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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

< Back to Oral History project: Downtown Greenwood Farmers’ Market


Bennie Blaylock

Bennie Blaylock’s parents farmed cotton and corn in Winona, Mississippi. When Bennie graduated from high school, he left for Leland, Mississippi, where he worked in automotive parts for 43 years. During that time, he kept a small kitchen garden. When Bennie retired in 2002, he and his wife moved back to Winona, and he started farming the family’s land again, this time with vegetables. Bennie works almost 45 acres just because, as he puts, he “likes to see things grow.” He plants everything from okra to watermelon, tomatoes to butterbeans. All without the help of irrigation. He takes the bounty he collects from his “hobby garden” down the road 29 miles to the Downtown Greenwood Farmers Market every Saturday during the season. His booth is one of the biggest, especially when his watermelons come in. “I love to sell a big watermelon,” says Bennie. And what he doesn’t sell at the Market, he takes to the kitchen door of Delta Bistro in Greenwood, where chef Taylor Bow Ricketts buys everything he has left on his trailer.

Date of interview:

Amy Evans

Amy Evans

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


Alex Raij Txikito

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