Farmer's Market hoping for permanent home

By Bobby Allen  email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Some of the fresh vegetables at the Farmer's Market in Gulfport were picked just yesterday (Thursday).

The Smith family has been setting up shop at the Gulfport farmers market for 30 years now. Mary Smith says the moving around they have had to do this year is frustrating.

"Customers come down here, that go to the city council meeting and say they want to be moved over there. We don't want to be moved over there," Smith said.

Over there is Westside park. City spokesman Ryan LaFontaine says the Westside move is just a rumor.

"As far as I know, there has been no discussion to move them to Westside," LaFontaine said.

The market has been uprooted several times this year in Jones Park.

"In the past two months, we have moved three times here. It is like they don't want the farmers here," Alabama farmer Howard Stallworth said.

The city, however, says these moves are necessary.

"We are in the early stages of reinitializing Jones Park," LaFontaine said. "So, you know, with all the activity, construction wise, going on at the park, we felt it was important to move them for their safety and the safety of the customers."

LaFontaine say more moves may be necessary during construction, but the farmers should be somewhere in Jones Park.

"It would be nice if we had a home, a steady, stable home," Stallworth said.

The Jones Park master plan does include a spot for the Farmers Market. The Gulfport Farmer's Market is open on Tuesday and Friday in Jones Park near the intersection of Highway 90 and 25th Avenue (Highway 49).

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.