Caroline King’s Heirloom Farms (895 Allen Town Rd, Haughton, 318-949-9592) opened in 2013, but King’s interest in growing began much earlier. As a 14-year-old growing up in Harrisburg, PA, she worked alongside local Amish farmers. In her hometown, even the grocery store’s cold cuts and block cheese were locally produced. There’s a great story about the origins of her farm, written by King herself, in the July 2019 issue of Lola Magazine.
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In Northwest Louisiana, there are lots of small-scale growers coaxing beautiful produce from a few acres of good soil. Where things get interesting to me – and why I believe anyone who loves eating local should visit Heirloom Farms – is with King’s passion for heirloom fruits and vegetables.
King’s roadside produce stand doesn’t just carry one kind of tomatoes, for example. They’ve got big, beautiful beefsteak tomatoes, but they’ve also got cherry tomatoes and a variety of tomato called Brad’s Atomic Grape Tomato, which I’d never seen before. As it turns out, everything that King grows is organic and grown from heirloom seeds provided by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. What are heirlooms?
“‘Heirloom’ just means that this is a seed that’s been around for a long time,” King told me. “But what people don’t understand is that every one of these heirloom varieties was created by someone, every one has a story. We grow them because if it weren’t for us, and other farms like ours, these varieties would die out – they’d disappear.”
King’s stand is easy to find – just a 3-5 minute drive from Interstate 20. Her stand is open 10 a.m. until noon on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and by appointment. Currently, she’s preparing for fall and winter gardens, so customers can expect her to have seasonal, organic, heirloom produce year-round. To find out what’s currently available for purchase, customers can check the Facebook page or call 318-949-9592. In addition to meeting new retail customers, King would also like to establish relationships with local chefs and restaurants.
Interested in local food? Download or view the fourth edition of Eat Here: A Food Lover’s Guide to Shreveport-Bossier.
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