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New Labadieville farmers market seeks to expand

NAPOLEONVILLE — A new farmers market launched in Labadieville in November.
The weekly market is open every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cookie’s Thrift Store, located at 3218 La. 1.
“We currently have baked goods, fresh produce, jewelry and a few crafts being sold,” said Chelsie Rodrigue, owner of Cookie’s Thrift Store. “We only have one farmer that comes consistently every week to sell cabbage, mustard greens, turnips, cauliflower, broccoli and fresh honey. Saturday, Jan. 9, was his last day of goods from his fall crop, but he does plan to participate again when his spring crop is ready to harvest.”
Organizers are actively seeking new vendors, particularly farmers, in an effort to expand the market’s offerings and support more local producers and artisans.
“I wanted to start a farmers market so that there would be a central location to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to my community,” Rodrigue said. “The idea basically came from a few local farmers who asked if they could sell cucumbers and satsumas outside of the thrift store. The few vendors that participate almost always sell everything that they bring, and the community members are able to buy fresh produce locally.”
The Labadieville Farmers Market is a collaborative effort between Cookie’s Thrift Store and LSU AgCenter Healthy Communities in Assumption Parish.
The Healthy Comm-unities initiative aims to improve the physical and social environments that influence health using a community-driven approach.
The goal of the Labadieville farmers market is to make accessing healthy food easier for the local community.
“One week I noticed that Cookie’s Thrift Store asked their Facebook followers how they would feel about starting a farmers market, and the response was overwhelmingly positive,” said Maria Gonzales, LSU AgCenter agent and facilitator of Assumption Parish Healthy Communities. “I reached out to her to let her know that the LSU AgCenter could be a potential partner if she were willing to work with us.”
There is only one grocery store that sells fresh produce in the heart of Labadieville, and Cookie’s is located on the outskirts of the community, Gonzales said.
“Because of its location, it can be easily accessed by both Napoleonville and Labadieville residents,” she said. “People are more likely to eat fresh fruits and vegetables if they are readily available to them.”
For information about the Labadieville Farmers Market or to inquire about becoming a vendor, contact Chelsie Rodrigue at 985-227-3948 or crodrigue921@gmail.com or Maria Gonzales at mgonzales@agcenter.lsu.eduor 985-369-6386.

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