Guest vendor to sharpen tools, pastor’s family to sell produce at Friday’s farmers market

Published 4:27 pm Thursday, June 9, 2022

BROOKHAVEN — Magnolia Sharpening LLC will be the guest vendor for Friday’s Farmers Market and are available to sharpen knives, lawn mower blades, gardening tools, hand clippers, loopers and scissors. It is the perfect stop on your way to purchase some fresh produce.

Curby Miller and Phyllis Miller took to the bandstand with their sharpening equipment. The couple are from Liberty, where they operate a shop. They will return Friday with large grinders to handle lawn and farm equipment such as mower blades. 

Phyllis said they started sharpening tools, scissors and knives in July 2019. 

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“We had a good friend named Lloyd King, and his company was called Sharp King, and when he wanted to retire I learned how to do the sharpening,” Phyllis said. “We bought the company and have worked together since then. We used to go to tractor supply and set up. I do a lot of work for vets and groomers.” 

The couple retired from the Oil Field where they ran an Oilfield rental company and supply company. When the oil industry slowed down, they decided to retire to working on the farm and sharpening for people. 

She said they go to the Brookhaven Farmers Market and the McComb Farmers Market. It is hard to bring all of their equipment out of the shop so they only go when invited and are limited on what they can sharpen. 

Curby sat in a chair behind an automatic knife sharpener. He said the machine does “everything we need it to do.” 

Phyllis said she enjoys meeting new and interesting people at the farmers markets. She said the fascinating tool they sharpened was a curved knife from Africa. 

“It looked like a machete and had a handmade sheath out of leather. The owner wanted us to put an edge on it, so we did,” Phyllis said. “As long as God lets us move around, we will continue to do this.” 

Three kids sang “Our God is amazing,” on the porch of the Foster Smith Log Cabin next to the Railroad Park behind Phyllis as she spoke. Their parents, Austin Clark and Kimberlie Clark, sold fresh produce as they ran around singing and having fun. 

Austin is the pastor of Springhill Pentecostal Church in Wesson and lives in Martinsville. He, his wife Kimberlie and their kids Leo, Autumn and Grace moved to Southwest Mississippi last year after spending several years in Iowa. 

He said they started coming to the farmers market last year and sold produce grown in a garden behind their church. 

“I told someone they didn’t have to pray over the produce because it was already blessed, grown on holy ground,” he said. 

Now they own a home and grow Cucumbers, snap peas and squash on their “back 40.” They had grown produce for a while on their own before moving to Mississippi. 

Austin’s grandfather sold produce in Louisiana for 50 or 60 years. 

“My grandpa is 90 and still sells tomatoes, purple hull peas and potatoes. He has 28 rows of purple hull peas right now,” Austin said. 

In early March, they break ground and start planting by early April. Kimberlie said Leo likes to help pick the produce and will take them to the basket. 

The Clarks own chickens and rabbits to help with the farm too. Chickens use chicken tunnels to eat the bugs in the garden and their rabbits provide the fertilizer. Austin said they spend about 10 hours a week tending to their crop. 

A lot of the produce they grow never makes it to market. They give it away through a food bank at the church, and it provides fresh vegetables for the dinner table. Brookhaven’s Farmers Market is something they enjoy being a part of, Kimberlie said. 

“We wouldn’t do it if we didn’t enjoy it,” she said. “It is a hobby that almost pays for itself.”