Market becomes habit-forming

Advocate staff photo by BRIANNA PACIORKA -- A poem written by Larry Jennings, of The Pen and The Needle, sits among Jennings' dolls Saturday at his booth at the Livingston Parish Farmers Market in Denham Springs.
Advocate staff photo by BRIANNA PACIORKA -- A poem written by Larry Jennings, of The Pen and The Needle, sits among Jennings' dolls Saturday at his booth at the Livingston Parish Farmers Market in Denham Springs.

Customers at Saturday’s Livingston Parish Farmers Market in Denham Springs found 16 tents each selling a different produce or ware.

Customers picked through fresh vegetables, meats, pickled quail eggs and bags sewn to meet an assortment of purposes.

Judy Whitmire, who attends the market almost every Saturday, said she tries to buy a little bit from everybody.

“If you don’t see me at the market, it means I’m out of town,” she said.

Shopping at the farmers market makes Whitmire feel like a wise and healthy customer, she said, adding that she brings her own bag for her newly bought items to reduce her carbon footprint, she said.

She said she enjoys running into people she knows and that the market has become a regular meeting place for her and her daughter.

“My daughter lives in Baton Rouge and drives to Denham Springs just for the market,” Whitmire said. “Then I get to spend the rest of the day with her.”

Whitmire also likes to browse the craft tents, where she buys gifts for her family.

The crafts displayed include handmade wood bowls, beaded necklaces and Larry Jennings’ sewed bags.

Jennings and his wife cut and sew bags for marbles, tissue and remote controls.

Bags they sew for baking potatoes in a microwave are among the most popular items, getting 3,000 to 4,000 sales a year, Jennings said.

Jennings said he also sells produce bags to keep fruits and vegetables fresh and properly identified in the refrigerator. Other big sellers are bags in LSU and Saints patterns.

Dana Yarborough, of T and J’s smoke house, has been selling homemade sausage for the past four months, with her dad hoping to advance his retirement.

They sell smoked jalapeno and cheese, mild and hot sausage, and fresh Italian and green onion sausage. Her dad cooks the meat and she sells it, Yarborough said.

Coussou’s Cajun Kitchen offers customers a variety of hot sauces made from plants the owners grow. Tommy Coussou said the worst part is fertilizing the plants.

Daniel Lipscomb raises quail and sells the eggs seasoned and pickled.

People who have never tried pickled eggs and try them at the farmers market end up loving them, Lipscomb said.

The eggs can be eaten as snacks or mixed into salads, he said.

“The farmers market benefits the community,” said customer Billy Crochet, who added that he has attended for about a year.

“Coming to the market is more fun than going to a store,” said Betty Waldrep, a frequent customer at the market.

“I love looking at everything and people watching.”

The market is open from 7 a.m. to noon every Saturday at U.S. 190 and Range Avenue.