News Filed Under Farmers Markets
TAYLORSVILLE, Miss. -- Before the first batch was picked on June 22, two fields at Ford Farms were covered with red and yellow watermelons. That wasn’t the case a year ago.
Any kind of melon crop at the Smith County farm is an improvement over 2017.
Blueberry growers in Mississippi are having a successful season thanks to good harvesting conditions, crop quality and market prices.
MACON, Miss. -- Myron Unruh has no complaints about the quality of his farm’s strawberries. He just wishes more of them would grow.
“We picked some strawberries earlier this week, and they were gorgeous, but we’re getting less than half of what we should be getting,” said Unruh, who owns Lazy U Farms in Macon. “It’s pretty tough right now.”
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The value and healthfulness of farm-fresh foods will be on display May 22 for a group of 15 adults who attend a Mississippi State University Extension Service daylong tour.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Produce growers, packers, industry suppliers and others can learn the requirements of the new federal Produce Safety Rule during one of three upcoming workshops around the state.
DEKALB, Miss. -- For 33 years, Ruby D. Rankin was the face of the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Kemper County, and her sudden death in early May surprised and saddened the local community.
More than 100 people gathered at a building dedication ceremony Monday in the Extension office in Kemper County to honor Rankin's life, service and impact on local individuals, various organizations and the entire community. The Kemper County Board of Supervisors honored Rankin's many accomplishments by naming the local farmers market in her honor.
VICKSBURG, Miss. -- Foods grown on Southern farms should end up on Southern tables, especially when those tables are in the state’s many historic bed-and-breakfasts.
That was the message Mississippi State University Extension Service personnel sent home with participants in a recent workshop.
“Nobody wants to go to a Southern B&B and not experience the food, so think about serving local foods,” said Brent Fountain, Extension nutrition specialist.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- This year's early spring temperatures allowed some fruit and vegetable growers to plant their crops a little earlier than usual.
Jeremy Maness, Mississippi State University Extension agent in Smith County, said growers in his county have not experienced any problems so far despite a late freeze.
"Everything is going well," he said. "Tomatoes grown in greenhouses or high tunnels are ready now. We project watermelons will be ready around mid- to late June, and field tomatoes should be ready to start coming off the vine around the first week of June."
WOODVILLE, Miss. -- Farmers market and cottage industry sales are a significant part of the Mississippi food scene, and Mississippi State University Extension Service training is helping entrepreneurs take advantage of these business opportunities.
The MSU Extension Service and Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion offers training on acidified canned foods and general food safety at locations across the state. An upcoming workshop will be held April 25 in Woodville, Mississippi, at the J.R. Hamilton Extension Building.
BILOXI, Miss. -- Farmers market vendors and cottage food industry owners are invited to expand their knowledge at a Feb. 24 workshop covering food safety basics and regulations for processing acidified foods in Mississippi.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A recipe for cinnamon rolls that she found in college turned into a profitable hobby business and now a cottage industry for Christa Lee and her husband, Tyson.
Their business, LoveLee Rolls, sells pans of baked cinnamon rolls at the Starkville farmers market all summer and by word of mouth the rest of the year.
“We started in July 2014. I was staying home with the baby, and we didn’t really need more money -- just thought it would be a fun hobby,” Christa Lee said. “On the way home from the beach one day, we said, let’s just do it.”
TUPELO, Miss. -- Farmers can learn about growing and selling produce directly to the consumer during an on-farm field day organized by the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Favorable weather and a steady consumer appetite for local produce are keeping Mississippi’s truck crop industry strong.
The state now has more than 80 farmers markets, compared to 52 in 2010. These markets make up the main avenue through which truck crop growers sell their goods, but local produce can be found with more frequency on grocery store shelves during the growing season. This trend reflects the shift in consumer preference.
HERNANDO, Miss. -- Food safety training courses on March 30 will help make participating in certified farmers markets a little easier for processed food vendors, cottage food operators, and fruit and vegetable producers.
General Food Safety Training and Acidified Canned Foods Training will teach vendors about specific requirements and procedures for selling their products at certified farmers markets in Mississippi. The Mississippi State University Extension Service will host the seminars at the Hernando Gale Center.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Farmers markets present obvious benefits for both customers and growers, but the operations also provide an avenue for rural and urban community development.
In April 2010, there were 52 known farmers markets in Mississippi. Four years later, there were 84 -- an indication that more local governments and organizers are realizing the opportunities markets provide for growth.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- A profitable sales outlet and a ready-made customer base make farmers markets the ideal channels for small-scale producers to sell their crops.
“Price and demand both drive the success of farmers markets,” said Rick Snyder, vegetable specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station in Crystal Springs. “Growers are able to cut out the wholesale middleman and sell their fresh produce to the consumer at retail prices.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Farmers markets offer at least two features that keep customers happy and coming back for more: fresh, local products and real-life social interaction.
Jesse McDonald and his wife, Anne, can be seen almost every Saturday morning during the summer at the Starkville Community Market in downtown Starkville. He said the produce just tastes better than what he can get in traditional grocery stores.
RAYMOND -- As demand increases for locally grown produce, farmers markets have become a way to take fresh fruits and vegetables directly to customers.
“This segment of agriculture is growing, and I think we are only going to see the need for small-scale producers increase in the coming years,” said Rick Snyder, vegetable specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station in Crystal Springs.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Finding a special product that consumers want can help growers stand out in the increasingly crowded farmers market.
Bill Evans, associate research professor with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station at the Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station in Crystal Springs, said a growing number of consumers want fresh, local produce, and small growers can help provide it.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Greater consumer demand for locally grown produce has made truck crops a bigger part of the state’s overall agricultural production and increased related research at Mississippi State University.
Truck crops get their name from the fact that they are often sold from the back of pickup trucks. They are produce crops, including blueberries, strawberries, sweet corn, beans, tomatoes, watermelon, greens and squash.