The desire to get local fresh food is one shared by many around Central Louisiana. However, many do not know where to get it.
Luckily for those who want to support locally grown farm-to-table food, there are 10 farmers markets in Central Louisiana.
“Thriving farmers markets are true assets to their communities. They improve the quality of life for vendors and customers alike,” said Allison Tohme, Farmers Market Program Developer for the Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance (CLEDA).
CLEDA is actively working to establish a viable network of Farmers Markets throughout Central Louisiana. This organization leads the Central Louisiana Farmers Market Development Taskforce, which meets regularly to improve the overall quality of farmers’ markets.
Tohme was appointed in 2016 to guide the programs goal in not only supporting local farmers, but ensuring that families have access to healthy local food.
“We work with farmers markets as a way to improve the quality of life in each community and Central Louisiana as a whole,” said Jim Clinton, CLEDA’s President and CEO. “That’s what economic development is all about – creating vibrant communities.”
Farmers markets serve many purposes, such as increasing people’s access to fresh, local food. Most markets are located in town squares or other common areas that are easily accessible.
“We plan to continue this work to increase visitors to farmers markets, and to increase the number of markets throughout Central Louisiana,” Clinton said.
The following is a list of farmers markets and their hours:
Leesville Third Street Market, 507 Third Street, Leesville, Vernon Parish. Open Saturdays from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. and Thursdays from 3-6 p.m. year-round.
Oberlin Farmers Market, 2728 W. Sixth St., Oberlin, Allen Parish. Open Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon year-round.
Marksville Farmers Market, 122 E. Mark Street, Marksville, Avoyelles Parish. Will reopen in June on Saturdays from 8-11 a.m.
Mansura Market, 1832 L’Eglise Street, Mansura, Avoyelles Parish. Open on the first Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Colfax Farmers Market, Eighth Street, Colfax, Grant Parish. Open on Tuesdays from 3-5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8-10:30 a.m. through the growing season.
Olla Town Square Market, Farmers Market & Courtyard, Front Street, Olla, LaSalle Parish. Open Tuesdays at 4 p.m. from May through November.
Natchitoches Farmers Market, Front Street, Natchitoches, Natchitoches Parish. Open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon from April 29-July 29 and on Saturdays in October and November.
The Natchitoches Mobile Farmers Market makes stops from June to August and October through November. During these dates, the market is at Pierson and Mallett Park, 701 E. Fifth St., Natchitoches, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, and at Ben Johnson Park, 616 Martin Luther King Drive, from 3:30-5:30 p.m.on Thursdays.
Alexandria Farmers Market, 2727 Jackson Street, Alexandria, Rapides Parish. Open Tuesdays from 3-6 p.m. year-round.
Inglewood Harvest Barn Market, 6223 Old Baton Rouge Highway, Alexandria, Rapides Parish. Open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon and Thursdays from 3-6 p.m. year-round.
Pineville Farmers Market, 1140 College Drive, Pineville, Rapides Parish, Open Thursdays from 3-6 p.m.year-round.