Y’all Ever Tried Kudzu Jelly?

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By Grace Sullivan

When Oxonians pay a visit to the Mid-Town Farmer’s Market, they must come prepared for questions like these.  The market is located in a strip mall parking lot on North Lamar every Saturday and Wednesday from May to October and oozes a sense of small town simplicity.

Family farm vendors from all over the Lafayette County area come together to sell their wares, but also have fun. Vegetables from Yokna Bottoms Farm,  honey “straight from the bee’s mouth to yours” made in Taylor, Mississippi, and local musicians soulfully picking are just a few of the market’s attractions.

Deputy Sheriff Bo Prince makes kudzu jelly. He began bringing his products to the market at the end of summer.

“Me and my mother got to canning, and we had made so much that I was like, ‘Hey, we ought to sell some,'” Prince said of his products. As for the invasive jelly, Prince was inspired by a memory from his grandmother’s kitchen.

“I had it a really long time ago; my grandmother had some,” Prince said. “I told my mom about it and we Googled how to make it, went out and picked it, and we made it.”

The out-of-the-ordinary at the Mid-Town Market doesn’t stop with kudzu. Prince makes products that stand out.

“I wanted to get unique flavors, because everybody has blueberry, blackberry—I wanted something different,” Prince said. “That’s why I have kudzu, and cucumber jelly, and zucchini jam.”

Bo’s classic pick up line, “Y’all ever tried kudzu jelly?” often proves successful.

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Many vendors at Mid-Town bear the letters “CSA” which means they are members of Community Supported Agriculture

“People love them,” Prince said. “If I can get them to stop and try it, normally nine times out of 10 they buy it.”

The allure of the Mid-Town Farmer’s Market comes less from the products in the booths and more from the atmosphere. University of Mississippi sophomore Sara Williston made her first trip to the market on Sept. 20.

“I just feel so much more relaxed now,” Williston said. “It’s nice to get away to a place where not everybody is a college student and remind yourself to slow down.”

Larry with Mardis Honey Farm also refers to the market as a simpler life. He insists on always driving his old Ford truck to the market, as it makes him feel more like a farmer.

“This lady over here next to me drives a Lexus,” Larry said. “But you just can’t come to a farmer’s market in a Lexus, so I have an old truck.”

According to Prince, the best thing about the market has got to be the people. As a new coming vendor, he feels he was welcomed with open arms to the community.

“My first week out here, I met YaYa (of YaYa’s Yummys), and she really helped me out, showing me what to do and welcoming me,” Prince said.

The Mid-Town Farmer’s Market is held Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. through October.

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