There’s more than prepared foods, of course, at the Covington Farmers Market. Real farmers truck their produce in for the twice-weekly markets in historic downtown Covington--Wednesdays from 10am to 2pm and Saturdays 8am to 12 Noon. 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 Trailhead Community Market is also abuzz on Saturday mornings, showcasing area arts and crafts, handmade soaps and cute birdhouses, and featuring local singer-songwriters on the pavilion stage. But farmers and a number of good cooks offer fresh produce, eggs and herbs and prepared foodstuffs, too, like pepper jelly, beef jerky, boudin and fresh-roasted coffee. Across the street at the same time is the indoor-outdoor Lafitte Street Station Market & Venue, also held on Thursday evenings from 4pm to 8pm, making it the only night market in St. Tammany. All products are hand-crafted, fresh grown and offered for sale in a neighborhood setting. Follow your nose to an array of breads baked from scratch, and be sure to pick up some local honey and syrups to drizzle on top. Doubling as a performance space, several market days feature live music, 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.
The Abita Springs Art & Farmers Market tempts on Sundays from 12 noon to 4pm. Located adjacent to the Tammany Trace at the Abita trailhead, the market offers shoppers all kinds of locally-sourced goods, including pastured poultry, wild-caught seafood, honey, prepared foods, fresh produce and baked goods, as well as plants, personal care products and works by artisans and crafters. Enjoy live music from the Trailhead Museum stage. You can also shop Abita's virtual farmers market with their free mobile app, for iOS and Android devices. See what local farmers and vendors are bringing to market and order & pay in advance.
Quaint, quiet Folsom also has a market, setting up every second and fourth Saturday with its Folsom Village Market.
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.