City With Soil

Mississippi has always had a rich agricultural presence, but you might not know that even in the capital city of Jackson, a variety of farms are finding their way.

MS Farmers Market vendor
MS Farmers Market
Credit: Lindsay McMurtray

A quick trip to the Mississippi Farmers Market, located at 929 High Street, will give you an excellent taste of the local offerings. Fresh fruits and vegetables grown across our state, from both large and small farms, weekly fill the vendors shelves and stands with unbeatable bounty. Two of these vendors have sown their roots into the soil of Jackson.

Matt Casteel Wurmworks
Credit: WurmWorks

Matt Casteel started his business WurmWorks in 2019 after realizing the need for locally sourced, environmentally friendly fertilizer. He is passionate about the regeneration of our local ecological and biological systems and is on a mission to do so through vermicompost or worm castings.

“We vow to lead by working hard to provide gardeners, farmers, beginners and educators with up-to-date information and best practices as well as high-quality vermicompost and VC Extract to regenerate our city and state from the soil up,”

Casteel states on his website,, “WurmWorks is also committed to keeping local food waste from our landfills, which in turn has a positive impact on our air and water quality.”

Cindy Ayers Elliott
Ayers Elliott
Credit: Rory Doyle

West of downtown Jackson, investment banker turned farmer Dr. Cindy Ayers Elliott, uses her 68-acre Foot Print Farms to raise more than produce and livestock. She is committed to planting the seeds of change and possibility in the minds of young Mississippians.

The Foot Print Farms website states that Elliott, “believes that planting seeds in the earth will grow fresh vegetables, however, planting a seed in the minds of young people will create a new universe of scholars.”

Her focus has always been on teaching new generations about the business of agriculture, and the endless possibilities to become self-sufficient entrepreneurs. To learn more about Elliott, to arrange a visit, or to donate to the fight against food deserts, visit

You can find Casteel and Elliott, along with many other local vendors, at the Mississippi Farmers Market most Saturdays from 8 am-1 pm. The Mississippi Farmers Market is also open on Thursday from 9 am-1 pm. For more information about the Mississippi Farmers Market, you can visit

Erin McKewen


Erin McKewen