Wednesday, June 8

SFA ORAL HISTORY WORKSHOP REPORT #6: ANNE GESSLER

Photograph by Anne Gessler

As part of our recent oral history workshop, participants were asked to create blog posts--short pieces in response to any part of their time spent in Oxford. We will be featuring their submissions here every day this week.
* * *
I  was thrilled when the nine of us pulled into the Farmers’ Market Store parking lot for our interview with Liz Stagg; I wanted to learn how Stagg demonstrates sustainability, ethical food sourcing, and a balance between international and local needs to the Oxford community. The Farmers’ Market Store is located next to a tire shop in a semi-residential and industrial neighborhood on County Road 101. The store itself was a small, dark green building that housed a remarkable collection of vegetables, fruits, meats, and cheeses, as well as specialty goods such as fu fu flour, canned lychee, and pickled pork. Customers milled between rows of sweet potatoes and tomatoes, and the conversation flowed easily between patrons and employees. Colorful paintings dotted the walls, some done by local children. Music sang out from a stereo a top a refrigerated case of sodas, crowded next to a large animal skull. Liz Stagg held court at the cash register but also flitted among diverse customers, staff, and produce. It was clear that the store filled a pressing need in Oxford.

ANNE GESSLER
American Studies, University of Texas - Austin, TX