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Farmers Markets: Great Source for Local Produce

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Publication Number: P2821
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One of the fastest growing segments of fresh fruit and vegetable sales in Mississippi, as in the rest of the country, is direct marketing.

As opposed to selling wholesale, direct marketing is when a producer sells his or her produce directly to the consumer. This can be via on-farm retail sales, roadside stands, community supported agriculture (CSAs), buying clubs, pick-your-own farms, or farmers markets.

At the end of the summer of 2018, Mississippi had 94 farmers markets. This number represents a sharp increase. In 2000, there were barely a dozen markets statewide. Nearly every county in the state has a market, and there are even a few with two or more. Hinds and Jackson Counties each have four, while Harrison County now has seven!

The prevalence of so many farmers markets in Mississippi is great for consumers because they don’t have to travel very far to find high-quality, locally grown produce. It’s good for growers, too, because it gives them more opportunities to sell their produce. In addition to selling at the closest farmers market to the farm, many growers stagger their selling days by using two or more markets every week.

 

Farmers Markets Are a Win-Win-Win

Farmers markets, as well as other forms of direct marketing, are a winning proposition for the grower, the consumer, and the community in which they operate.

The advantage of direct marketing for the grower is that the retail sales price received is much higher than the wholesale price at which they would otherwise sell their products. By selling directly to the ultimate consumer, producers avoid the cost of handlers and resellers.

Farmers markets, along with other direct marketing techniques, are also a great benefit to the consumer. Produce spends less time in transportation from the farm to the consumer, so it is much fresher and likely to be richer in vitamins. Most vendors harvest their produce the day before or the morning of the market. Also, prices are often lower at farmers markets than in grocery stores, so consumers can sometimes save money while buying higher-quality produce.

In addition, shopping locally supports your local farmers and impacts the local economy by keeping the money circulating within the community rather than losing it to corporations in other states or countries. According to a 2009 study at Mississippi State University that collected data on 26 farmers markets, total sales by vendors totaled $1.4 million that year. Extrapolating to the 81 markets currently in business, total sales volume is estimated to be more than $4 million.

In addition to the farmer, consumer, and community benefits, buying local decreases “food miles,” or the distance food is transported across the country or from other countries. Reducing food miles is good for the environment because it reduces energy consumption and pollution from fossil fuels used in transportation.

Another less tangible benefit of farmers markets is that consumers can build relationships with the people who grow their food. This helps consumers to get a better picture of how their food is grown, what inputs are used, and whether good agricultural practices (GAPs) are followed.

 

What Is Local?

“Locally grown” has been a common catch phrase since the early 2000s. People who demonstrate a preference for locally grown food have been referred to as “locavores” since about 2005. But what exactly does local mean in this context?

Local produce might be interpreted to be those fruits and vegetables grown within your own town or county. However, local often means produce from within a specified radius, such as 50 or 100 miles from your point of reference.

Some people use local to refer to anything grown within their state, which may be more than 100 miles away. On the other hand, the specified distance definition previously mentioned may include farms that are located in neighboring states, yet still within the mileage being used.

At the far extreme are definitions used by major grocery store chains. Some of them consider 500 or even 1,000 miles from the store to be local, and some even call any produce grown in the United States local. This definition may be too broad for most applications.

Congress passed H.R. 2419, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, which includes this definition of local: (I) the locality or region in which the final product is marketed, so that the total distance that the product is transported is less than 400 miles from the origin of the product; or (II) the state in which the product is produced. (See https://www.congress.gov/110/plaws/publ234/PLAW-110publ234.pdf)

For practical purposes, most farmers markets require produce to be locally grown, and the markets consider local to be within the same county or neighboring counties. The inclusion of surrounding counties is often important since there may not be enough local growers within the county to support a farmers market on their own.

 

The Cost of Eating Right

An Economic Research Service (ERS) study in 2004 concluded that a consumer could meet the recommendation of three servings of fruits and four servings of vegetables per day for 64 cents, which is about 12 percent of the average amount spent on food per person. The study is available at https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/33691/1/ai047924.pdf.

According to nutrition studies, Americans do not even come close to the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables in their diets. One of the barriers may be the perceived higher cost of fresh produce compared to convenient packaged foods.

Actually, although fruits and vegetables may be a dollar to several dollars per pound, each pound provides several servings. Therefore, the ERS analysis demonstrated that servings of fruit ranged from 11 cents (watermelons and apples) to 66 cents (blackberries); vegetables cost from 6 cents (Irish potatoes) to 53 cents (asparagus) per serving. For example, although a pound of peaches may cost a dollar, it provides 4½ servings, which comes to 22 cents per serving.

