County supervisors agree to fund new farmer’s market

Published 12:01 am Friday, June 23, 2017


NATCHEZ — Pending legal review, Adams County Supervisors voted Monday to donate $2,000 to the Downtown Natchez Farmers Market.

District 2 Supervisor David Carter said he was happy to support an open-air farmer’s market at one-fifth the cost of the area’s now defunct farmer’s market. The county previously paid $10,000 to the Alcorn State University Extension Program Farmer’s Market.

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“One of my complaints was the way we had it, it was not a real farmer’s market,” Carter said. “It’s a better farmer’s market, and we are only giving a fifth of what we gave last time.”

Farmer’s market coordinator Eddie Burkes said more than 30 vendors showed up last Saturday to support the effort in the market’s first weekend.

“People stayed for hours, mingling and having a good time,” Burkes said. “It was such a good community effort. It was wonderful to see people come together. We want to continue and make it grow.”

Of the amount of people present, Burkes said they gave away all 375 reusable bags with the Farmer’s Market logo on it, which were donated by Home Bank. Burkes said at least 500 people were present.

“Our slogan is ‘Know your farmer, know your food,’” Burkes said. “We want people to know their farmer and where there food is from.”

The market aims to open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon on Commerce Street, which will be blocked off from Main and State streets.

Burkes said the plan is to run the market until August. Some interest in a fall market has been expressed, but Burkes said if it continues then the market would be smaller, with fewer crops, such as roots and greens, available.

Burkes said during the initial year, the market is not charging vendors for space. Burkes said they may charge venders next year, but board President Mike Lazarus said getting a good turnout is important.

“Don’t price yourself out,” he said.

Burkes said he did not intend on the market to make money for the city or county.

“No one is making money but the vendors,” Burkes said.

The $2,000 from the supervisors would be used for marketing, Burkes said.

“If people don’t show up, then the market will not be a success,” Burkes said. “We want to continue the success we have had so far and keep the word out there.”

The supervisors voted unanimously to appropriate the money pending legal review.

The legal concern is the market does not have certification from the Mississippi Department of Agriculture, which the market would typically need to receive county funds.

However, Board Attorney Scott Slover said since the funding request is for advertising, he thinks it could potentially work out.