There’s more than prepared foods, of course, at the Covington Farmers Market. Real farmers (like the Bardwells, pictured above) truck their produce in for the Wednesday and Saturday morning market in historic downtown Covington, and chefs and food fans show up to score the freshest local fruits and vegetables. There are beautiful, plump blueberries and blackberries, grown just up the road. Sweet satsumas, heirloom tomatoes and regional favorite Creoles, too, vie for attention depending on the season. Regulars greet the bread lady and farmer Nick. They sample salsa and cookies, sip fresh-brewed coffee or herbal tea. Sunlight filters through the trees and, usually, live musicians playing in the small gazebo provide a soundtrack to the scene.
The Covington market isn’t the only one on the Northshore. A few miles away, in Mandeville, the Mandeville Community Market is also abuzz on Saturday mornings. It showcases area arts and crafts, handmade soaps and cute birdhouses. But farmers and a number of good cooks offer fresh produce and prepared foodstuffs, too.
Over in Slidell, Camellia City Market sets up on Saturday mornings in Olde Towne spreading the love with local produce, arts and crafts, prepared foods and live music. Pretty little eggplants and yellow squash have that just-picked sheen; bundles of turnip, collard and mustard greens have crisp leaves and smell of the earth. (Shoppers here have the added bonus of access to the 1808 Marketplace, a multi-gallery space for art and fine crafts.)
The Abita Springs Farmers Market tempts on Sundays. Located adjacent to the Tammany Trace at the Abita trailhead, the market offers shoppers local honey, prepared foods, fresh produce and baked goods, live music and more.
The Folsom Village Market sets up every second and fourth Saturday, mixing the farmers market with a community yard sale on fifth Saturdays.
The air is festive at all the markets. And why not? Celebrating great food and nature’s bounty is a way of celebrating life and Louisiana culture, too.