Our Crescent City Farmers Market commemorates the late cooking school pioneer Lee Barnes with a 15th birthday celebration featuring birthday cake, Creole cream cheese gelato, and the unveiling of the 2010 Market token featuring Lee Barnes this Saturday.
Saturday, October 2, 2010, local farmers and fishers will ring the opening bell to the Market that revived an important public and culinary tradition in New Orleans 15 years ago on the mural-adorned William B. Reily parking lot at 700 Magazine Street. The Crescent City Farmers Market will celebrate with live local music by bluegrass favorite By & By, a CDM mocha birthday cake baked by Market vendor Revista Bakery, a milk toast by cow dairy farmer Warren Smith (Smith Creamery, Mount Hermon, LA) and goat dairy farmer Bill Ryals (Ryals Goat Dairy, Tylertown, MS), and an old fashioned Creole cream cheese demonstration and tasting led by Poppy Tooker. The producer only Saturday Market located at the corner of Magazine and Girod is open from 8 a.m.-12 noon with vendors offering fresh, seasonal, locally grown produce, seafood, meat, dairy, flowers, baked goods and other artisan food products.
Honoring a Culinary Hero
Among the Market’s celebrated innovations is its use of old-fashioned scrip in the form of wooden credit/debit and EBT tokens, which offer convenience and increased food access. “We believe that the Crescent City Farmers Market reflects the city’s strength as a center of innovation,” states marketumbrella.org Director of Markets Emery Van Hook. At 10 a.m. organizers will unveil the 2010 edition of the Market-based wooden currency, which features visionary cooking school pioneer Lee Barnes. Representatives of Barnes’ family will attend. “We would be hard-pressed to name a culinary hero who showed greater vision,” says Richard McCarthy, marketumbrella.org Executive Director. Lee Barnes’ cooking school, located on Oak Street during the 1970s-80s, championed fading culinary traditions long before the Food Network. Beloved by loyal students, Barnes died of cancer in 1992 at age 41. McCarthy adds, “I fondly remember spending evenings at this free form happening of a school with my parents.”
Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.
The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round in four New Orleans neighborhoods. The CCFM hosts nearly 80 local small farmers, fishers and food producers, and more than 100,000 shoppers annually.