Market Focus: New generation continues family farming tradition
Every month we spotlight one of the vendors you can find at Cooper-Young farmers markets. This month we meet Debra Lockard of Lockard’s Produce.
Lockard’s Produce is a Certified Naturally Grown farm in Ripley, Tennessee. Their mission and vision is to re-establish their family’s legacy of naturally grown, fresh, and healthy produce. Debra’s parents and grandparents were farmers during the depression era in Ripley, and they stressed the importance of growing crops so that their families could have food to eat in that time of scarcity.
The 21st century generation of the family is keeping up the tradition started by their forefathers. They are growing healthy produce, which will contribute to a healthy lifestyle for future generations.
Where are you from?: I am from Memphis, TN. My parents and grandparents grew up farming in Glimp, TN and in Ripley, TN.
How did you begin farming?: At age 5, it was my dream to become a farmer. I vividly remember how I enjoyed picking greens, pears, tomatoes, okra, feeding the chickens, shelling peas, and rounding up the cows. When traveling back home, I recall looking up to the sky, saying “God, I want to be a farmer.”
What is you favorite crop to grow?: Squash is my favorite crop to grow. The blooms and plant parts grow so beautifully, picture perfect in the rows
What is your favorite crop to eat/cook?: Purple Hull Peas are my favorite.
How do you relax?: I like to take weekend vacations just to relax to drink coffee.
What is your favorite part of the Cooper Young Community Farmers Market?: I love seeing the variety of products available purchase. It is definitely a market focused on healthy eating, which support our mission- to provide quality produce.