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    USDA: Farmers market growth largest in Tennessee


    Rhonda Jones-Rucker, market manager with the South Memphis Farmers Market

     
     
    Tennessee is the hottest state in the country for farmers markets. Twenty farmers markets opened in Tennessee last year, the Times Free Press reports, boosting the state total to 119.
     
    No other state saw bigger growth, according to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report.
     
    In this week's edition of the Memphis Business Journal, Rhonda Jones-Rucker, market manager with the South Memphis Farmers Market, answered a few questions about Memphis' farmers markets.
     
     
    Memphis farmers markets have local flavor
    by: Jason Bolton
     
    Rhonda Jones-Rucker, market manager with the South Memphis Farmers Market, answered a few questions about Memphis' farmers markets.
     
    What is the role of your farmers market in your community?
     
    The role of the South Memphis Farmers Market is to provide access to healthy and affordable fruits and vegetables to the South Memphis community, a community that is considered to be a food desert. We also strive to create an atmosphere that contributes to the success of local farmers.
     
    What type of farms supply your market and how far away does the produce come?
     
    We have local farmers supply fresh produce to our market, and they come from the Memphis, Millington, Dyersburg and Ripley, Tenn. areas, as well as, Senatobia, Miss.
     
    Do you have any fruits or vegetables that you always try to stock due to demand from your community?
     
    Fruits and vegetables are stocked based on their seasonal growth at our outdoor market. Some of our farmers’ most popular products include tomatoes, greens, squash, melons, and purple-hulled peas.
     
    When and what time of year is your farmers market open?
     
    The outdoor market at South Memphis Farmers Market is open Thursdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., from May to October; we also host an annual Thanksgiving market in November, on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Additionally, The Grocer at South Memphis Farmers Market, a greengrocer that grew out of the outdoor market is open year round, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays.