Crescent City Farmer’s Market

My first stop was at the Farmer’s Market in New Orleans. Having lived in New Orleans for 19 years, I have grown close to many of the farmers at the market held three blocks away from my house every Tuesday morning. The farmers were incredibly helpful and more than willing to help me with my project! I spoke to a dairy farmer who had worked in his three-generation-family business his whole life, and when I asked him whether we should be eating locally he replied “People should know where there food is coming from. Today, the way that they do things with the bst, the hormones, it can’t be good for you. Buying from someone like us, just a local farmer, what you see on our tables is what we do. We make produce our milk, we grass feed our cows. Not because the government tells us to, but because it’s the right way to do it”. Not surprisingly, I consistently found the farmers adamant that more individuals should be visiting the Farmer’s Market for local and fresh food. I heard many stories of how farming is a difficult and tedious job, especially when many tend to leave the occupation to work for the power plants that came to the city. Every one that I spoke to was enthusiastic about their profession and was disappointed that so many farmers had moved on to other lines of work. One vegetable farmer commented, “That’s why in our area we hardly have any farmer’s left. In the river parish area, St. Johns, St. Charles, St. James Parish there is so much industry that the youngers fellows go there. In the last 50 years they have gotten slowly away from farming to go work for the plants. And I know both ends of it, I worked for the plants too and it’s much easier, you get all kinds of benefits you get vacation, hospitalizations whereas farming you are on your own. You have to be willing to work seven days a week”. Overall, it was a wonderful morning. One of the individuals that I interviewed even convinced me to try steamed kale, despite its daunting foot-long leaves. My next stop is interviewing Dickie Brennan, owner of three wonderful restaurants in New Orleans. As I move between individuals and hear such fascinating stories, I’m beginning to see just how many angles my project can take on.

Comments

  1. I have just recently been going to farmers markets, but mostly because I think it is fun. Do you yourself buy mainly local produce for yourself? And has this project changed your lifestyle when it comes to grocery shopping?

  2. Hi, thank you for your comment! I apologize for not responding sooner, I was unaware how I could check for comments. I am thrilled to hear that you have been going to and enjoying your farmer’s market. Part of my reasoning for going to William and Mary was the impressive Farmer’s Market on campus- I encourage you to check it out if you haven’t already.

    I wish I could tell you that I mainly buy local produce, but it’s incredibly difficult in many parts of the country. Earlier in the summer when I was still in California I was fortunate enough to have access to fresh local produce every day but since moving around country after that, I have had to adjust to the availability of the produce around me. I do love buying the fruits and vegetables that are in season and local, since they always seem to taste a bit richer. Even if I’m not at a farmer’s market, however, I always try to stay on the outsides of grocery stores (just like countries-the coast is always better!). I also like to go grocery shopping every day if I have the luxury to do so, or at least a few times a week. Every aspect of my research, whether it be books or people that I have met, have greatly impacted my eating habits. In fact, I just recently posted an account of how a book, Wheat Belly, made me afraid of pasta for a while! This project has allowed me to develop a greater appreciate for cheese, olive oil, meat, fruit and coffee. Now that I have traveled and tasted some of the best this country has to offer it is difficult to eat anything that isn’t bursting with flavor! That said, I know I have been spoiled this summer with the abundance of farmer’s markets, and I hope I can keep it up while I’m at school. I hope this answered some of your questions, but of course if you have any specific questions please do not hesitate to ask!