LOUISVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Just in time for the holiday cooking, folks in Winston County have a new place to source 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, suffer from food insecurity.
But one community is banding together to provide fresh produce even in the fall and winter months.
Members of the Louisville Community gathered for the Grand Opening of Center Hills Farmers’ Market.
“Five of us have become master gardeners, and we have always been interested in introducing to the community healthy foods, fresh foods; therefore, we started this out by having this farmers market because we wanted to have fresh food close to the people in this community in the rural area here,” Patterson said.
This is not the first time this community has worked to have a farmer’s market. However, there were elements outside of their control that put things at a standstill.
“And one of the things that, I was one of the farmers that brought products out here and the sun was just excruciating to sit out in the sun. We would bring tents and everything. It didn’t work out as well,” Miller said.
A bolt from 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 now covers the Center Hill, Farmers Market.
“I want to see this community have what it needs, especially in a time where we have food shortages and times where some of the food we are getting is not so healthy we don’t know where it comes from; one of the greatest 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 for a farmer’s market in the cooler months.
“One thing people misunderstand is that you only garden in the spring and in summer. We garden year-round during the winter months; we have kale we have what we have out here today we have mustard greens, collard greens, turnips, kale and we plant rutabaga people don’t realize the rutabaga leaves are,” Elmetra Patterson said.
The gardener’s next plan is to build a community center, and in the meantime, they hope to expand their gardens to continue to provide fresh food to the surrounding area.