PARAGOULD, Ark. (KAIT) - Last year’s Paragould Farmer’s Market was canceled due to the pandemic but this year, they’re already planning on the market being open – safely, of course.
The 2021 Farmer’s Market will be on W. Emerson Street, near the downtown area. All state safety guidelines will be met.
“Be patient with us. We might have a new set of guidelines every Saturday as these things change,” Paragould Farmer’s Market task force member Allison Hestand said.
The market will not open until late spring, but the task force wants to prepare well ahead of time.
Scatter Creek Berries and Produce attends the Paragould Farmer’s Market. Last year’s cancellation did not affect them very much. They sold their garden items at their facilities.
“We were overwhelmed. We were selling out by noon almost every time we opened,” Co-Owner Frank Williams said.
When he heard Paragould planned to open this year, he was happy.
“It’s encouraging,” he said. “We need a farmer’s market in Paragould. We’ve encouraged several other individuals to start growing or come to Paragould’s Farmer’s Market. We’d like to see it grow.”
Williams said they plan to even bring their own safety guidelines to market by adding a table upfront.
With all the talk about COVID-19 safety guidelines, what about food safety?
“From water testing what we irrigate, and all of our crops never get overhead watering except nature. All of ours is drip irrigation so there are factors involved that keep the product very safe,” he said. “Here, it’s coming from your farmer to you, so I think there’s a safety there.”
Scatter Creek Berries and Produce grows several items including strawberries, green beans, and even cucumbers.
Hestand said even for hobby farmers, your market items are welcome.
“There’s kind of an opinion that you have to be this big, grand farmer to sell at a farmer’s market, and you don’t,” she said.
On Feb. 9 at 8:30 a.m. at the Paragould Chamber of Commerce, any farmers or vendors interested in the farmer’s market are invited to attend a meeting.
Hestand reminds potential vendors that you do not have to sell items every Saturday, just when you have goods available.
The 2021 Farmer’s Market is projected to begin in late April or in May.