Meridian Star

April 11, 2013

Season’s first Earth’s Bounty a big success

Special to The Star
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     A record number of vendors participated in Earth's Bounty Saturday, as the annual farmers market opened its second season at Singing Brakeman Park in downtown Meridian.

    Customers filled sacks with fresh produce and products, vendors reported outstanding sales, and strawberries ruled, event organizers stated in a press release.

    Vendors tempted customers with fresh produce and products like hydroponic tomatoes and lettuce; fresh strawberries; shrubs and flowers; cakes and pies; jams and jellies; fresh honey; organic candles and soaps and much more.

    In celebration of the abundance of strawberries in April, Earth’s Bounty organizers hosted a Strawberry Pie-Eating Contest. Downing his pies in record time, the winner was Russell Keene. Second-place finisher was Embra Hicks. Both received trophies, complimentary meals at downtown restaurants and other prizes.

    Meridian Main Street and the Greater Meridian Health Clinic, the festival’s presenting sponsor, added new features this year, including a Friends of Earth’s Bounty program and Earth’s Bounty T-shirts.

    For a $25 support payment, Friends of Earth’s Bounty receive an official Earth’s Bounty tote bag, automatic registration for each month’s grand prize drawing, discounts on Earth’s Bounty T-shirts, and an official membership card, according to the press release.

    T-shirts are also available for sale to the general public, but only Friends of Earth’s Bounty get the shirts at a discounted price.

    The Earth’s Bounty staff also selected a vendor to be awarded Best Booth of the Month honors. That went to The Potting Shed booth, developed by Annette Baldwin. Second place went to Local Flavor with Leigh, and third place honors were garnered by Mathis Produce. The Best Booth winner each month gets a free booth space for an additional month.

    Entertainers Al Brown and Tony Pasco kept customers humming and tapping their toes while they browsed among the booths. Children enjoyed whimsical balloon shapes created by Balloon Man; a jumpy tent; a bungee jump and visits with Tiny, Main Street’s Belgian mare mascot.

    The Earth’s Bounty festival, which opens each month’s Meridian Area Farmers Market, continues on the first Saturdays of May through October, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. The market itself, which features fresh produce, is open six days a week from 7 a.m. to noon Monday through Saturday during the growing season.

    For more information, go to www.meridianmainstreet.org or call Meridian Main Street at 601-693-7480.