August 5-11 has been declared National Farmers Market Week by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

“I love visiting local farmers markets and roadside stands,” said Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain. “That’s where you find the freshest fruits, vegetables and other Louisiana-grown products.”

Strain adds it is a great way to support the local economy and meet the people who are growing your food. National Farmers Market Week recognizes the vital role farmers and farmers markets have on the economy. In Louisiana, there are approximately 75 farmers markets and 100 roadside stands.

“Remember, when you buy Louisiana produce, you are supporting your farming neighbors while supporting your health with the freshest produce available,” said Strain. “In most cases, crops get from the field to your family on the same day. Now that’s fresh.”

The LDAF has again secured a grant from the USDA to participate in the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program allowing senior citizens to buy locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables, cut herbs and honey at farmers markets and roadside stands. This program helps to increase access to and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by seniors, as well as support local farming producers. Seniors who applied for the program this year have until Nov. 30 to visit their local farmers market or roadside stand to utilize their vouchers.

Applications are being accepted. Strain encourages senior citizens 60 years and older who meet certain income requirements to contact their parish Council on Aging to participate. In New Orleans, seniors can contact Catholic Charities.

Red Stick Farmers Market-Location No. 1

East Baton Rouge Parish Library Main Branch, 7711 Goodwood Blvd.

8 a.m. to noon Tuesday, March-July, October-November

Variety of fruits and vegetables in season. Copper Alvarez (225) 267-5060 or www.breada.org

Red Stick Farmers Market-Location No. 2

Pennington Biomedical Research Center, 6400 Perkins Road

8 a.m. to noon Thursday, year-round

Variety of fruits & vegetables in season Copper Alvarez (225) 267-5060 or www.breada.org

Red Stick Farmers Market-Location No. 3

Main Street Market, 5th and Main streets

8 a.m. to noon Saturday (rain or shine), year-round

Variety of fruits and vegetables in season. Copper Alvarez (225) 267-5060/www.breada.org

Red Stick Farmers Market-Mobile Market

ExxonMobil YMCA, 7717 Howell Blvd.

9 a.m. to noon Thursday (weather permitting), March-July

Variety of fruits and vegetables in season. Copper Alvarez (225) 267-5060 or www.breada.org