Mary Tutwiler

Eat your peas

by Mary Tutwiler

For folks who have been missing their fresh carrots and peas there’s veggies on the way. The farmer’s market in the Oil Center, just across the street from Champagne’s, is slated to reopen on Saturday, May 3, at 8 a.m. Beets, yellow and purple onions, lettuces, swiss chard, kale, celery, cilantro, parsley and snow peas are all in season right now and will be on sale at the market, as well as eggs, baked goods, flowers and honey. The Acadiana Farmer’s Market on Dulles behind Lafayette High has kept on chuggin all winter, so there has been no shortage of locally grown produce, but it’s nice to have the second convenient location. A third farmer’s market, slated to open downtown in September, is in the works as well.

There’s no arguing with the high quality of farm fresh produce, picked just hours before it’s offered at the market. Another plus is getting to know the men and women who grow your food. With all the health scares related to E. coli contaminated greens imported from across the globe, putting a face and a name on the farmer you are trusting with your health seems like a no brainer. At times, local farmers have had trouble competing with bulk purchased, cheap labour produced supermarket produce, but with the high price of gas, transportation costs have driven up the cost of food across the board. Farmers who don’t have to travel long distances or pass on the cost of refrigeration trucks offer great deals, and a little bit of lagniappe with purchases. And if you ride your bike, you can toast yourself at dinner with the very lightness of your carbon footprint.

Last week, this is what $10 bought at the Acadiana Farmer’s Market. Try bringing the same gorgeous haul home from the supermarket for under a tenner.