More than half of all fruits and vegetables were estimated to cost less than 25 cents per serving; 86 percent of all vegetables and 78 percent of all fruits cost less than 50 cents per serving.

 

Where Are Mississippi’s Farmers Markets?

Following is a list of all the farmers markets that operated in Mississippi in 2018, sorted by county. The indication of “certified” in this list means that the farmers market has been certified by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce as a market with Mississippi farmers selling Mississippi-grown produce.

 

Adams County

Downtown Natchez Farmers Market

Pop-up On The Bluff

Natchez, MS 39120

Contact: Eddie Burkes

Phone: 662-816-5458

 

Alcorn County Green Market

Crossroads Museum & Care Garden

Corinth, MS 38834

Contact: Brandy Steen

Phone: 662-287-3120

 

Corinth Farmers Mark #2

Fulton Drive

Corinth, MS 38834

Contact: Patrick Poindexter

Phone: 662-286-7756

 

Corinth Farmers Market

Shiloh Road

Corinth, MS 38834

Contact: Patrick Poindexter

Phone: 662-286-7755

 

Amite County

Amite County Farmers Market

269 Main Street

Liberty, MS 39645

Contact: Jaunita Bates

Phone: 225-235-8279

 

Attala County

Attala County Farmers Market CERTIFIED

450 Hwy 12 E

Kosciusko, MS 39090

Contact: Kenneth Georgia & Melvin Williams

Phone: 662-312-2891

 

Benton County

Benton County Farmers Market CERTIFIED

Benton County Courthouse Lawn

Ashland, MS 38603

Contact: Janet Jones

Phone: 662-671-5563

 

Bolivar County

Shelby Farmers Market

1505 Broadway

Shelby, MS 38774

Contact: Dorothy Grady-Scarbrough

Phone: 662-402-4798

 

Cleveland Farmers Market CERTIFIED

401 Cotton Row

Cleveland, MS 38732

Contact: Ryan Betz

Cleveland Famers Marekt website

Phone: 662-832-2785

 

Calhoun County

Throwback Thursdays CERTIFIED

102 Public Square

Bruce, MS 38915

Contact: Theresa Nicks & Trina Griffin

Phone: 662-983-2222

 

Vardaman Farmers Market

The Side Porch On Main Street

Vardaman, MS 38878

Contact: Tommy Scarbrough

 

Carroll County

Vaiden Farmers Market CERTIFIED

Vaiden High School Vo-tech Building

Vaiden, MS 39176

Contact: Jan Maddox

Phone: 662-289-4125

 

Coila Cross Roads Farmers Market

15426 MS Hwy 17

Coila, MS 38923

Contact: Rasheed T. Davis

Phone: 662-237-6062

 

Chickasaw County

Okolona Farmers Market

Mini Park On Main Street

Okolona, MS 38860

Contact: Louise Cole

Phone: 662-448-9415

 

Houston Farmers Market

1 Pinson Square

Houston, MS 38851

Contact: Eddie Biggs

Phone: 662-456-2321

 

Choctaw County

Choctaw County Farmers Market

Corner of Main and Commerce Streets

Ackerman, MS 39735

Contact: Juli Hughes

Phone: 662-285-6337

 

Claiborne County

The Farmers Market

Corners Of Market & Fair Streets

Port Gibson, MS 39150

 

Clay County

West Point Farmers Market CERTIFIED

1251 Highway 45 South Alternate

West Point, MS 39773

Contact: Lisa Klutts

West Point Farmers Market Facebook

Phone: 662-494-5121

 

Coahoma County

Crossroads Farmers Market

1536 Desoto Avenue

Clarksdale, MS 38614

Contact: Samuel Mccray

Crossroads Farmers Market Website

Phone: 662-627-1121

 

Downtown Farmers Market

326 Blues Alley

Clarksdale, MS 38614

Phone: 662-351-2232

 

Copiah County

Crystal Springs Farmers Market

West Railroad Avenue

Crystal Springs, MS 39059

Contact: Casey Kitchens

Phone: 601-892-2711

 

Desoto County

Hernando Farmers Market CERTIFIED

2535 Highway 51 South

Hernando, MS 38632

Contact: Gia Matheny

Hernando Famers Market Website

Phone: 662-429-9092

 

Olive Branch Old Towne Farmers Market

9200 Pigeon Roost Road

Olive Branch, MS 38654

Contact: Nancy Jones

Phone: 662-893-0888

 

