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Summer shopping at the farmers market

When you shop a local farmers market, not only are you able to enjoy farm-fresh produce sold to you within a day of being picked, but you have the opportunity to support small farmers and connect with your community. Plus, who could be opposed to spending the morning strolling past more than 50 vendors with locally grown produce and artisan goods accompanied by smiling faces? With summer bringing a new crop of goods, we are giving you a glimpse into what is currently fresh at Red Stick Farmers Market.

Consider your protein covered. Anna Marie Seafood meets most locally caught needs with a variety of shrimp, along with red snapper and yellow edge grouper portions, and sheepshead filets. Then, over at the meat market, Cutrer’s Meat is serving up beef, pork, salami and sausage ready to go for your last-minute supper.

Of course, it isn’t a farmers market without an abundance of fresh veggies. Luckily, a variety of new produce came back into season with the arrival of warmer months. Blueberries, cherry tomatoes and sweet corn are freshly ripe and ready to be devoured at Morrow Farm. Meanwhile, over at the Fekete Farm vendor, yellow squash, zucchini and a variety of other veggies are hitting their peak.

For those with more of a sweet tooth, the fan-favorite City Gelato mobile cart offers locally made gelato to save for later or to snack on while you browse the market. Assorted confections and artisan baked goods are also available at Forte Grove Bakery and Sugar Mill Confections, along with the special old-fashioned teacakes served up at Dillard’s Teacakes. Finally, Plantation Pecan Company has hand-picked peaches and pecans in stock, as well as fresh pecan pies.

Specializing in hibiscus products and pepper jellies, Lena Farms offers a variety of products including jalapeño pepper jelly and ready-made hibiscus tea. And along with its seasonal veggies and melons, Fletcher Farm has an assortment of jams, syrups, jellies and sauces that incorporate local and delicious Ponchatoula strawberries.

For the freshest, locally milled grains, Bonnecaze Farms is the spot for all of the stone ground products: grits, polenta, cornmeal, flour, fish fry, oatmeal and more. Additionally, fruit preserves and Louisiana seasoning will complete your baking needs.

If you wanted to pick up a meal and forget the rest, Supper Solutions offers prepared frozen meals and brownies that will have your meals taken care of. But even without a complete entree, a few spreads and items from Yes Chef can get you halfway there—like gouda cheese spread, a half-pint of chicken salad or even a sun-dried tomato and basil torte.

Finally, finish off your trip to the farmers market with some fresh flowers from Happy Hills Farm to adorn the kitchen, and enjoy your new local produce and goods.

Head down to the Red Stick Farmers Market from 8 a.m. until noon at Pennington Biomedical Research Center on Thursdays and Main Street Market on Saturdays. We’ll probably see you there!