Farmers’ Market returns on Saturday

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 1, 2009

The second annual Vicksburg Farmers’ Market will kick off Saturday morning at 8 and and continue through Aug. 29.

The market will be open every Saturday from 8 until 11 a.m. and every Wednesday from 4 until 7 p.m. at a lot on Levee Street at Grove across from the Levee Street Depot in downtown Vicksburg.

“When we operated last year, it was the biggest market in the state,” said Mary Beth Lasseter, Vicksburg Farmers’ Market committee coordinator.

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Lasseter is part of a three-person volunteer committee that includes Kristen Meehan and Lamar Horton.

The market receives support from the City of Vicksburg and Vicksburg’s Main Street program.

Lasseter said her interest in local foods is the reason she volunteers her time to coordinate the summer-long event.

“The area is rich in people who grow food. It’s a community event – it’s more than just a grocery store,” said Lasseter.

The goals of the committee for the anticipated market are to put fresh vegetables in the hands of people, to get people to the downtown area and to support the farming community.

Lasseter said the committee chose the market location in an attempt to bring more people to explore downtown Vicksburg.

One farmer returning to the market is Bill Freeman of Bovina.

Freeman operated BBR Produce on North Frontage Road for about seven years before closing down more than three years ago after his store was robbed at gunpoint.

He has been growing commercially since 1987 and now will offer fresh vegetables including tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and cabbage.

Freeman doesn’t expect to sell on the first day because his crops are not ready.

“As much rain as we had, it’s not good for our crops,” he said. “It will cause us to be late.”

Freeman, like Lasseter, believes the market will be a great venue for providing fresh produce.

“It’s a two-way street – good for the farmers and good for the public,” Freeman said. “People are more conscious about shipped produce” because it tends to lose nutritional value as it goes through a few days of shipping after being picked.

“The older it is, the less nutrition it has,” said Freeman.

Freeman is among about 20 farmers expected at the market.

The Master Gardeners club also will have a booth to teach people about the variety of plants and techniques. The first lesson will focus on Mississippi Medallions.

In addition to the market, downtown merchants will be selling in front of their stores along Washington Street.


If you go

The second annual Vicksburg Farmers’ Market will kick off Saturday from 8 until 11 a.m. and run through Aug. 29 every Saturday and from 4 until 7 p.m. every Wednesday. The market will be at the lot on Levee and Grove streets in downtown Vicksburg, and parking is available along the streets. On Saturdays, vendors will have produce, fruits and arts and crafts. Live entertainment will be provided.

On Wednesdays, only produce will be sold.

Admission is free. Vendor slots remain available and will be throughout the summer. For more information, call 601-634-9484, e-mail or visit


Contact Manivanh Chanprasith at