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Oxford Farmers' Market Tuesday hours approved; then postponed

The Oxford Farmer's Market was scheduled to open on Tuesday evenings in addition to their regular Saturday hours beginning Tuesday, Sept. 25 but, due to unpredictable weather, the vendors are not ready for the additional hours.

Two weeks ago, Oxford city council unanimously approved the market's request to open from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Market Manager Larry Slocum said the additional day was to accommodate the schedules of people who may not be able to attend the market's usual hours from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturdays.

While they obtained all the necessary permits and were hoping to open last week in Uptown Park, the farmers in charge of the Tuesday night market said the drastic changes in weather have negatively affected their crops.

"It's just been really wet here lately, and it's been hard to get things planted and growing," local farmer Larry Johnson said.

Slocum said the expansion to Tuesdays was a spur-of-the-moment idea. After getting approved by city council, they began to put a plan in place, but soon realized they need more time.

"Farming is a long-term deal," Slocum said. "You've gotta think about it two or three months ahead."

Because the idea for a Tuesday market only came about a few months ago, the farmers were not able to plant enough extra crops for the demand of another market day.

Johnson, who already provided produce to multiple other markets, said he would rather wait to add the extra day until the spring, which would give farmers more time to prepare.

"I don't know if I'm personally ready to take that challenge right now to supply three markets, and I work a full time job as well, so it's a lot to prepare in a short amount of time," Johnson said.

From 2004-2009, the market was open on Tuesdays as well as Saturdays, but the weekday market was closed due to a lack of interest. Now, the market is reconsidering it because of feedback from students and others whose work schedules do not allow them to attend on Saturdays.

"That makes me excited," sophomore math and statistics major Paige Shriver said in response to hearing the market will be open on Tuesdays.

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Shriver said she would be able to go more often if it were to be held on Tuesday nights.

"It's more likely that I'm here on Tuesdays than Saturdays, and sometimes I like to sleep in on Saturdays," she said.

While there seems to be a demand for a weeknight market, Slocum and Johnson both think it will be better to wait until they can put together the best possible selection.

"We want the market to be there," Slocum said. "We want it to be vibrant. We want people to be able to go on Tuesday, and if we want all that, we've got to plan it a little more."