Forrest County

Pine Belt Community Farmers Market

1009 Rebecca Street

Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Contact: Sylvia Forster

Pine Belt Community Farmers Market Website

Phone: 601-582-0909 or 601-606-8785

 

Forrest County Farmers Market

Corinne Street

Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Contact: Tawnya Crockett

Phone: 601-583-9954 or 601-545-6083

 

Downtown Hattiesburg Farmers Market

Town Square Park

Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Contact: Monicah Brumfield

Website for Hattiesburg

Phone: 601-310-9697

 

George County

Lucedale Farmers Market

Cox Street @ The Courthouse Square

Lucedale, MS

Contact: Brandy Havard

Phone: 601-947-2082

 

Grenada County

The Grenada MS Farmers Market

Historic Downtown Square

Grenada, MS 38901

Contact: Leslie Moss & Thomas Moss

Phone: 662-809-6222

 

Harrison County

Gulfport Harbor Farmers Market CERTIFIED

1070 23rd Avenue

Gulfport, MS 39501

Contact: Diane Claughton

Phone: 228-257-2496

 

D’Iberville Farmers Market

10383 Automall Parkway

D’Iberville, MS 39540

Contact: Patty Ewing

Phone: 228-392-9734

 

Charles R. Hedgewood Biloxi Farmers Market

Corner Of Howard Ave & Division St.

Biloxi, MS 39530

Contact: Tina Cowart

Phone: 228-388-2443

 

Long Beach Farmers Market CERTIFIED

208 Pine Street (first UMC Parking Lot)

Long Beach, MS 39560

Contact: Morris Richardson

Phone: 228-257-2496

 

The Pass Market

103 Fleitas Street

Pass Christian, MS 39503

Contact: Joe Buckley

Phone: 228-297-3040

 

The Farmers Market At Long Beach CERTIFIED

Town Green

Long Beach, MS 39560

Contact: Monica Morel

Phone: 985-710-3946

 

Florence Gardens Farmers Market

Magnolia Hall

Gulfport, MS 39503

Contact: Jeff Scrimsher

Phone: 228-343-2626

 

Hinds County

Utica Mainstreet Farmers Market

Main Street

Utica, MS 39175

Contact: Calvin Williams

Phone: 601-927-0906

 

Jump Start Jackson Fall Farmers Market

Lake Hico Park

Jackson, MS 39206

Contact: Shamira Lee

Phone: 601-898-0000 Ext. 118

 

Mississippi Farmers Market CERTIFIED

929 High Street

Jackson, MS 39202

Website 

Phone: 601-354-6573

 

Fresh At Five CERTIFIED

300 Jefferson Street

Clinton, MS 39060

Contact: Anna Boyd Hawks

Website

Phone: 601-924-5472

 

Holmes County

City Of Lexington Farmers Market

Multipurpose Complex

Lexington, MS 39095

Contact: Algenia Adams

Phone: 662-834-2307

 

Itawamba County

Itawamba Farmers Market

Cypress Pavilion

Fulton, MS 38843

Contact: John Coggin

Phone: 662-862-3201

 

Jackson County

Pascagoula Farmers Market

Victory Lot On Pascagoula Street

Pascagoula, MS 39567

Contact: Rebecca Davis

Website

Phone: 228-938-6604

 

Jackson County Farmers Market

Jackson County Fairgrounds

Pascagoula, MS 39568

Contact: Jim Hart

Phone: 228-762-6043

 

Ocean Springs Fresh Market CERTIFIED

L&N Depot

Ocean Springs, MS 39564

Contact: Diane Claughton

Website: www.oceanspringsfreshmarket.com

Phone: 228-257-2496

 

Riverfront Farmers Market CERTIFIED

5120 Main Street

Moss Point, MS 39563

Contact: Shira Stallworth

Website

Phone: 228-475-7887

 

Jasper County

Bay Springs Farmers Market

Contact: Donald Brown

Phone: 601-670-1523

 

Jefferson County

Fayette-Jefferson County Farmers Market

1005 Main St.

Fayette, MS 39069

Contact: Iretha Beyah

Phone: 601-392-1311

 

Jones County

Laurel Farmers Market

North Magnolia Street

Laurel, MS 39441

Contact: Anicia Bonds Hill

Website

Phone: 601-336-2493

 

Ellisville Farmers Market CERTIFIED

201 Jessamine Street

Ellisville, MS 39437

Contact: Julie G. Laird

Website

Phone: 601-477-3323

 

Lafayette County

Oxford Community Market

Community Pavillion

University Ave.

