Green practices, lush produce pay for Taylor farmers
The owners of Taylor Creek Farm grow flowers, heirloom vegetables and herbs while fostering green growing practices, education and community spirit.
In 2003, Michelle McAnally and Jared Spears founded Taylor Creek Farm with the purchase of a former cotton farm in Taylor. Within two years, McAnally quit her full-time job as an archeologist and recreation planner for the U.S. Forest Service to focus on the farm.
The couple sees the farm as their own contribution toward fixing a broken system, and McAnally said the local food trend addresses the nation’s environmental and obesity issues.
“What we’re doing hits on some of the top things that need to be addressed,” McAnally said. “On my four little acres, that’s my small contribution to being part of the solution.”
At Taylor Creek Farm, organic and sustainable farming methods are used in every way possible, like building a chicken coop using materials from a golf course’s old footbridge. Seeds from the farm’s heirloom tomatoes allow customers to grow their own plants.
“People say we’ll put ourselves out of business that way,” McAnally said. “But we believe in spreading the word of growing things yourself rather than buying flowers flown in from South America. I’d rather them grow it on their own than buy something from a big box store.”
The owners also see the farm as an opportunity to educate others. Tours are available for students and other groups, and the farm provides fresh flowers and vegetables to local restaurants. The sharing theme led to the creation of the Taylor Farmer’s Market, which is open Saturdays from June through October.
The farmers market is situated on the grass, under the shade of trees in the Plein Air neighborhood, a development that caters to the arts community and features old-fashioned homes.
Taylor’s antique shops, two restaurants, farmers market and farm have made the small village a strong candidate for a day trip, she said.
“I call it a daycation. We’re 10 miles from Oxford and easy to get to from anywhere in North Mississippi, and there’s enough to do here to spend a day here,” McAnally said.