By JANE COLLINS
For Starkville Daily News
Frankie Williamson of Maben won $30 in the drawing at the Maben Farmers’ Market August 12. He had made purchases from the Noxapater Catering and Cake Decorating lady, Leola Mason, and also from a new vendor, Kerry Williams’ Salsa. Frankie had three chances to win from the $15 plus that he spent while there. Had he been present at the time of the drawing, 9:30 a.m., he would have taken home $50.00, but he said he had to get back to his work on a truck, and that’s where he was when we called his cell phone to tell him that he had won the drawing. In fact, he was under a truck working when he got the news and hopped in his vehicle and returned to the market to have his picture taken with the check. He says that he is very happy that Maben has started this Farmers’ Market on Fridays from 7 - 10 a.m. He has a small truck garden himself and plans to make it even larger so he can participate in the market as a vendor next year. The Maben Farmers’ Market welcomes new vendors every week and encourages local farmers to participate in the future.Leola Mason has been coming to the market every week since we began. She brings beautiful cakes (red velvet, caramel, and fresh apple), delicious pies (sweet potato, coconut, chocolate and caramel cream) and fried pies (apple and peach). This week she brought a huge cheese ball that folks at the bank or other businesses in town enjoy at break time with crackers, but this week she sold out at the market. Mrs. Mason began coming to Maben about five years ago when she was asked by a local citizen, Nellie Blade, to be a vendor at our annual festival, Maben Day in the Park. She developed a clientele and has been coming every other week on Friday since then. When the Farmers’ Market began, she was one of the first vendors to sign up.
Rosanne and Greg Thinnes operate Gregory Farms near Eupora. They have discovered the Maben market and have come with their 50¢-a-pound tomatoes for several weeks now. Friday there was the threat of rain in the area and so they arrived expecting to be rained out, but the market was in full swing and they quickly set up their spot to sell out of the back of their truck under the trees. Greg says that the biggest crop they grow is three varieties of blackberries, but by the time our market got under way on July 1, the blackberries were just about played out and the tomatoes were coming on. The couple sincerely wants to give back to the communities near their home and price their tomatoes reasonably because they have such a large crop. The tomatoes are in several stages of ripeness from green to just right for a tomato sandwich. They plan to be back at the market every week until the tomatoes run out.