Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2010

An evening alternative joins line-up of local farmer’s markets. By Nancy DeVille

                                                   Photo by Robin May
              Organizer David Klier

Have trouble waking up early Saturday mornings? Can’t make it in the wee hours on Tuesdays either? Well fear not, all you late risers or otherwise incapable morning market patrons, for there is now an alternative.

The Freetown Mid-Week Farmer’s Market has arrived and is open for business every Wednesday from 3-7 p.m. at the corner of Vermilion and Johnston streets, across from Taco Sisters. For decades, the area has been known as Freetown, and in keeping with the progressive spirit of the neighborhood, the once vacant lot off Johnston will now house Lafayette’s first afternoon/evening organic farmer’s market.

When David Klier of Helping Hands Farm in Opelousas set up his single table two weeks ago, with minimal fanfare and a couple of “Organic Produce” signs, he had no idea how quickly he’d amass such a following. One by one, fellow farmers pulled in to request David’s permission to join him the following week, to which David essentially replied, “The more the merrier!”

A recent market hosted a dozen local farmers, artisanal craftspeople and eco-conscious entrepreneurs. Among them were the certified-organic farmers of Market Basket Youngsville, selling fresh produce and canned products such as their purple hull jelly made from just the hulls of our Southern staple, boiled down with sugar and water to yield a distinctly delicious spread reminiscent of fig and muscadine combined; the non-certified but organic farmer nonetheless, Brock Barker of The Brockoli Patch in Scott; several all-natural soap makers including Louisiana Wild goat’s milk soaps and Sudz handmade shea butter soaps; The Urban Naturalist, AKA Marcus Descant, with his molasses and chickens; and Joshua Morvant of both Revival Timberworks and Acadian Cooperative Society, selling artisanal sea salts and Creole Rose popcorn rice.

Klier expects the weekly offerings will continue to grow, and eventually he would like to see the area fenced in. For now, the market will be held on Wednesdays, but in the future Klier hopes to expand the operation to Saturday afternoons as well.

If you are interested in becoming active with the market contact Klier at (225) 324-6267 or search “Freetown Mid-Week Farmer’s Market” on Facebook.

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