Noxubee Farmers Alliance offers a downtown market
MACON, Miss. -- 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.
The MSU Extension Service received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service to promote local foods. The Extension Center for Government and Community Development administers the From Gravel Roads to City Streets grant as part of the statewide MSU Extension Growing Your Brand effort. Grant funds were used to help farmers markets in Itawamba, Lowndes, Clay, Noxubee and Monroe counties.
The Noxubee Farmers Alliance Market used its funds to meet infrastructure needs and to create signs and other marketing materials to identify and promote the market.
Crayton Coleman, who directs the market along with Betsy Miller, said vendors within a one-hour drive of Macon are invited to participate. The new farmers market kicked off June 11.
“We have a central location downtown, and it’s a great place for the community to gather in a safe environment,” Coleman said. “People are glad to be out of the house and out in the community and be involved again, because with COVID, a lot of communities haven’t had an opportunity to get out and socialize much in the last two years.”
Noxubee County has an active group of 4-H club members who grow their own vegetables, and Coleman is working with these young people so they can grow products to sell at this market.
There is an application process for vendors seeking to sell at the market, as well as a $10 commitment fee for each sale day.
“From the way we set up our committee to the way we solicit vendors, we want this market to be a model for the way other communities can start their own farmers market,” Coleman said. “People are working together, and the community is excited about it.”