Join Louisiana Simple Living as we attended the Saturday morning (8:00AM to Noon) Red Stick Farmers Market in downtown Baton Rouge. We wanted to interview and showcase some of the vendors which are the backbone of our community. BREADA, a non-profit organization, started the Red Stick Farmers Market back in 1996 and still supports this and many other programs that support our healthy local food system. (BREADA: https://breada.org/)
The Red Stick Farmers Market (https://www.facebook.com/breada/) has over 50 member farmers with a variety of locally grown products including fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, seafood, artisan breads, homemade pies, honey, milk and cheese, native plants, herbs, and specialty food items. The various farmers markets supported by BREADA provide vital economic opportunities for local farmers, keeping our local food system healthy, strong and vibrant.
Focus on Local Farmers and other Vendors
We got to speak with the following small farmers and other vendors at the Red Stick Farmers Market on Saturday, July 16.
Gonsoulin Land and Cattle Co.
The Gonsoulin Family has been raising cattle in south central Louisiana since 1770. Jean Francios de Beaumelle Gonsoulin, a land surveyor from France, registered the F2 brand in St Martin Parish, Louisiana, in that same year. Along with cattle ranchers, the Gonsoulin family boasts a long history of butchers and meat market operators.
Gonsoulin Land and Cattle Company, LLC (https://www.glcranch.com/) began its grass-fed business in 2006 with the mission of producing quality beef without antibiotics or growth hormones. Their beef is perfect, just as Mother Nature intended.
We purchased a top sirloin roast and a heart. It was top notch meat so very happy.
Biggie Bee Farm
Biggie Bee Honey (https://www.instagram.com/biggie_bee_farm/?hl=en) comes from the wildflower and sugar cane fields of West Baton Rouge Parish on the Mississippi River. Biggie Bee’s honey was delicious and so was their vanilla cinnamon honey butter. They stated the butter could last more than a month but it’s not going to last beyond a week in our house. It’s that good. We didn’t try the honey with pecans but it looked scrumptious as well.
Chenier Farms (https://breada.org/vendor/chenier-farm/) produces seasonal vegetables including sweet potatoes, white, Yukon, purple, and new potatoes, pumpkins, gourds, turnips, cabbage, mustards, purple hull peas, cushaw, winter and summer squash varieties, peppers, beans, cucumbers, honey, and eggs.
We didn’t get a chance to test any of their products but the vegetables they had on hand was fresh and looked great!
Chenier Farms proudly supports their local Second Harvest Food Bank which does great things for people in need. Thanks to Chenier Farms and other small businesses that help support community-supportive organizations like the Second Harvest food bank.
Chenier Farms is a family business run on a 40-acre farm up near Opelousas, LA. This is the type of small business that everyone should support.
Mon Jardin Farms
Mon Jardin Farms (https://breada.org/vendor/mon-jardin-farm/) provides Sunflowers, zinnias; seasonal vegetables including baby gourmet vegetables. Bud’s sunflowers were beautiful and fresh. It was a hot seller at the market.
Mon Jardin Farms has been a regular at the farmers market for nearly 36 years, originally selling vegetables but has transitioned more into the sunflower business as of late.
Check out Mon Jardin Farms next time you are at the Red Stick Farmers Market and pick up some sunflowers for your significant other.
Mushroom Maggie’s Farm
Mushroom Maggie’s Farm (https://www.facebook.com/mushroommaggiesfarm/) brings to the Farmers Market both culinary and medicinal mushrooms. Their have a great variety and are the freshest mushrooms you can get anywhere.
You definitely must check out Mushroom Maggie’s Farm’s mushrooms at the next Red Stick Farmers Market. It’s neat seeing the different varieties with all the different colors, shapes and smells. You never know, you may be eating some of their mushrooms if you go out to eat in the Greater Baton Rouge area as well.
Bonnecaze Farms (https://www.bonnecazefarms.com/) was established by Tom Bonnecaze, Sr. more than 25 years ago. It started out as a hobby to fill his time after retirement. With much help and support from his wife, Lucille, they grew peppers which were hand-picked, dried and ground to make red pepper for sale and to use in Papa Tom’s Louisiana Seasoning Mix. They grew corn to make cornmeal which was ground using his stone grist mill. These products were sold in the beginning at the local farmer’s market. They soon expanded the line of products to include stone ground yellow grits, organic oatmeal, corn and rice fish fry. Every product was marked for excellence.
Sadly, Papa Tom passed away in May 2013. A few years prior to Papa’s passing, Ronnie, his son, learned the product processing under his eagle-eyed supervision, and today the legacy he left behind continues. No longer is Bonnecaze Farms just a hobby. Today, Bonnecaze Farms is a thriving business. At Bonnecaze Farms they strive to maintain the same principles, hard work, and dedication that Papa Tom exhibited in every aspect of his life and his business.
Sandy also had on display quite a variety of pickled vegetables, along with jams and jellies. There were some unique jams which I want to try including watermelon jalapeno. Now that sounds great!
Make sure you swing by Bonnecaze Farms and pick up some of their delicious fish fry, seasoning, along with a bunch of other tasty items. Bonnecaze Farms can also be picked up at their store in Baton Rouge.
Let’s Go Out and Support Red Stick Farmers Market
We went to the Farmers Market and showcased some of the vendors there. One lesson we learned is you have to get to the market fairly early to ensure the vendor doesn’t sell out all of their products. Each of the vendors we got to speak with all had some incredible stories to go along with their superior products. Again, please plan to attend the Red Stick Farmers Market soon or any other one near your city. It’s a worth while effort to support our local farmers and small businesses!!
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