Tag Archives: Crescent City Farmers Market

New Orleans Community

Eat Local, Eat Fresh: New Orleans’ Farmers Markets

creole tomatoes at the farmers market

Tasty Creole Tomatoes

Sustainability has become a hot topic in the current age of conservation and self-sufficient living. For residents of New Orleans, this is no exception, and locals and visitors alike can easily enjoy the scrumptious, fresh delights like local produce, seafood, dairy, farm-raised meat, fresh baked goods, and cut flowers via local farmers markets regularly held around the city.

If you’d like to sample some fresh local produce on your next visit to New Orleans, there are a number of farmers markets to choose from and several different locations. Every day at the edge of the French Quarter on Decatur St, the French Market is an expansive marketplace covering several blocks with tents and tables of goods from 10am till 6pm. The market is filled to the brim with food and merchandise vendors of all stripes, including many local farmers, bakers, fishermen and the like.

Crescent City Farmers Market hosts markets at three different locations three days of the week, so there’s a chance you’ll be able to see at least one of them on your next visit. The Thursday Market is held Thursday afternoon in Mid-City at Orleans Ave and Bayou St. John, which makes for a beautiful location and a lovely breeze while you browse. On Saturday mornings, the market is held downtown at Magazine St and Girod St, which is also a nice contrasting background to walk through, with fresh produce and other goods peddled against the backdrop of the city’s downtown and Warehouse District areas.

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New Orleans Community

Mr. Okra……Fruits and Vegetables!

Everyone’s New Year’s resolution these days seems to include eating better. In New Orleans, the home of fried food and starchy red beans and rice, oil and flour-thickened roux for gumbo, etc. etc., that may seem to be an impossible dream. But think about all the fruit and vegetable vendors in town, and it may not seem so far-fetched.  After all, we have one of the last remaining singing mobile fruit and vegetable vendors in the country, Mr. Okra.  Mr. Okra is famous these days for his newly painted truck, but his musical announcements for his wares dates back to the 19th century in New Orleans.  If you’ve never heard this “I’ve got eatin’ pears, I’ve got apples,” sung in a strange rhythmic cadence, you’re in for a surprise.  Sung in different ways to differentiate themselves from each other, street food songs have been a presence n New Orleans for many years.  A recording made by music historians, The Classic Sounds of New Orleans, on the Smithsonian Folkways label, features Dora Bliggen, another old-time fruit vendor who could have had another career as a jazz singer. Now, there’s just Mr. Okra who cries his wares, using a speaker and Autotune to surreal (and startling) effect, but there are still folks in New Orleans set up all over town in different locations selling fresh vegetables or fruit from their trucks.  Some of it is local produce in season-strawberries from Ponchatoula, or oranges from Plaquemines Parish, or greens from St. Bernard Parish truck farmers.  Wherever you drive in town, you may see one of these trucks.

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