Today’s list is a compilation of small farmers, gardeners and orchards where you can visit, pick your own fruit, or plant your own garden. Thanks so much to Keith Delhomme of EarthShare Gardens who provided much of this information. If I have overlooked anyone, (and I’m sure there are lots of folks with an abundance of backyard fruits and vegetables) please jump into this ongoing conversation. I’m eager to hear from you. Happy Farmers Market Week.
The Mushroom Farm, Breaux Bridge
Barbara Russell-Girard grows Shiitake mushrooms, seasonal fall and early spring. Call 984-1255 or email [email protected].
Jen and Mitch Reed, Scott
The Reeds sell fresh eggs, $4 a dozen. Pick them up at their house, just call ahead at 258-2434 or 258-2333.
S&P Oriental Market, Lafayette
The oriental food market tucked into the strip mall behind Baskin Robbins on Johnston Street sells exotic oriental fruit and vegetables and a local fruit beloved by both Cajuns and Asians, persimmons (ripe in October). Some of the produce is grown locally by the Laotian community in Cade, just ask. 4807 Johnston Street, 989-1954.
Dupuis’s Citrus Grove, Breaux Bridge
Jason Dupuis sells grapefruit, navel oranges, Louisiana Sweet oranges, satsumas, lemons and kumquats at his roadside stand. October - February. He’s located at 1510 N. Berard St., Breaux Bridge, one half mile north of La. 94 on La. 31. Call 332-2815.
Citrus Orchard, Youngsville
Corner of La Neuville and Bonin Roads (between Verot School Road and Youngsville).
No sign, no name, but you can’t miss the many large orange and kumquat trees (other fruit too, probably figs...) growing here. Pull in the driveway and knock on door, or honk.
Simon Satsuma Orchard, Kaplan
Citrus fruit, from mid-October to December
14405 Gladu Road, Kaplan, Go south on Hwy. 167 toward Abbeville. After you pass through Maurice, take a right at the light onto Hwy. 699. Travel on Hwy. 699 for about 5 miles to Tee Robe Road. Turn left on Tee Robe Road. Go to stop sign and take right on Gladu Road. Go about 1/2 a mile, and the orchard is on the left. Call 893-3386 or 288-7374, www.satsumafarm.com.
Jeb Guidry Citrus Orchard, Kaplan
Jeb grows lemons, navel oranges, blood oranges, grapefruit, Japanese plum, satsumas and mandarins at his orchard, which can be purchased at Comeaux French Market, between the CVS pharmacy and the Sonic on La. 14 in Kaplan, 643-6759.
Four Oaks Farm, Kaplan
Mayhaws. The small fruit that makes some of the best jelly every comes ripe in late March through April. Call Goldie Hebert for directions at 319-6538 or email her at [email protected].
Bristol Blueberries, Bristol
Pick your own orchard. Mid-May through mid-June. Pick your own, $8 a gallon, we pick them $12 a gallon. 1174 La. 356. Bristol is 2.5 miles north of Cankton on La 356. Hours by appointment. Call 337-258-1100.
Blueberry Hill, Grand Coteau
Pick your own blueberry farm. Open Saturdays and Sundays, 7 a.m.-12 noon, June and July. 557 Don Guilbeau Rd, Grand Coteau. Call Daphney Maturin at 662-5100 or 298-5117, or email her at [email protected].
Fitzfarm Blueberry Orchard, Lewisburg
Pick your own blueberries. The farm operates on the honor system, $1.50 per pound. June and July. Go north on 182 out of Sunset, then take a left on La. 358 and go about 2.5 miles. Look for Lewisburg/ Bellevue water tower. Take a right at the water tower, and the blueberry farm will be on your right, next to the tower. Call 225-413-3442 or 225-749-8294 for more info.
Armand Thibodeaux Farm Stand, Lewisburg
Mr. Armand just celebrated his 84th birthday and maintains a very large garden with the help of his son Greg. All the locals buy produce from him. He has huge watermelons, two kinds of muskmelon (cantaloupe), sweet peppers, sweet corn, tomatoes, red potatoes, and probably more. From the Fitzfarm Blueberry Orchard (above), go south on 357 for about a mile, then turn right on Lenora. Lenora is a gravel road at first, but the last half is paved. When Lenora ends at Marie St., take a right, and Mr. Thibodeaux’s beautiful old Acadian style house is just there on your left. The fruit vegetable stand is right next door. There is no sign, but it is quite obviously a fruit/veg stand.
Professor Maher’s Backyard Stand, Lafayette
Don’t know the address, but just turn north off Congress onto Mimosa Drive (not far from Lafayette High). Can’t miss it. A true Lafayette institution, now run by the grandchildren. Lots of vegetables, strawberries, and other berries.
The Backyard Gardener
Thomas Angers and his son, Austen, grow vegetables in their back yard. They can be found at the Oil Center Farmers Market on Saturdays, or call 501-2238 to make an appointment. Tom says that the Oil Center Farmers Market is looking for more produce. Farmers who would like to sell at the market, backyard gardeners who have an overflow, or growers who would like to have someone sell their produce for them at the market should call Tom at 501-2238.
Brockoli Patch, Scott
Brock Barker grows organic vegetables and gathers raw honey, which he sells at the Saturday morning Oil Center Farmers Market. If you want to visit his garden, call 225-202-5905, or email him at [email protected].
Aaron Fromenthal, Scott
Aaron grows organic vegetables on leased land from Gotreaux Family Farms and sells to Drug Emporium. To visit his garden, call 371-5781.
Mr. Comeaux’s, Scott
Lou Comeaux has been selling his backyard-grown vegetables and fruits for many, many years in his front yard. He has a little handmade sign, or just look for a pile of fruits and vegetables piled up on a bucket at the road. Okra, figs, grapefruit and oranges, bananas (green plantains). He also sells homemade jars of pickled peppers, chow chow, etc. 1730 Dulles Drive, or call 981-1316.
Lee’s Produce, Washington
James Lee raises the full range of vegetables, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, eggplants, squash, okra, cantaloupe, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes and also sells vegetable plants. Buy direct from his farm, 193 La. 363, Washington. Call 351-2615 for hours and availability.
JP Ardoin, Eunice
Home grown corn and Irish potatoes, in late May, cucumbers, okra and purple hull peas in late August, fall tomatoes in September, mustard greens and turnips in October and November, broccoli and cabbage in November, December. Call JP at 550-5113 or Charles Ardoin at 580-1939.
Janice Prejean, Mire
Grass-fed beef. Email Janice at [email protected].
Earth Share Gardens, Lafayette
EarthShare Gardens is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) organization whose mission is to produce organic food. The gardens are located at 412 Carmel Avenue, behind the old Holy Rosary Institute. A portion of land is dedicated to a cooperatively run Community Supported Agriculture garden. Shareholders pay a subscription price each season to receive a portion of the harvests from the garden. Organic produce by subscription: $200 whole share/ 5.5 month season or $100 half share. Email [email protected] for more information regarding shares. A donation/market garden provides fresh, organic produce to donate and sell in the North Lafayette neighborhood.
If you are looking for a bit of land to have your own garden, EarthShare Gardens has space for such a community garden to emerge next to their own vegetable plots. They supply the plots of land, and water. Check it out at www.earthsharegardens.org.