TUPELO • These trying to fill their pantries with native produce and do-it-yourself items will discover a bounty of choices this weekend with the return of the Tupelo Farmers’ Depot.
The Tupelo Farmers’ Depot will open for the season this Saturday in downtown Tupelo at 6 a.m. Early choices from farmers will embody strawberries, English peas, new potatoes, cabbage, lettuces, spring onions and carrots. Distributors can even have baked items, canned items and recent flowers on the market.
The market will stay open till midday, or till distributors promote out of products and name it a day.
This market returns to its typical opening date after a late begin final yr as a result of pandemic. When it did open, the market was restricted to 50% capability. Prospects, distributors, workers and volunteers have been additionally required to put on masks always.
This season, with the pandemic seemingly in its waning days, the rules have been loosened.
“Final yr, we did not open after we usually do due to COVID,” mentioned Craig Helmuth, program supervisor for the Downtown Tupelo Primary Road Affiliation and assistant supervisor for the market. “Once we lastly obtained steerage from the Division of Agriculture, we put these guidelines in place.”
This yr, the market’s organizers are asking, however not requiring, buyers to put on masks and apply social distancing.
The market, situated on South Spring Road close to the railroad tracks, can be open on Saturdays at 6 a.m. all through the season.
In typical years, the depot is open three days per week — Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday — till October. For now, organizers will open the market’s doorways simply as soon as per week … a minimum of till the top of the month.
“If I get down right here and distributors say they need to be open Tuesdays afternoons, we’ll try this,” Helmuth mentioned. “In any other case, the Tuesday market will not begin till June 1.”
Twenty-six stalls can be found on the farmers’ market, though Helmuth mentioned he’ll most likely have 30 distributors.
“Some do not come till later within the season,” he mentioned. “Some we put within the middle of the market. Some will solely have watermelons for 3 weeks or corn, and so they’ll simply pull up a trailer or a truck load.”
The market actually begins hopping in mid-June, when tomatoes begin to are available in. That is additionally when peas, squash, corn, inexperienced beans and okra can be plentiful.
“We’ll plan some actions this yr,” Helmuth mentioned. “We hope to have some cooking demos, stay music and kids’s actions. We’re additionally sort of excited as a result of we obtained a grant by Blue Cross & Blue Defend Wholesome Mississippi to buy tables for the market that can be to be used by distributors.”
Gary Haynes, an everyday vendor on the market, does not want tables for his wares. Haynes has constructed his personal wood tiered stand to showcase his recent flower preparations.
“I will be right here Saturday with snapdragons, larkspur, roses, digitalis and some peonies in preparations,” Haynes mentioned. “I am going to even have some annual vegetation – marigolds and basil – and bedding vegetation like tomatoes, lettuces, cucumbers and squash for individuals who need these.”