Oxford, MS 38655

Contact: Betsy Chapman

Phone: 662-816-7413

 

Mid-town Farmers Market CERTIFIED

Mid-town Shopping Center

Oxford, MS 38655

Contact: Aileen Bost

Phone: 662-234-3425

 

Lauderdale County

Meridian Area Farmers Market

Front Street At Union Station

Meridian, MS 39301

Contact: Ronnie Chatham

Phone: 601-644-3698

 

Earth’s Bounty Farmers Market

1701 Front Street

Meridian, MS 39301

Contact: Laura Carmichael

Website

Phone: 601-485-1944

 

Lee County

Tupelo Farmers Depot CERTIFIED

415 South Springs Street At Railroad

Tupelo, MS 38802

Contact: Carl Brangenberg

Website

Phone: 662-841-6598 or 662-891-6139

 

Leflore County

Downtown Greenwood Farmers Market CERTIFIED

Corner Of Johnson & Main Street

Greenwood, MS 38935

Contact: Glen & Beth Stevens

Website

Phone: 662-897-0017 or 662-897-6479

 

Lincoln County

Brookhaven Farmers Market CERTIFIED

Downtown Brookhaven In Railroad Park

Brookhaven, MS 39601

Contact: Rebecca Bates

Phone: 601-835-3460

 

Lowndes County

Hitching Lot Farmers Market CERTIFIED

Corner Of 2nd Street And 2nd Avenue North

Columbus, MS 39703

Contact: Katherine Lucas & Tony Rose

Website

Phone: 662-328-6305

 

Madison County

Downtown Madison Farmers Market CERTIFIED

2103 Main Street

Madison, MS 39130

Contact: Lucy Weber

Website

Phone: 601-853-0291

 

Livingston Farmers Market

127 Mansdale Road

Madison, MS 39110

Contact: Kellis Moore

Phone: 601-898-0212

 

Canton Farmers Market

The Depot

Canton, MS 39046

Contact: Toya Veals

Phone: 601-859-5816

 

Marion County

Marion County Farmers Market

Columbia Water Park

Columbia, MS

Contact: Myndee Moran

Phone: 228-990-9798

 

Pearl River Market

229 Second Street Downtown

Columbia, MS 39429

Contact: Lori Watts

Phone: 601-736-1170

 

Marshall County

Holly Springs Farmers Markets

Memphis Street

Holly Springs, MS 38635

Contact: Lemon Phelps

Phone: 662-252-3541

 

Monroe County

Aberdeen Main Street Farmers Market

East Washington Street

Aberdeen, MS 39730

Contact: Ann Tackett

Phone: 662-319-7183

 

Neshoba County

Neshoba County Farmers Market

Highway 16 East

Philadelphia, MS 39350

Contact: Harvin Hudson

Phone: 601-656-4602

 

Choctaw Farmers Market

Blackjack Road

Choctaw, MS 39350

Contact: Gilbert Thompson

Phone: 601-656-2070

 

Philadelphia Fresh Market @ The Depot

256 West Beacon Street

The Train Depot

Philadelphia, MS 39350

Contact: Greg Warren

Phone: 601-750-0066

 

Noxubee County

Noxubee County Farmers Market

16295 Highway 45

Macon, MS 39341

Contact: Benny Haynes

Phone: 662-726-9929 or 662-549-1721

 

Oktibbeha County

Starkville Community Market CERTIFIED

Corner Of Russell & Lampkin Streets

Starkville, MS 39759

Contact: Paige Watson

Website: visit.starkville.org/market

Phone: 662-323-3322

 

Panola County

Square Market

Downtown Square

Batesville, MS 38606

Contact: Coleen Clark or Mary Troxler

Website

Phone: 662-563-3126

 

Pearl River County

Poplarville Farmers Market

410 Main Street @ The Town Green

Poplarville, MS 39470

Contact: April Grecho

Phone: 919-280-7411

 

Pike County

McComb Farmers Market CERTIFIED

212 Railroad Blvd

McComb, MS 39648

Contact: Carolyn Horn

Phone: 410-693-7701

 

Pontotoc County

Off The Square Market

Corner Of Jefferson & Lafayette Streets

Pontotoc, MS 38863

Contact: David & Ruth Hall

Phone: 662-489-5042

 

Prentiss County

Prentiss County Farmers Market

2301 North Second Street

Booneville, MS 38829

Contact: Buddy Smith

Phone: 662-728-3946

 

