southland Body Shop. It will be open Tuesdays from 3 to 7 p.m.
“We may add a second day to the market once we see what shoppers’ patterns are,” Morrison said. “It could be another evening or it may be a morning.”
Oxford currently is home to two other markets that sell fresh produce: Midtown Farmers’ Market, which will open May 4 in the Midtown Shopping Center, and the Farmers’ Market, a permanent business on North Lamar.
“Our mission is truly to increase the opportunity for people who want to purchase fresh produce and sell fresh produce,” Morrison said. “We’re not trying to compete with anyone. The ability to buy produce already exists in Oxford. We want to encourage more people to eat and grow local produce.”
When it’s fully up and running, OXCM plans to offer fresh fruits and vegetables, canned goods, baked goods, herbs and cut flowers, container gardens and arts and crafts.
“Currently, we have paper in hand from one vendor who has committed to space in the market,” Morrison said. “We have a lot of verbal commitments, but I’m not counting those. Luckily, we have room to grow.”
The market will be located in one 40×60-foot tent. Fees are $10 per day for produce vendors, $15 per day for processed food vendors ($10 if they also sell produce), and $20 per day for arts and crafts vendors.
A website (oxfordcitymarket.com) is coming soon, but vendor applications are available at facebook.com/oxfordcitymarket.