There has been tremendous growth in the number of farmers’ markets recently. Mississippi has 85 known markets in operation as of 2015. And more are planned.
Why the interest? It's because farmers’ markets are a win-win situation. They are good for the farmer and good for the shopper.
Shoppers can get the freshest produce when buying direct from the people who grew it. And fresher foods are usually healthier and taste better. Prices at farmers’ markets are generally lower, too.
Fruit and vegetable growers have the opportunity to sell directly to the consumer, allowing them to have a closer connection with their buyers and make better profits as well. By eliminating the brokers, distributors, and shippers, state growers get to keep a larger portion of the sales price, while still selling at competitive retail prices.
The markets vary sharply in how many months per year and which days per week they are open, how many vendors there are on any day, what kinds of produce as well as crafts and artistic products are for sale, and whether they include organic fruits and vegetables. Check the linked listing below and call for information if needed to be sure.
The largest market in the state is the Mississippi Farmers’ Market in Jackson, just off the High Street exit near the fairgrounds. With an 18,000 square foot building and 32 stalls, it is open three days per week in season, and on Saturdays all year.
The smallest is probably the one-day per year market in Crystal Springs, which is part of the annual Tomato Festival, the last Saturday in June each year. This one, on a downtown street by the railroad tracks, has 15 to 20 vendors, with lots of tomatoes, watermelons, blueberries, and other summer produce.
Listen to our radio Public Service Announcement promoting Mississippi fruits and vegetables, produced by Mississippi State University's Agricultural Communications Department.
- Farmers markets serve as local development driver
- Growers find perfect fit with farmers markets
- Freshness, personal connections drive farmers market shopping
- Demand for local produce, markets continues to grow
- Farmers markets provide opportunity for growers
- State truck crops have growing consumer value
- Consumers seek local foods, healthier living
- Farmers diversify income in autumn
- Truck crops benefit producers, consumers
- Commercial, truck crop farms share local roots
- Farmers' markets benefit producers and consumers
Public Service Announcements produced by the MSU Office of Agricultural Communications in 2015. They were released to Mississippi television stations.
Farmers markets are multiplying across the state as they combine two of the things that Mississippians value most: fresh produce and socializing. The concept of a central place for area farmers to sell their goods has been around for decades, but the recent, increased focus on shopping locally has caused an uptick in the number of farmers markets across the state.
For as long as many people can remember, summertime Tuesdays and Fridays has meant it is time to shop the Itawamba Farmers Market for fresh, local produce and goods. This farmers market is held at the Cypress Pavilion on the campus of Itawamba Community College twice weekly from 2-4 p.m. from June until football season begins in September. This year, a brief fall farmers market is also planned at a time and place to be determined.
There is always a crowd each week at the West Point Farmers Market as shoppers gather to purchase fresh, local produce and goods from neighbors and area farmers. The West Point Farmers Market is held each Thursday in June and July from 4-5:30 p.m. at the Mossy Oak Outlet on Highway 45 Alternate. Vendors set up their wares under the pavilion, with overflow space available in a grassy area under nearby trees.
Shoppers in downtown Macon have a chance twice monthly to socialize and buy fresh produce and goods from area merchants at the new Noxubee Farmers Alliance Market. The market operates on the second and fourth Saturdays from June through August on the Noxubee County Courthouse lawn. Vendors are available from 7-11:30 a.m. to sell a variety of produce, homemade breads, honey, greens and more.
Shoppers in Monroe County have a weekly source of fresh produce, baked goods and other items from May to September at the old railroad depot in downtown Aberdeen. The Aberdeen Main Street Farmers Market has been around since 2014, operating from 8-11 a.m. on Fridays. The outdoor space has plenty of room for vendors who choose to participate. There is no fee for vendors, and no registration is required in advance.
From the youngest to the oldest generations, thousands of people are visiting, shopping, and enjoying themselves at the Hernando Farmers’ Market, held Saturdays on the historic DeSoto County Courthouse lawn.
The market has more than just fresh produce. It connects the community by uniting the shoppers, producers, and artisans who come.