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MSU agent: Farmers market season best yet

A summer of buying fresh produce from the Brookhaven Farmers Market is about to come to a close.

The final market for the season will be Friday in Railroad Park, from 7:30 a.m. until noon.

“Produce is starting to wind down, which is why we are closing on Friday,” said Mississippi State Extension Agent Rebecca Bates.

“We will have plenty of tomatoes, okra, maybe some peppers, and then our regular baked goods and canned goods,” she said. “One vendor will have South Carolina peaches. We don’t normally allow produce from out of state, unless we don’t grow it here.”

The next farmers market will be in late November — the annual Thanksgiving market on the Tuesday just prior to Thanksgiving Day.

“It’s a one-day market, from 7:30 a.m. until noon at Railroad Park, unless the weather is expected to be bad. Then we’ll move to the Amtrak station,” said Bates.

The one-hit fall market is expected to have vendors selling all types of greens — mustard, turnip and kale — some tomatoes and other late-summer vegetables. Okra, peppers and eggplant may also still be available, along with canned goods, breads, cakes and pies.

“We’ve also had cut flowers this year,” Bates said. “I think a lot of people would enjoy some locally-grown fresh flowers for their Thanksgiving tables.”

This summer’s market was, in the extension agent’s opinion, the best the county has had in its 11 years.

“I measure success by the number of vendors, the amount of produce and the clientele that shop the market, and it’s all been outstanding this year,” she said. “Dairy Day outperformed every year we have ever done, and this is our eighth year for that.”

The annual event was relocated to the Lincoln Civic Center’s stall barn  due to forecasted inclement weather, and all the feedback was positive.

“I think everyone was pleased with how the event turned out there — the number of vendors, all the Dairy Day activities and the public that attended. I think we’ll just do it there every year,” Bates said.

With space for the dairy-themed event getting “a little tight” at Railroad Park, Bates said the move is a smart one.

“We’ll be able to add more to it each year. We had music, the animals, the antique tractor show, free sweet corn and those are things we can expand on next year and add other things as we have space there. It was just a good thing for families. it worked out really nice.”