South Memphis Farmers Market is back for its 12th season.
The farmers market, owned and operated by The Works Inc., is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Thursday. The seasonal market, located at 1400 Mississippi Blvd. in South Memphis, serves the community from June through September.
The Works — a nonprofit community development corporation — first opened South Memphis Farmers Market in 2010 to fulfill a pillar of its South Memphis Revitalization Action Plan, which emphasizes healthy living by improving access to healthy foods in the community.
“It’s important that we revitalize the community with nutrition,” said Karen Bernard, food programs coordinator of The Works.
South Memphis Farmers Market was the first step of The Works’ South Memphis revitalization plan. In creating the program, community members identified poor access to fresh foods as a major pain point, so the organization prioritized this issue.
Debra Lockard has continued her family’s legacy as a Certified Naturally Grown farmer. Lockard has sold at the farmers market for six years. She calls the South Memphis Farmers Market her favorite. At her stall you can find zucchini, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, greens, corn, onions and shallots: items her family has grown for generations.
For Lockard, educating community members about planting their own produce is an important step to becoming environmentally and financially sustainable.
She told her horticultural students at her urban farm in Raleigh, “’How can this help you with your educational path? Your financial path? If you grow your own food, then you’re saving money, not going to the grocery store.’”
Although the farmers market is seasonal, The Grocer, The Works’ permanent fixture at the same location, offers produce and groceries year-round.
The Grocer also offers food and personal health education resources to community members. Live demonstrations of cooking healthy recipes in The Grocer’s kitchen will return in the fall.
The Southgate Kroger closure in 2018 was harmful to residents in South Memphis, Bernard said, which is why the farmers market’s presence is a welcomed necessity for the community.
Everyone is eligible for a loyalty card, in which for every $100 spent patrons receive $10 off their next purchase, and a reloadable Fre$h Savings Card.
Devin Marzette, manager of The Grocer, believes health and wellness are crucial for the people of South Memphis.
“It’s a part of your body. You need your spirit. You need your mind intact, and you need your body.”
South Memphis Farmers Market accepts cash, card and EBT/SNAP benefits as forms of payment.