Around the world, you find farmers markets in historic halls of iron and glass and in leafy, bucolic town squares.
For 21 years, we found the Saturday version of the Crescent City Farmers Market in a small corner parking lot in downtown New Orleans. A normally utilitarian space, for one day each week it came alive, animated by the energy of people and food and hand-to-hand commerce.
Chalk that up to arms-length sourcing, the social space created for the moment by the market and the Louisiana love of talking food and sharing stories about it. It all turns different camps of erstwhile strangers into a network of suppliers and shoppers, producers and appreciators.
Starting this Saturday (Oct.1), the Crescent City Farmers Market will set out to create that organic ambiance all over again at a new location. Market Umbrella, the parent organization behind four weekly renditions of the city’s largest farmers market, is moving its Saturday market to 750 Carondelet St., at the corner of Julia Street.
It's a short move, just a few blocks, and its new home is similar to the original, just a plain old paved parking lot. As before, all of the infrastructure will be a pack-in, pack-out proposition of tents and umbrellas, farm trucks and ice chests.
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.