Tupelo Farmers’ Depot wraps up season

William Moore

Daily Journal

TUPELO – You’ll have one last chance to purchase fresh vegetables at the Tupelo Farmers’ Depot on Saturday, when the market wraps up its 2015 season.

“We should have a handful of vendors,” said Jessica Hollinger, marketing associate for the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association. “A lot of them have greens – turnips greens and collard greens – and a few of them have some peas left.”

This year’s bounty wasn’t as great as it has been in years past.

“It was so cold and wet early and my plants didn’t come out of it too good,” said Kenny Gregory, a vendor from New Albany. “This was my third year and I had the least quality, the least quantity and made the least amount of money.”

William Tucker of Shannon said his crops were up and down.

“We always expect more every year but this season was in between,” he said. “My tomatoes did a little better but everything else the rain threw back. We had a hot July so my peas didn’t do well.”

He’ll be at the market Saturday with fall tomatoes, cabbage, squash and cucumbers.

And he’s planning to be back for the 2016 season.

“I’m already looking at my seed catalogs,” Tucker said.

Hollinger said this season’s emphasis was on rebranding the market as the Tupelo Farmers’ Depot and switching from a Tuesday morning market to one in the afternoon.

“We didn’t have a very good growing season this year so our attention was on growing new vendors and new customers,” she said. “The Tuesday afternoon market was a good thing. We had a lot of new customers we’d never seen before and different demographics. We had a lot of stay-at-home moms who would bring their children.

“Tuesday afternoons gave local chefs a chance to come out and do demonstrations, get their names out there. Sometimes we had local musicians. It was a place where people wanted to come and hang out – a destination.”

Pat and Benton Brewer of Oxford, who are regular fixtures at the market, said their year went fairly well.

“We thought it was pretty good,” Pat Brewer said. “We had a lot of dry weather at the end of the season but our early stuff, our lettuce and cabbage, was real good, then we had corn and peas later. If it’s the Lord’s will, we’ll be there next year.”

The farmers’ market, located on South Spring Street near the railroad tracks, will open at 6 a.m. Saturday. After that, it will be closed until the 2016 season, which begins May 14.

For more information, call (662) 841-6598.

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