Starting this Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon, local farmers, gardeners and producers from across the Bootheel area will join together at the Sikeston Depot to offer their products to local consumers.
From lettuce to tomatoes to honey, the farmer's market will offer a wide array of items this summer.
"I have been selling items from my garden at the market for the past seven or eight years," said Carolyn Scott, who has been the unofficial organizer of the market for the past few years. "I sell everything from tomatoes, okra, squash, whatever is in season. What is sold at the market is very seasonal."
But Schott said for her and most of the sellers, it is not just the potential for extra income that brings them back to the market each year. Schott said she does it more for the enjoyment than the income.
"I don't make a lot of money, but I do meet a lot of great people and that is why I keep coming back," said Schott.
The Depot does not charge a fee for the farmer's to set up shop. The only cost to a potential seller is the necessary merchant's license, which is available at the Sikeston City Hall for the price of $2 a day or $25 a year. As the local farmers begin to harvest their crops, Schott hopes to get more dealers at the farmer's market.
Herman Morris owns a farm 14 miles from Sikeston and has sold his produce at the market for four years now. Although he may not sell anything this Saturday since his crops are not yet ready, he said that by the next week he will begin selling his crops as they come in, ranging from sweet corn to decorative gourds.
The Depot and the merchants in the downtown area are very responsive to the farmer's market. They hope the market will bring more traffic into the downtown area.
"We are trying to make the farmer's market a staple for the entire downtown area, not just the Depot," said Mike Marsh, temporary curator of the Sikeston Depot. "The Depot just happens to be providing the location."
The market coincides with the regular business hours of the Depot and the downtown businesses, most of which open at 10 a.m. on Saturdays. Marsh said he hopes to see more visitors and local people stopping by the Depot and other downtown shops after visiting the farmer's market to enjoying the full experience of historical downtown Sikeston.
If the weather is extremely hot, the farmer's market will be moved across the street from the Depot to the shade of Legion Park.