Local options available at Hitching Lot Farmers Market
COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Shoppers in downtown Columbus have three opportunities each week to enjoy local produce and goods produced within 50 miles of the Hitching Lot Farmers Market.
This farmers market, located at the corner of 2nd Street and 2nd Avenue North in Columbus, has operated since 1976. It is set up under the covered pavilion from May through October. Through September, the market is held Mondays from 4-6 p.m. and Thursdays and Saturdays from 7-10 a.m. In October, the market is open only on Saturdays from 7-10 a.m.
The MSU Extension Service received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service to promote local foods. The Extension Center for Government and Community Development is administering the From Gravel Roads to City Streets grant as part of the statewide MSU Extension Growing Your Brand effort. Grant funds were used to help farmers markets in Itawamba, Lowndes, Clay, Noxubee and Monroe counties.
The Hitching Lot Farmers Market used its funds to create signs and other marketing materials to identify and promote the market.
Chelsea Best, coordinator of the Hitching Lot Farmers Market, said the market usually hosts about 28 different vendors. Products offered include crafts, baked goods, canned goods, fruit and vegetables.
“People love to know about our farmers, and the farmers market gives them a chance to meet them face to face and learn about what they do and how they make their products,” Best said. “It gives our vendors a chance to let shoppers know where their food comes from and make a little money to support what they do.”
Potential vendors interested in selling at the Columbus farmers market can find details and an application at https://hitchinglotfarmersmarket.com. Vendors have the option to pay an annual fee of $100, or they can pay $5 to sell on a single market day.
“We typically have good turnout, especially on Saturdays, and we use social media to let people know what produce is expected the next day,” Best said. “Our Sizzling Second Saturdays from May through August are bigger events designed to draw out families and other members of the community with things like a petting zoo, live music, and local, community-driven organizations that encourage education and healthy lifestyles.”