Farmers markets open for business

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Nothing beats homegrown produce, but if your thumb isn’t especially green, no worries.

Northwest Louisiana is lucky to have several farmers markets where you can reap the harvest without sowing the seeds.

Kicking off Saturday is the Shreveport Farmers Market, the big daddy of area markets. If you’ve never been, you’re in for a treat. This year, well over 100 booths will be filled with veggies, fruit, meats, dairy products, baked and canned goods, plants, prepared foods, crafts and more.

You’ll even be entertained Saturday by music from the Blanchard Jammers from 8 a.m. to noon.

Get there early because shoppers descend on Festival Plaza like locusts in a feeding frenzy, so some offerings sell out quickly. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. At least until the next market day.

Prepare to be overwhelmed.

And plan ahead for how you’ll carry your treasures. Many vendors have plastic bags, but you’ll be better off bringing your own strong tote bags. You’ll also see little red wagons or maybe rolling suitcases used to transport purchases. Chances are, you’ll go home with more than you intended, so keep that in mind.

Here’s a list of area markets. If you know of another one, please let me know by emailing kathie@louisianablooms.com so I can add it.

Happy shopping!

  • Shreveport Farmers Market: The Shreveport Farmers Market kicks off May 30 and will be open on Saturdays through Aug. 29, with the exception of June 20, and on Tuesdays from June 2 through July 14. Hours are 7 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and 3 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays. Location is Shreveport’s Festival Plaza, corner of Crockett and Commerce streets. Vendors will offer fresh produce, baked and canned goods, meats, dairy, honey, prepared foods, plants, crafts and more. Admission: free. Info: 318-455-5788 or www.shreveportfarmersmarket.com.
  • Provenance Homegrown Farmers Market and Concert Series: This market is open 4-7 p.m. Thursdays through June 25 and the morning of June 20 in Greenleaf Park in Shreveport’s Provenance neighborhood on Southern Loop near I-49. Among items for sale are fresh produce, meats, crafts and ready-to-eat food. Admission: free. Info: 318-455-5077.
  • IMG_0416Benton Farmers Market: The Benton Farmers Market is open from 12-4 p.m. Sundays from May 311-July 26 at 495 Simpson St. Admission: free.  Offerings include fresh vegetables, fruit, flowers, plants, eggs, meat, honey and baked goods. Info: 318-584-5977 or www.bentonlafarmersmarket.com.
  • Cane River Green Market: The 2014 Cane River Green Market is open from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday through July 25 on the downtown riverbank. Features fruits, vegetables, breads, honey, kids activities, demonstrations and more. Admission: free. Info: 318-352-2746, 866-941-6246 or www.crgm@natchitochesla.gov.
  • DeSoto Parish Farmers Market: The DeSoto Parish Farmers Market is open from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturdays through July 18 (closed July 4) at the David Means Memorial 4-H Center, 10117 Highway 171, Grand Cane. Produce, honey, eggs, canned goods and crafts are among the offerings. Admission: free. Info: 318-872-0533.
  • Greenwood Farmers Market: The Greenwood Farmers Market will be held at 8 a.m. Saturdays from June 6 through Aug. 30 at William Peters Town Park.  Produce and canned foods will be for sale. Admission: free. Info:  318-938-7261.
  • Minden Farmers Market: The Minden Farmers Market will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Saturdays from June through July at 419 E. Union St. Minden. Vendors will offer produce, food, eggs and crafts. Admission: free.
  • Ruston Farmers Market: The Ruston Farmers Market is open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays in the public parking lot at the corner of Monroe and Louisiana avenues, downtown Ruston. Produce, baked goods, canned goods and honey are among the items for sale. Admission: free. Info: 318-232-2535 or www.rustonfarmersmarket.org.

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