Visit a farmers market before season’s end

Published 7:00 am Thursday, October 26, 2017

If you’re looking for a fun way to enjoy the fresh fall air, I have good news. We are fortunate to have two farmers markets in Pearl River County, and both have a few dates remaining in the season.

The number of farmers markets has increased by 76 percent between years of 2008 and 2014*, and for good reason. Farmers markets are a great way to explore the benefits of locally grown items and support those who provide them.

In addition to helping support local food providers by purchasing their products, you will also be amazed at the variety of delicious and healthy locally grown produce and other offerings that are for sale. Locally baked bread, bison, quail eggs, jam and honey are just a few of the products that were available to purchase during the past few markets, all brought to you by your friends and neighbors here at home.

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One of the most compelling aspects of visiting the farmers market is that vendors are more than willing to share details about how the products were grown or made and enjoy explaining the process involved.

Not only will you have a first-hand account of the methods used, but will also expand your appreciation of the effort involved in bringing these items to market.

The vendors are understandably proud of their accomplishments and want you to understand what steps were necessary to make their product the best it can possibly be. In asking how they learned how and what to plant, the answers are many and varied.

Some say they had a parent, grandparent or other family member willing to teach them how to plant, sow and grow, but also to nurture their efforts.

Others attribute it to a personal thirst for knowledge that spurred them to research and learn on their own, and all agree that they simply enjoy being outside in the fresh air doing something constructive.

I would encourage you to take the time to visit our local farmers markets over the next few weeks. It’s not too late to get in on the goodness.

The Picayune Farmers Market is located at Goodyear Baptist Church, 2710 Highway 43 South on:

Friday, October 28 from 8 a.m. – noon

Saturday, November 11 from 8 a.m. – noon

Saturday, November 25 from 8 a.m. – noon

The Poplarville Farmers Market is located at the Town Green, 300 South Main Street on:

Thursday, November 2 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Thursday, November 16 from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

*According to the United States Department of Agriculture