Old Jail Farmers Market back for the fall

Old Jail Farmers Market

By Guest Columnist Joy Foy


The Old Jail Farmers Market was loads of fun and proved to be a great way for people to meet new friends and reconnect with neighbors.  The Committee appreciates all of you for coming and supporting our efforts to offer a market for local growers to sell produce in Canton. Our sponsors are G.A. Carmichael, AG UP, BankPlus, Madison County Co-Op, Madison County Farm Bureau Federation, Performance Therapy, Merit Health Madison and Moses Thompson.  

At each of the summer market, we gathered under the shade trees on the east side of the Old Jail and sold vegetables, sweet corn, eggs, flowers, meat, baked goods, salsa, crafts, honey, plants and blueberries.  There were seventeen paying vendors, and the crowds enjoyed free services from G.A. Carmichael, including free COVID vaccines and boosters, snow cones from Hawaiianville Shaved Ice, face painting by Amanda McNatt, and the skills of Magee native Mr. James to sharpen all types of blades (scissors, garden tools, knives, and lawn mower blades).  
The first two markets were rather short on vegetables, however, at each market the offerings of tomatoes (both ripe and green), all kinds of peppers, squash, cucumbers, potatoes, eggplant and okra grew.   

Maureen Simpson, President of the Madison Canton Historical Society, along with other members of the Old Jail Board of Directors, sold the Old Jail cookbooks.  Frazier Riddell came and played for one of the markets.  We ended the market with a water sprinkler to cool off the kids, and at each market our local librarians played games and brought fun supplies to entertain them.  

Our vendor list included student entrepreneurs who made stuffed toys, pottery and all types of baked sweets.  Everything from chocolate covered Oreos to gourmet popcorn and all types of cookies and brownies were offered by these young vendors.  My grand girls, Josey and Katy from Wyoming, were here for the first market.  They not only spent all the money they made, but all the cash we started with for change also ended up in the pockets of the other food vendors.  They each came home with a new pottery cup, a belly full of blondie brownies and caramel popcorn, and lots of good memories with new friends.   

The Farmers Market Committee, Misty Slay, Sarah Ellis, Dana Nowell, Sherry Anderson, and myself, have regrouped and are planning for a fall market beginning September 8.  We will follow that up with three other markets, on September 22 and October 6 and 20.  We’re starting earlier this time, and will be open from 4-7 p.m.  You will soon begin to see signage and advertisements promoting the market.  

The market could use more vegetable vendors as well as anyone interested in selling canned jams, jellies and vegetables.  There will be a microphone, and we welcome local talent.  If anyone is interested in preforming, please, let one of the committee members know.  

You can contact us via the Old Jail Farmers Market FaceBook spot on the Madison Canton Historical Society page, by emailing us at [email protected], or by calling me at 601-842-1780.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Joy Foy is married to James Foy and is a retired Economic Developer with the Mississippi Development Authority. Foy is an active participant in the community of Canton. She is a member of the Canton Lions Club, the Keep Canton Beautiful Committee and the Canton Beautification Committee.

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