The Biloxi Farmers Market is open year round, but in the beginning of April, the city holds an official grand opening to kick off the market season. A train whistle is about the only disturbance to an otherwise peaceful scene at Tuesday's Biloxi Farmers Market. About 600 people came out to shop for locally grown produce and baked goods. Bonny Pesch, a baked goods vendor, says, “Today was beautiful weather, so things were good for us.” Prices on produce rose this year because of an unusually icy winter that destroyed many crops. For some items, the farmers’ cost doubled.
Marshall Parker, a farmer, says, “Things like bell peppers, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes too, are foods that can’t stand a lot of cold, you know.” Despite some increased prices, the Farmers Market has a strong following and history that dates back 40 years. Customers tell News 25 that they come to the market for the freshness of the produce and the low prices. Myron Hairston, a customer, says, “I'm diabetic, and it’s imperative that I eat fresh vegetables and not the stale ones, not the ones that have been sitting on the shelf for too long. I don't think they are as good and nutritious.”
Many local restaurants came to the market to buy fresh ingredients as well. Parker also says, “A lot come for eggplants. We just had one who makes Eggplant Josephine. He said they're cheaper than he can buy in the store.” If the weather at the next Farmers Market is anything like Tuesday’s, then the farmers can expect to reap the benefits of their labor. The Farmers Market meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 a.m. until 4 p.m. It is located under the I-110 overpass next to Howard Avenue.