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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) Starkville reopened their local farmers market on Saturday for the summer season.Community markets have been a growing trend nation wide and Mississippi has been no exception.

Within the last decade, the number of local farmers markets has more than doubled nationwide. Consumers have begun to reject the processed foods that fill the shelves of large grocery store chains and demand fresher, home grown products. Starkville has been participating in the local food movement for the last four years. Jennifer Prather, Starkville Market Manager, said the entire economy has been effected.

“Starkville in particular is really into local shopping, local eating, and that’s a trend that we’re seeing across the state and across the nation. And it’s a trend that’s not going away any time soon.”

Farmers markets not only improve local commerce but help consumers become more educated on the product they’re buying. Shoppers no long are blinding buying foods that have traveled thousands of miles. Instead, vendors are able to establish relationships with their customers and educate them on the nature of their products.

“Many people are just enjoying being able to talk to the farmers and the providors of the food or product. So they’re building relationships and building that sense of trust,” said vendor Lindsay West.

Carli Hankey and her mother have been attending the Columbus Farmer’s Market for 6 years.

“They know us and we recognize them and know some people like certain items. We’ll know them as that item.”

Since Columbus reorganized their market in 2007, large crowds have been consistently attending. Both the Columbus and Starkville Farmer Market’s include weekly activities like cooking demonstrations and gardening tutorials.Local Farmer Markets have provided venues for small producers to sustain their business and residents to gather for a great time. The Starkville Farmers Market will be open Saturday mornings from 7:30 to 10:30 until August.

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