Finding Local (Even Organic) Produce/Meat/Eggs?
I just moved to NOLA from New York and I have to say I was excited about hitting up the farmer's market, and figured that there would be a lot more local agriculture given the growing conditions down here. So far though, the options seem limited. And while chickens aren't plants, of course, I'm particularly dying for fresh local farm eggs - after you've had good farm eggs it's hard to go back to the pale yellow ones you get at the supermarket, even a good supermarket. I've tried researching CSAs and haven't found any around the area. I'd be willing to drive up to an hour or so on weekends - does anyone know of a relatively local source (e.g., under 100 miles from NOLA) for local eggs and meat that are at least raised humanely and without antibiotics if not organically? A source for organic veggies would be great too.
Farm eggs are usually available at the German Coast farmer's market in Destrehan on Saturdays...two different vendors, one from Hahnville and the other from the Independence area, I believe. I know that farm eggs are almost always available at the Covington farmer's market as well.
No CSAs operating locally, sorry. And as for the general lack of organics, pls remember that you're in the heart of chemical country--I think that the presence of so many people earning their (substantial) livings in the petrochemical industry means that our locals are far less focused on pesticide/fertilizer free items that the US population in general.
re: Hungry Celeste
thanks so much celeste. i completely understand how hard it is for local farmers to make a living basically anywhere, and that it's difficult to make ends meet pursuing organic markets when there isn't as much of a demand in the area. but hopefully if enough people do ask around and create demand there will be enough to support more natural growth practices in the area. it's hard to balance everything - i want to support local farmers while i'm here, especially smaller operations, and i hate to buy organic-only from somewhere like whole foods when it's all been shipped in from far away places, but i also don't want to give up my preference for non-pesticide-laden foods!
the tips on the eggs are really helpful - thanks! i will definitely be checking them out!
The Crescent City Farmers Market, Tuesday mornings at 200 Broadway usually has eggs. The trick is to arrive early though, they sell out quickly. Unfortunately, the demand for local, farm fresh eggs is high and you can not rely on them being available each week.
As for meat, I would check out Justin Pitts who is also at the CCFM both Tuesdays and Saturdays. He drives in from Ellisville, MS twice a week. He'll be happy to describe what he feeds his animals, how they are treated, etc. His sausage and pork chops are delicious. He'll even reserve pieces for you with some advanced notice.
The nearest CSA I've been able to locate is Good Earth Farms http://www.goodearthfarm.org/
IIRC, they'll work with you for pick up locations. Also, not a fully comprehensive website www.localharvest.org has a few other CSA's listed.
Hope this helps.
Thanks Annasta! I've been to the Crescent City Farmer's Market both times but never saw eggs for sale. Do you happen to remember who usually has them? I'd get up early for sure! I think I bought some lamb from Justin Pitts just yesterday in fact. And many thanks for the CSA link! Localharvest wasn't showing any CSAs when I searched but perhaps I was doing it wrong - I'll try again :)
I'm sorry I can't be more specific but I'll provide as much detail as possible. At the Tuesday morning market there are sometimes 2 or 3 vendors. The main one is situated just as you walk in adjacent to the CCFM booth. They usually have tomatoes, okra, green beans, but you have to ask for the eggs (they aren't displayed). The other woman is usually situated on Tuesdays next to Justin, I believe her main product is seafood.
Justin says he'll have eggs in October but he'll be in Italy so I don't know who will be manning his booth during the month.
baton rouge has a relatively large farmer's market on saturday mornings in their downtown area. (http://redstickfarmersmarket.org/main/) try contacting one of the directors for more information so you don't waste a trip. i'm from br but here for graduate school so i haven't been to the market in a while; i used to go when i was in undergrad at lsu, and it was amazing to see the transformation in such a short period of time once more people got interested in procuring farm fresh products. if you do go, check out smith creamery. if their stuff is even half as good as it was when i used to buy it, you're in for a treat. mmm...butter.
The Baton Rouge farmer's market has at least two stands with fresh eggs, but you need to show up early to get them. One of the people had all of her chickens killed by foxes/dogs last year so she had fewer to sell... but I think she has bought more chickens. There is usually organic beef, rice and chicken but most of the vegetables are conventionally grown. For me the bigger issue is that the stuff is local and for that, there are a ton of options. But, your best bet for everything, produce, prepared food, eggs, whatever is to show up early. Hope you enjoy it.
I don't live there, but a few weeks ago did some cooking there at my SIL's house. I did some research. My husband and I got some great stuff at the Covington farmer's market, including 25 quails from a guy named Joe Dobie. (985-877-5946 we ordered ahead) He also sells chickens and cornish game hens. I couldn't find any local eggs. Some other interesting veggies too. Fresh soybeans, tomatoes, peppers, corn, and a type of Italian squash that I had never seen before. It was about 2.5 feet long and green like a zucchini, but much firmer. The farmer we bought it from told us how to cook it. We just peeled it and sauteed it. Can't remember the name. It was meaty and mild in flavor. Everyone liked it. We went to both the CCFM and the Covington Farmer's Market on the same day and enjoyed the produce offerings in Covington more. CCFM seemed to have more prepared things, not ingredients.
Edited to add name of squash--Cucuzza