German Coast Farmers Market works to rebuild West Bank Market
While organizers of the German Coast Farmers Market are delighted to celebrate the first anniversary of the East Bank Market which is held at Destrehan Library, they say there is still a lot of work to be done to bring the market back. from the West Bank to a prosperous state after Hurricane Ida.
The Farmers Market Council holds two events a week. Saturday East Bank Market is held on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon at the St. Charles East Parish Regional Library, located at 160 West Campus Drive in Destrehan. On Wednesdays, a West Bank market is held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at St. Charles Parish West Bank Bridge Park, located at 13825 River Road in Luling.
Mary Keller, who is on the farmers’ market council and sells at markets with NOLA Tamales, said every market was affected by Hurricane Ida. But while the East Bank market was able to be operational just weeks after Hurricane Ida, repairs to the park on the West Bank meant that market was closed until January this year.
“We’re really trying right now to rebuild that market,” Keller said of Wednesday’s offer. “We have seven dedicated vendors who are there every week.”
The visibility of the West Bank market seemed to hamper reconstruction efforts, Keller said, because until recently the market was held under the park’s pavilion and not in the main parking lot.
“People were driving by and not seeing the vendors, so they assumed they weren’t there,” Keller said. “But now everyone is back in the parking lot.”
Wednesday’s market vendors include Mama Mary’s Kitchen, which sells pepper jellies, fruit jams, fruit jellies, and low-heat jalapenos and pickles. Bees are my business is also present, and this tent boasts of honey, honey butter, fruit flavored honey butter, pickled items, fruits, vegetables, eggs, honeycomb, melted wax, candles, produce baked goods, freshly squeezed juice, spiced vinegar and dehydrated fruits.
NOLA Tamales offers hot New Orleans-style beef tamales, tamale balls, sausage and andouille sausage okra, potato salad and Mexican 7-layer dip to weekday market customers, that Queen Ursula Highly Flavored sells a variety of hot plates and weekly specials. Story Farm is at the West Bank Market every week with fresh fruit, vegetables and cracklin, while Sandy’s Sweets and Treats sells a variety of hot foods, breads, cakes, pies, cookies, brownies, popcorn balls, pecans, muffins, fruit drinks, teas, hot chocolate and coffee.
Sassy Cajun Spices rounds out the Wednesday market offerings with a variety of spices.
Keller said since Wednesday’s market returned to the parking lot area, it seemed to pick up, but the weekday throngs of shoppers are a far cry from the large crowds that are drawn to the Saturday market.
“We recently had over 700 people come to the Saturday market,” she said.
Keller said the Farmers Market Council would like to add more vendors and attract more customers to the weekday offering.
For more information on how to become a vendor or other information on the German Coast Farmers Market, visit www.germancoastfarmersmarket.org.