Ridgeland’s farmers’ market slated to end in December extended because of successBy NIKKI ROWELL,
The city of Ridgeland’s weekly farmers’ market, True Local Market, has been extended into the new year.
True Local Market began in October and was expected to run through the end of December 2018. However, due to the success of the market, it will continue.
Local farmers, artists and crafters gather each Saturday and Sunday to display their wares for purchase.
The market is held from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 to 6 p.m. on Sundays each weekend.
The farmers’ market was originally held on the First United Methodist Church lawn on Jackson Street in Ridgeland.
However, in December Northpark Mall began hosting the market on the upper level center court to allow sellers and customers alike a break from the winter weather.
In addition to locally-grown produce, the market will feature goods such as hand-poured candles, handmade jewelry, baked goods, teas and coffee.
Mayor Gene McGee said it is his hope that the market will feature almost entirely locally grown or handmade items.
“Whether it’s vegetables, candles, pottery, hummus, all of those kinds of things,” McGee said. “We want it to be local. There’s been a very positive response to it.”
McGee, along with director Gabe Porter, has pulled together a committee to meet and plan for the future of the farmer’s market to ensure its longevity.
Committee members include a representative each from Keep Ridgeland Beautiful, the Ridgeland Tourism Commission and the Community Awareness Committee, in addition to two aldermen and some Ridgeland residents.
“We have wanted to have a farmers’ market for some time, but we need to make sure it’s done right,” McGee said. “This committee will meet with Gabe to determine what the needs are to make it sustainable so that they can really grow it.
“From everything I’m hearing from talking to people who have participated in the local markets, they are all really pleased with what’s going on here,” McGee added.
McGee said Porter is grateful to Northpark Mall for the opportunity to have the market there, which he said has been a great partnership.
“He wants to move (the market) over to Renaissance on occasion,” McGee said. “And we want to have it on Jackson Street as well. That fits right in with what we’re trying to do there to have a local street with local businesses.”
This will give them the opportunity to make it into something special, according to McGee.
“It’s really been a great partnership between the market and Northpark Mall,” McGee said. “They were going to end it at the end of December, but they were having such success with it, they decided to keep going.”
The farmers’ market also allows the city to promote healthy options.
“I really would love to promote healthy habits,” McGee said. “My goal is to try to promote a healthy Ridgeland. I’m going to continue with our committee to promote this.”
True Local Market posts updates for weather and booth features on their Facebook page. Visit the page for more information or questions.