Starting Saturday, May 5, Oxford’s Farmers Market opens for its summer season in the parking lot at North Main and East Church Streets, adjacent to Martin Luther King Jr. Park uptown.
From 8 a.m.-noon every Saturday through September, visitors will be able to browse booths of fresh, seasonal produce, including strawberries, asparagus, kale, lettuce and peas. Vendors will also offer fresh eggs, organic meat and locally baked goods.
Produce availability depends on the season, so at first, “[a] lot of it will be strawberries and asparagus and early vegetables like kale, lettuce and peas,” said Larry Slocum, market manager.
Each week during the summer season, local chefs present cooking demonstrations using fresh and local ingredients.
Slocum said he is planning to add Tuesday afternoon hours from 4-7 p.m., later this summer.
During the winter months, the market has been open from 10 a.m.-noon on the third Saturday of the month.
This season, the market is introducing two new vendors, Slocum said: Josephine’s Gourmet Kitchen, which will sell Italian cookies, and Ironwater Acres, which specializes in ketogenic baked goods.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “keto” foods are low-carbohydrate and high-fat foods that, when accompanied by a low-carb, high-fat diet, encourage the body to used fat as a source of energy. in a process called ketosis.
Fresh, healthy produce is not only good for the body, but Slocum believes that the market supports local Oxford businesses and helps reduce pollution.
While produce in a larger supermarket often comes from across the world, local agriculture “doesn’t use as much fossil fuel to transport it,” he said.
Many of the vendors are also environmentally considerate in their agricultural practices. At the market, visitors can find various vegan, organic and products grown without pesticides.