LOUISVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Just in time for holiday meals, people in Winston County have a new place to get fresh food.
That’s one of the ironies of life in Mississippi. In a state where agriculture is one of the leading industries, many people are suffering from food insecurity, especially in rural areas.
But one community gathers together to provide fresh produce even in the fall and winter months.
Louisville Community Members gathered for the Grand Opening of the Center Hills Farmers Market.
Elmetra Patterson, one of the coordinators of the Grand Opening, says that the main goal is to solve a major problem in the field of food insecurity.
“The five of us have become master gardeners, and we’re always interested in introducing healthy, fresh foods; so, we started this by having this farmers market because we wanted to bring fresh food closer to the people of this community in the rural area here,” Patterson said.
This is not the first time this community has worked to host a farmers market. However, there were factors beyond their control that stopped things.
“And one of the things, I was one of the farmers that was putting produce out here and the sun was just sick of sitting in the sun. We’d bring tents and everything. That didn’t work out either,” Miller said.
A splash of blue helped change that. After a tree was struck by lightning, Louisville farmer Alonzo Miller was able to use the wood to build the shed that now houses Center Hill, the Farmers Market.
“I want to see what this community needs, especially at a time when there is a shortage of food and when some of the food we get is not so healthy and we don’t know where it comes from; one of the biggest things that I think we have the ability to do is to raise our food,” said Miller.
And for those who may not see the use of a farmer’s market in the colder months.
“One thing people misunderstand 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 here today, we have mustard greens, collard greens, turnips, kale and we plant rutabaga people don’t know rutabaga leaves,” Elmetra Patterson said.
The gardeners’ next plan is to build a community center, and in the meantime, they hope to expand their gardens to continue providing fresh food to the community.
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