Walnut Hill couple reopens closed down produce stand

Published 12:31 pm Wednesday, October 24, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Opening a produce stand has been a dream of Walnut Hill resident Mervin Gibson and his wife Marsha. On Tuesday morning their dreams came true.
The Gibsons opened Walnut Hill Produce yesterday and are excited about the venture.
"This is something I've always wanted to do," Mervin Gibson said. "I enjoy growing a lot of my own stuff during the seasons. I sold at the Farmers Market in Atmore. We had the opportunity to buy this place after (Hurricane) Ivan and we've sold some stuff here, but not like we've got it now. We had turnip greens, sweet potatoes, peas and okra, but we have decided to go big with it."
Gibson said a lot of the time when he could not sell his produce at the Atmore Farmers Market, he would go to the location of his new produce stand and sell.
Walnut Hill Produce is family run by Mervin and Marsha Gibson and son Jeremy.
The facility was formerly owned by Grace Hollis and her husband, the late E.L. Hollis. The Hollis' opened the Walnut Hill Curb Market in the 1960s and Grace Hollis is still alive at 102 years old to see the tradition of the produce stand carried out with the Gibsons.
At the Walnut Hill Produce facility, the Gibsons sell many items including, apples, bananas, pineapples, tomatoes, grapes, celery, peanuts, boiled peanuts, kiwi, potatoes, various greens and much more. Also, Mervin Gibson said in the spring they will have even more items that are home-grown, including watermelons, peppers and onions.
"We like to grow things ourselves," he said. "In the springtime we've got a list of stuff we grow. When I can't grow it, I'll go to Mobile, Montgomery, Birmingham or buy it from local places."
Prices at Walnut Hill Produce are comparable to area grocery stores, Gibson said.
"We've got competitive prices with some of the local grocery stores," he said.
Marsha Gibson said she and her husband waited until Fall to open the produce stand due to the weather.
"We decided to wait and open in the fall when the cool weather started, not in the summer with the heat," she said.
"The produce stays fresher when you have open air on it," Mervin Gibson said.
Walnut Hill Produce is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and is located at 7280 Hwy. 97 in Walnut Hill, Fla. They accept debit and credit cards.
For more information, call 327-4477.

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