Fresh food vendors are booming across the Pine Belt

Fresh food markets hitting their stride in Pine Belt
Published: May. 21, 2023 at 9:53 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) -Whether the preference is fresh fruits and vegetables or handmade items, the farmers market is waiting.

A farmers market, might be considered one of the best homegrown options

“You get your best produce,” said Deborah Lewis, a vendor at the Forrest County Farmers Market. “You get something that does not have a bunch of GMOs and a bunch of processed food that your body doesn’t need, and it supports local businesses and local farmers.

“That’s the main thing, supporting your local farmer and local businesspeople.”

Not sure where to start? Perhaps go with the most popular pick …

“Tomatoes.,” Lewis said. “Everybody is looking for tomatoes.

“But, right now, unless you get them from Florida and have them flown in, our tomatoes are about two weeks out. We’re just now starting to get some good size tomatoes in.”

But farmers markets aren’t just about locally grown veggies.

“Don’t just come out for the produce, come out for the fellowship, come out to meet fellow business owners,” Lewis said. “We have all kinds of crafts, not just produce. We have vendors (who) have soaps, naturally made. We have all kinds of baked goods, jams and jellies.”

Over at Shady Acres Village in Covington County, things are a little different than an average farmer’s market.

“It’s a local place where we try to buy local produce as much as possible during the time that it’s available,” said Matthew Pierce, Shady Acres Village owner. “Local watermelons, squash, okra, beans and peas, we have a garden center and a bakery. We try to keep it as local as possible.”

This is a busy time of year for anyone selling fresh produce, so be sure to stop by the local vendors to see what they have to offer

Some fresh food vendors across the Pine Belt include:

  • Forrest County Farmers Market, Hattiesburg
  • Shady Acres Village, Seminary
  • Oak Grove Farmers Market, Oak Grove
  • Downtown Hattiesburg Farmers Market, Hattiesburg
  • Country Tyme Fruitstand, Hattiesburg
  • Olde Tyme Farmers Market, Hattiesburg
  • Laurel Farmers Market, Laurel
  • Mapp Fruit Stand, Collins
  • Pearl River Market, Columbia

All of these vendors, and more, are open on different dates and times. Find the closest one and contact them for their normal business hours.

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