DENHAM SPRINGS — Betsy Ragas, of Hammond, walked around the Livingston Parish Farmer’s Market in Denham Springs looking at just about everything.
“It’s really nice,” Ragas said of the market, which has become a Saturday morning staple for many area residents. “They have a lot of nice stuff here.”
Ragas and Bernie Saladino, also of Hammond, originally made the trip to Denham Springs to check out antiques, but it wasn’t long before the Farmer’s Market caught their eye.
The Livingston Parish Farmers’ Market, which began in 2006, offers a large selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, market director Ray Gill said.
The market also offers other items such as bath products, candles and handmade clothing — to name a few.
The open-air market is located in the New Covenant Church parking lot on U.S. 190 (Florida Boulevard) across from McDonald’s from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
From tomatoes and potatoes to honey and catfish, consumers can buy a variety of local products.
Kenny Sharpe, the Livingston Parish County Agent, initially expected about 40 producers, many of them from the eastern part of Livingston Parish, to participate in the market, and many, like Wilton “Tony” Fruge, have.
Fruge sold fresh blueberries Saturday, picked right from his trees in Walker.
“I only come seasonal,” Fruge said, as the blueberry season lasts from May until about July.
In addition to drawing area residents to purchase fresh produce and other local wares, the market entices people to shop elsewhere in Denham Springs.
Allison Courtney, of Central, and her friends planned to hit the market first before visiting the antique stores in downtown Denham Springs, she said.
“I like that they have local people bringing their fresh produce and handmade items to the market and that the community supports it,” Courtney said.
“With the economy the way it is, it’s a good way to support local families who are trying to make ends meet,” the South Live Oak Elementary school first-grade teacher said.
Artist Jenny Goynes seemed to be doing well Saturday as she sold several pieces of painted driftwood and other oil paintings, including Fleur de Lis.
Goynes, an artist, said she has been selling her pieces at the Farmer’s Market for about eight months now.
“I do really well out here,” Goynes said. “I make a lot of friends and sold a lot of paintings.”
The market operates 12 months a year, and sellers pay a small fee for advertising and other expenses, organizers said.
When the market first began, there were about 20 sellers but that number has grown and, according to Gill, is still growing.
For information, call Gill at (225) 505-3993.