Better when it’s fresh

Published 8:00 am Saturday, July 16, 2022

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If you’ve never had a tomato that was farm fresh instead of store-bought, you are missing out.

Robert Coleman was handing out ripe red cherry tomatoes to sample when The Democrat talked with him at the Downtown Natchez Farmer’s Market last week and, we promise you, they were delicious.

The beauty of the farmer’s market is that there is a better chance the food was treated with careful attention before it was picked.

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Store-bought tomatoes are often harvested before they’re fully ripe to extend their shelf life and kept in storage for days, sometimes weeks, before they hit the shelves of the supermarket. Consequently, they lack the sweetness of one that has had a chance to ripen under the sun while still sucking in nutrients from the vine.

It’s a difference that must be tasted to understand.

That’s not all that is sweet at the Farmer’s Market. Jams, relish, salsa and preserves that are packed with fruits and vegetables—all harvested with the same fresh tasting goodness—are available straight from grower to buyer.

Equally impressive as the fresh stuff are the crafts and handmade items and baked goods offered at the Farmer’s Market year-round. Those who haven’t been to the Farmer’s Market within the past couple of years may be pleasantly surprised by how much it has grown, from about half a dozen vendors to around 35 vendors each week! What’s more interesting is that most are friendly, hard-working salt-of-the-earth people with fascinating stories to tell.

Some of them spend hours of their day harvesting in an oven-hot field to travel for two or three hours to Natchez weekly and make a few bucks off of their product. Others are there just for good company. We encourage everyone to stop by the farmer’s market and see it for themselves. It is open from 8 a.m. until noon Saturdays on the Natchez Bluff.