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 at the Covington Trailhead and Saturdays from 8am to 12pm on the lawn of the Covington Police Department.
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.
Also in Covington is a small market just outside of downtown at the junction of Hwy 190 and Hwy 21: the Claiborne Place Makers Market, held Sundays 10am to 2pm, offers fresh produce, prepared foods, local honey, breads, clothing, incense, jewelry, toys and more.
A few miles away, in Old Mandeville, the Mandeville Trailhead Community Market is 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.
Also on Saturday mornings, just steps away at 725 Lafitte St., is the indoor/outdoor Lafitte Street Market, offering prepared foods, seasonal produce, eggs, local honey, tamales, sausages, baked goods, organic beverages and coffee drinks, handmade arts and crafts items, clothing and accessories, soaps and body care items, CBD products and more.
Over in Slidell, Camellia City Market sets up on Saturday mornings in Olde Towne's Griffith Park at 333 Erlanger (by Slidell Auditorium parking lot), spreading the love with local produce, prepared foods, seasonal citrus, baked goods, dog treats, Hawaiian jerky, Rebel Roastery coffee, arts and crafts, fresh cut flowers and more. 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. Add live music while you're shopping and taking in all the delicious aromas, and it's a feast for the senses.
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.
Farmers and growers in Folsom have their own weekly market, too: The Paddock Farmers Market at the Giddy Up Folsom, held Thursdays from 2pm to 6 pm. Bring a lawn chair, because the market features live music starting at 3pm. Some 20 vendors rotate weekly, offering a wide variety of foods, body care items and fine art. Do a little shopping, then grab a bite, a coffee or sweet treat inside the Giddy Up's café. Adjacent to The Paddock is Far Horizons Art Gallery, featuring local artists' works, and when in season, Bee Sweet snowball stand.
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.