The Dart: Vendors enjoy final day at Brookhaven Farmers Market

Published 3:57 pm Friday, July 8, 2022

BROOKHAVEN — Vendors at the Brookhaven Farmers Market sold goods at the Railroad Park in Downtown Brookhaven, close to where The Dart landed Friday. Natali Gatlin, Grady Huff and Tammie May might have come from different backgrounds and sold different products but they were all sad to see the market’s final day for the summer season. 

Gatlin, a resident of Bogue Chitto, is in her first year at the Farmer’s Market. She started her business Bake N’ Bloom about a year ago and sells baked goods and flowers to people. At 17, she has turned a passion for baking into an opportunity. 

“I have been baking for five years and it is something I have always enjoyed. I love to bake,” Gatlin said. “I’ve done it off and on and this year I just decided to step out and bring my baked goods to the world. I love selling flowers too. I can see people smile when they see them. I just want to share smiles.” 

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Her blueberry bread, muffins, molasses cookies among many other products covered the table with a sweet-warm aroma. She said it takes her a few days to get everything baked for the farmers market each week. 

Brookhaven and the Williamson Nursery Farmers Market near McComb have kept her busy this summer. While Friday’s market was the last one for Brookhaven this summer, there will be a market in November and December. Gatlin said she is looking forward to those. 

“It is bittersweet to see the season end. This was my first year so it was good practice for me,” Gatlin said. “I wish it could have gone on longer. There are so many farmers markets around here so I’ll be back.” 

Grady Huff, the owner of Huff’s Honey, sat beneath the shade of a live oak tree during Friday’s market. It is his second year coming to the Brookhaven Farmers Market.  He started coming when he retired and took up beekeeping as a hobby. 

Before retirement, he taught school for 32 years and worked at the bank of Franklin for 15 years. He said he got into the hobby of beekeeping thanks to the help of his friends. There was an interest and he got started thanks to their knowledge. 

“We start harvesting honey in the spring and how much we get depends on what they can find to forage on,” Huff said. “They can produce three to five gallons of honey a year for a strong hive.” 

Huff, who lives in Bude, said it takes a year or two for hives to begin producing honey. In the offseason, he will clean up his equipment, build new hive boxes and spend some time fishing for white perch and bass. 

“I will miss it. I like the people and the customers,” he said. 

Across the park from him sat Tammie May, a school teacher in Livingston Parish. She is now in her sixth year of coming to the farmer’s market with Blue Rooster canning. They produce jellies, jams, canned goods and cheese cakes in the fall. 

She got started with canning thanks to her sister in Louisiana. It is something she loves dearly for both the people and the peace it brings to her life. 

“It is my therapy and because I teach school it is relaxing to me,” May said. “I like being in my kitchen and when I come here I get to meet new people. I enjoy getting out and benign with people. It’s just nice.” 

While Friday’s final summer market is the end of the road for Brookhaven this summer, there are other festivals May looks forward to in the fall. She said she will prepare for the Ole Brook Festival, a festival in Summit and a festival in Wesson at the end of October.