Ask just about any Mississippian when does summer begin, and they will tell you when they can have a fresh home-grown tomato and enjoy a “mater” sandwich. There is just something about having a garden fresh tomato or any other vegetable or fruit for that matter.
Enter into the season of produce stands. All across the county, various venders set up stands to sell the fresh produce. Some sell the items straight from the farmers, and others sell items straight from the farm.
Showcasing and selling local produce is something all stands have in common, including the ones not mentioned in this story. Driving down the road you can see the stands everywhere; some are temporary but others have permanent stands and may even operate year round.
Friday on South High School Avenue, two stands were set up, both with pop-up tents, trailers and a rainbow of colors for the various items each had for sale. Both of the gentlemen running each tent has said it has been very busy this year.
“I think when you buy it fresh, you cut down on who all touches the food,” Ken Courtney said at his stand. Courtney not only sells produce but he also boils peanuts.
Bob Page said he sells more and more every year. As Memorial Day was approaching, Page said he had already sold out of his first batch of watermelons.
Page said, “It has stayed steady all week. It gets busier every year.”
Daniel Smith has a trailer full of fresh produce on Mississippi 35 South offering a variety of items. He said Wednesday and Thursday were extremely busy.
“Friday everyone is ready to get home for the weekend,” he said.
Smith buys some of items from farmers in other counties, but he said the first of June, a lot of his supply will be coming from a farm he and his brother Stephen Smith have in Foxworth. Smith said once what he and his brother has becomes available, other items will be added just to supplement the inventory.
As the items come in, patrons can buy a variety of squash, zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers and everything else that is currently in season, including the beloved watermelon.
Some people like to buy fruits in bulk to make jellies. If you are not one of those, produce stands carry an assortment of local jams and jellies, as well as local honey.
While there has been an increase this year, the sellers believe it has nothing to do with the coronavirus as much as it has to do with people just wanting to eat healthier.