By Dr. Rick Snyder
Professor & Extension Vegetable Specialist
The Tomato Festival Farmers’ Market has a record breaking number of vendors lined up to sell locally grown products to the thousands of visitors expected on June 26. While we normally have 15 to 18 vendors, this year 26 had signed up as of last Friday!
Demand for locally grown produce is a growing trend across the U.S. Mississippi has lots of small to midsized growers who are happy to provide their produce and other products to consumers in any of the 54 Farmers’ Markets across the state.
Crystal Springs participates in this trend by having a Farmers’ Market on the Saturday of the Tomato Festival every year.
What will be for sale this year? You can expect to find plenty of tomatoes, of course, but also watermelons, cantaloupes, sweet corn, yellow squash, zucchini, bell peppers, hot peppers, okra, beans, southern peas, and cucumbers.
If you are looking for fruits, there will be peaches, plums, blackberries, and lots of blueberries available.
Other items for sale: herbs (plants and fresh cut), fig and chestnut trees, jams, preserves, honey, potted plants, bromeliads, cut flowers, salsa, pickles, boiled peanuts, and gourd baskets and bird houses.
While many of the vendors are your friends and neighbors from the Crystal Springs – Hazlehurst area, some are coming from as far away as Mount Olive, Pelahatchie, Morton, Taylorsville, Bogue Chitto, Mendenhall, Brookhaven, Pearl, Vicksburg, and Poplarville.
The Market will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. However, if there is something in particular you are looking for, come early because many of the vendors run out before the end of the day.