It’s National Farmers Market Week (NFMW), August 2-8, and it’s an annual reminder of the value of local farmers and fresh produce, as well as hand-made crafts, custom services, homemade dishes and more. Shreveport-Bossier’s markets offer everything from local meats and farm-fresh crops to handcrafted cookware and candles and authentic cuisine and pickled everything. NFMW is organized by the Farmers Market Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening farmers’ markets across the United States, serving as a community asset to provide farmers with income opportunities. In celebration of NFMW, I’ve compiled a list of local places that embrace the heavy labor of farming in their own inimitable way.
Shreveport Farmers’ Market
The Shreveport Farmers’ Market is an official member of the Farmers’ Market Coalition and is licensed by Food and Nutrition Service to accept EBT SNAP benefits. After 30-plus years of operation, this market continues to provide guests with a wide variety of regional vendors in downtown Shreveport. They recently extended their seasonal market through October 10, excluding Labor Day Weekend. For more information, click here.
Blanchard Farmers’ Market
With only three years in the farmers’ market game, the Blanchard Farmers’ Market stands firm in its intimate setting and loyal vendors. Their market consists of local produce, fresh flowers, jarred jams and jellies, household items, and more. All proceeds of the Blanchard Farmers’ Market go toward the town’s annual Christmas celebration, A Better Blanchard Small Town Christmas Festival. For more information, click here.
Bossier City Farmers’ Market
This is where tacos and tamales meet salsa! With more than 10 Mexican food vendors, shoppers can gain a well-rounded taste of spicy flavor. The Bossier City Farmers’ Market is known for its convenient location, Pierre Bossier Mall in Bossier City, and its extensive market schedule. This market runs continually every Saturday from April through November, including holidays. For more information, click here.
Let’s be honest – we all want to pullover and purchase a watermelon from the “watermelon man” as we’re driving down the road. Although roadside watermelon is not a standard farmers’ market, we want to honor all farmers in our area. With watermelon being a summer crop, you can only purchase roadside watermelon through September from Mr. Anthony Cash at the Highway 3121 Walker Road exit in Shreveport. He’s a local fave. Call 318-200-5017 for more information.
Ryan Farms Produce
Ryan Farms Produce is a family-owned and grown farmers’ market, located in Dixie, Louisiana, on the Boom or Bust Byway. Because of its low-key status and small-town charm, the only payment that they accept is cash and local checks. As you shop around the market, you can feel a sense of down-home, wholesome pride in their product and operation. There, you’ll find fresh produce, U-pick opportunities and more. For more information, click here.
Provenance Farmers’ Market
Provenance is an upscale neighborhood development in south Shreveport that hosts its own seasonal, farmers’ market for all to enjoy. This market operates as a family-friendly event that incorporates holiday fun, such as New Year’s Eve fireworks, Cinco de Mayo fun, Mardi Gras parade, and more. This is also the only market that requires all vendors to be the maker or grower of their products. For more information, click here.
Cotton St Farms
Cotton St Farms is an indoor hydroponic farm and is the first of its kind in our region, located in downtown Shreveport. This unconventional farming technique allows its growers to produce fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs without harmful pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. This process leaves the consumer with safe, healthy, aroma-filled and nutritious foods. For more information, click here.
If your schedule conflicts with our farmers’ markets dates, Maxwell’s Market offers many of their homemade keepsakes throughout the week. You can purchase the following popular, locally-made items from Maxwell’s: Sample Farm’s free range eggs, Millie Bea’s Midnight Pickles, Morrell Dairy Farm’s creamy products, Simply Delicious Ranch Dressing, RNL Authentics’ island salsa, black-eyed pea hummus, peanut butter marinade and more. For more information, click here.
Farmers’ markets are essential. Period. For more information about local farmers’ markets, visit www.Shreveport-Bossier.org.