Hancock County Farmers Market: Constantly Growing
By Cassandra Favre, Staff Writer
Apr 19, 2017, 10:11
Brian Bricker speaks to customers about hydroponic lettuce. Photo by Cassandra Favre
Since its Dec. 3 opening, the Hancock County Farmers Market has been "constantly growing," coordinator David Kenny said.
On a consistent basis, Kenny said, the market features about 20 vendors. There are a total of 36 signed up, he said.
At this time of year, Kenny said, the crops and plants are "coming in" and farmers are "constantly" reaching out to him.
Vendors aren't the only constant at the market.
About three weeks ago, Kenny said, he counted about 400 people perusing vendors' wares at the market.
He said there is a steady attendance with many regulars.
Kenny said the market is sponsored by the Hancock County Board of Supervisors.
"They wanted to give this to people," he said. "We are lucky the vendors and participants came."
In addition to fresh vegetables, the market also offers fresh tamales, handmade spring rolls, homemade jellies, jams, bread, pralines and plants.
Local artists have their works for sale and there are several who sell handcrafted items such as crocheted figures and home decor.
Brian Bricker of Pass Christian is one of two people in Mississippi to grow hydroponic lettuce, Kenny said.
The lettuce is grown from seed in water, not soil, which doubles the growth speed, he said. There are no pesticides or herbicides used, he said.
"The real benefit is that the roots are still attached," Bricker said. "The lettuce lasts about six weeks. Some people put them in water in their windows. You can grow any crop any time of the year."
Rose Wilson of Slidell makes Rose's Creamy Pralines. They come in a variety of flavors including Cajun, coconut, peanut butter, chocolate and vegan, she said.
Darlene Hohensee of Carriere is also a regular vendor at the market and sells a variety of homemade breads and jelly.
"I love the market," she said. "The people in the community support it so much. The vendors are really great, nice people with really nice products."
Barbara Traina of Mississippi Girl Signs offers a variety of colorful and hand-painted signs.
Byron Laneaux sells hand-crafted sculptures made from aluminum and copper strips.
Germaine O'Donnell of American Dream Tie Dye said more people need to come and see what everyone is creating.
"There's no reason people should miss coming here and supporting the community," she said. "It's a great way to see what people create and do for fun."
The market has several new amenities, including restrooms, water, parking and electricity, Kenny said
People can browse vendors' wares underneath a covered pavilion, rain or shine, Kenny said.
The Hancock County Farmers Market is located at 3068 Longfellow Dr. in Bay St. Louis. It is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon.
Learn more about the Farmers Market through Facebook at Hancock County Farmers Market.
There is no vendor fee and Kenny encourages interested vendors to contact him at 228-860-6203.
Fresh honey and homemade jams and jellies at the Farmers Market. Photo by Cassandra Favre
Shoppers peruse homegrown flowers and trees. Photo by Cassandra Favre