Southern Miss Farmers’ Market aims to sprout new on-campus tradition
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2012 00:09
A new tradition has sprung at the University of Southern Mississippi: the Farmers’ Market. Every Monday afternoon through October, a colorful array of vendors set up shops on campus to sell their produce and wares.
Many of the vendors also take part in the Downtown Hattiesburg Farmers’ Market and wanted to expand to better serve students. The market began in May and had a successful summer season.
Susan Bone, assistant director of fitness and wellness at USM, worked to get the market on campus.
“We wanted to bring programming outside of the Payne Center and incorporate the community,” Bone said.
The market offers a wide variety of products. Produce such as fruits, vegetables, honey, herbs and other plants are sold, as well as homemade jams and blueberry lemonade. Local artisans sell paintings, apparel, handcrafted jewelry, wood products and soaps. Vendors often trade items with one another after the market closes.
“It is a wonderful representation of a sense of giving,” Bone said.
Vendor and USM alumnus Craig Clark of Honeybloom Honey described the market as “a core of vendors that are dedicated and reliable.” He expressed a loyalty to the market that many vendors shared.
“As long as I can come here, I will,” Clark said.
Bone said the best thing about the market is watching vendors interact with the campus community and students.
“It really gives the vendors and the Southern Miss community a chance to thrive,” said co-organizer of the market, Haley McMinn.
“Our vision is that this will grow,” Bone said. “Student artists can become vendors and put their product out there and have a reaction to it. Student musicians can come and perform.”
The market will be held on the Baptist Student Union lawn from 3-6 p.m. every Monday through Oct. 29. The market accepts cash only. There are plans to start the market again in the spring.
There is no fee to be a vendor, and anyone can apply. General information can be found at www.usm.edu/market and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SouthernMissFarmersMarket.