LOUISVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Just in time for the holiday cookout, Winston County residents have a new place to get fresh food.
It’s one of the ironies of life in Mississippi. In a state where agriculture is one of the leading industries, many people, especially in rural areas, are suffering from food insecurity.
But one community is coming together to provide fresh produce even in the autumn and winter months.
Members of the Louisville Community gathered for the Center Hills Farmers Market Grand Opening.
One of the coordinators of the Grand Opening, Elmetra Patterson, says the main goal is to address a major issue in the area of food insecurity.
“There are five of us who are master gardeners, and we have always been interested in introducing healthy, fresh foods to the community; so, we started this by having the farmers market because we wanted to have fresh food close to the people of the community in the rural area here,” said Patterson.
This is not the first time this community has worked to have a farmers market. However, there were elements beyond his control that brought things to a standstill.
“And one of the things was, I was one of the farmers who brought products out here and the sun was excruciating to sit out in the sun. We would bring tents and everything. It didn’t work out as well,” Miller said.
A bolt out of the blue helped change that. After lightning struck a tree, this Louisville farmer, Alonzo Miller, was able to use the wood to build the shed that covers Center Hill, now the Farmers Market.
“I want to see that this community has what it needs, especially when we have food shortages and times when some of the food we are getting is not so healthy and we don’t know where it comes from; one of the biggest things I think we have the ability to do is raise our own food,” Miller said.
And for those who may not see the use of a farmers market in the colder months.
“One thing people don’t understand is that you only garden in the spring and summer. We garden all year round during the winter months; we have kale what we have out here today is mustard greens, collard greens, turnips, kale and we plant rutabaga people don’t realize they are rutabaga leaves,” said Elmetra Patterson.
The gardener’s next plan is to build a community centre, and in the meantime, they hope to expand their gardens to continue providing fresh food to the surrounding area.
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