Quitman County

Quitman County Farmers Market

Roadside Park

Marks, MS 38646

Contact: Michael Anthony

Phone: 662-822-3374

 

Rankin County

County Seat Farmers Market

Rankin Co. Multi Purpose Pavilion

Brandon, MS 39042

Contact: Ken Sullivan

Phone: 601-825-0162

 

Scott County

Farmers Market

403 Hill Street

Forest, MS 39074

Contact: Tim Cooper

 

Sunflower County

Indianola Open Air Market CERTIFIED

Green Space

Indianola, MS 38751

Contact: Maggie Barnes

Phone: 662-887-4454

 

Tallahatchie County

Charleston Farmers Market

Wellness Center

Charleston, MS 38921

Contact: Catherine Woodyard

Phone: 662-625-7214

 

Tate County

Tate County Farmers Market

451 Norfleet Drive

Senatobia, MS 38668

Contact: Tarah Ferguson

Phone: 662-562-4274

 

Coldwater Farmers Market

Town Square

Coldwater, MS 38618

Contact: Linda Mcadory

Phone: 662-288-0572

 

Tippah County

Ripley Main Street Farmers Market

111 East Spring Street

Ripley, MS 38663

Contact: Jessica Jeter

Phone: 662-512-0226

 

Tishomingo County

Tishomingo County Farmers Market

1008 Battleground Drive

Iuka, MS 38852

Contact: Danny Owen

Phone: 662-413-7016

 

Union County

Biscuits And Jam

112 Fairgrounds Circle

New Albany, MS 38652

Contact: Stanley Wise

Phone: 662-534-1916

 

Walthall County

Tylertown Farmers Market CERTIFIED

116 South Railroad Avenue

Tylertown, MS 39667

Contact: Carolyn Horn

Website

Phone: 410-693-7701

 

Warren County

Vicksburg Farmers Market CERTIFIED

Corner Of Jackson And Washington Street

Vicksburg, MS 39180

Contact: Rebecca Tarver

Website

Phone: 601-801-3513

 

Washington County

Leland Farmers Market

Hwy 82 West

Leland, MS 38756

Contact: Robert Neill

Phone: 662-686-2687

 

Greenville Farmers Market

783 Washington Avenue

Greenville, MS 38701

Contact: Betty Lynn Cameron

Website

Phone: 662-378-3121

 

Wayne County

Wayne County Farmers Market

609 Azalea Street

Waynesboro, MS 39367

Contact: Ty Sharp

Phone: 601-410-0355

 

Wilkinson County

Woodville Farmers Market

Courthouse Square

Woodville, MS 39669

Contact: Polly Rosenblatt

Phone: 601-888-7690

 

Winston County

Winston County Farmers Market CERTIFIED

Louisville Coliseum

Louisville, MS 39339

Contact: Dorothy Jean Harper

Phone: 662-312-8004

 

Yalobusha County

Water Valley Main Street Farmers Market

Railroad Park – Main Street

Water Valley, MS 38965

Contact: Mickey Howley

Phone: 662-473-6767

 

Coffeeville Farmers Market

Front Street

Coffeeville, MS 38922

Contact: Allyson Coleman

Phone: 662-675-2730

 

Note: This list is current as of August 15, 2018. See https://www.mdac.ms.gov/departments/FarmersMarket/markets.php for updates.

 

For More Information

MSU Extension has several additional publications related to farmers markets. They are available from your local Extension office or as free, downloadable files.

More farmers market information online.

Funds for this project were provided through the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, USDA Specialty Crop Grant Program.

 

Publication 2821 (POD-08-18)

By Richard G. Snyder, PhD, Extension/Research Professor, Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center.

Copyright 2018 by Mississippi State University. All rights reserved. This publication may be copied and distributed without alteration for nonprofit educational purposes provided that credit is given to the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Produced by Agricultural Communications.

Mississippi State University is an equal opportunity institution. Discrimination in university employment, programs, or activities based on race, color, ethnicity, sex, pregnancy, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, or any other status protected by applicable law is prohibited. Questions about equal opportunity programs or compliance should be directed to the Office of Compliance and Integrity, 56 Morgan Avenue, P.O. 6044, Mississippi State, MS 39762, (662) 325-5839.

Extension Service of Mississippi State University, cooperating with U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published in furtherance of Acts of Congress, May 8 and June 30, 1914. GARY B. JACKSON, Director

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Greenhouse Tomatoes and other vegetables, Field Vegetables, Mushrooms