BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The 4 Seasons Farmer’s Market, which made its debut next to Denham Springs’ Antique Village last week, boasts a wide variety of produce and handmade goods that are just as unique as its vendors.
Donna Jennings, the grant writer for the City of Denham Springs, said the farmer’s market may have started out small, but she hopes the market can grow and become a large event each week in the city. 4 Seasons will host vendors each Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon in the parking lot behind City Hall, located at 116 N. Range Ave.
Vendors sold a colorful array of fresh produce grown in backyard gardens and small farms in Livingston Parish, canned goods, potted plants, free-range eggs, Louisiana honey, beef raised and butchered in Amite and an assortment of unique, handmade wooden items.
Located at the front of the market was Kimberly Estes of Three Peas in a Pod Canning. Estes sold jams and canned vegetables that she either grew in her backyard garden or sourced from local farmer’s markets similar to the 4 Seasons Farmer’s Market.
Estes, who has been selling goods at farmer’s markets in the area for four or five years, said she prepares her items the day before sending them to market–all while keeping up with a toddler.
“It’s usually an all-day event,” Estes said. “But I have a 2-year-old that helps, too.”
Across from Estes were Mia Wallace and her daughter-in-law, Blaire. They sold free-range eggs from their Clinton homestead, and they said they hope to start selling live rabbits soon at 4 Seasons.
The Wallaces set up shop next to Kelli Williams, who sold beef from High Cotton Meat in Amite.
Williams said selling products at farmer’s markets has always been something she’s wanted to do, and it’s the type of work she was exposed to growing up.
“My dad had butcher’s shops and convenience stores, so I’ve always been involved with this kind of stuff,” Williams said.
High Cotton Meat sources its beef from Williams’ own property.
Louisiana Gold Honey Farm had a booth at the market, and its honey products were also produced in the vendor’s yard.
“It’s a job taking care of 600 or more beehives,” said Jesse Frierson, who has worked on the honey farm for more than 20 years alongside his father and his brother at their Denham Springs home.
Laura Sanders of Bayou Poppers Kettle Corn also sold sweet goods at the market.
While selling lavender products at markets years ago, a kettle corn vendor caught Sanders’ eye, and she later started researching how to make and sell it. Her company launched in 2017 and has sold kettle corn in farmer’s markets and at LSU athletic events.
When the coronavirus pandemic caused LSU to limit the number of fans that could attend athletic events last year, Sanders was no longer able to sell kettle corn in Tiger Stadium, Alex Box Stadium and the PMAC.
Sanders said she hopes her kettle corn can make it to store shelves in the future.
“‘Til then, we’ll be at local farmer’s markets,” Sanders said.
Sanders said she enjoys being a vendor at markets like 4 Seasons because it allows her to meet many interesting people.
“It helps with establishing a great sense of community,” Sanders said.
Jim Cancienne, who sold handmade wooden items including antique pepper grinders, yo-yos, pens, ice cream scoopers and back scratchers, agreed with Sanders.
He said he enjoys talking to people at farmer’s markets and sharing his passion for woodworking with them.
For Cancienne, any profit he makes by selling goods at 4 Seasons isn’t what’s most important to him–pursuing his hobby and meeting others is what he enjoys most, he said.
The largest vendor at the opening day of the 4 Seasons Farmer’s Market was Story Farms out of Holden.
Bustling with workers trying to ring up customers, bag produce and shuck corn as quickly as possible, the Story Farms booth boasted vibrant produce fitting for the day before Easter.
Its workers sold baskets full of fresh fruits, vegetables and eggs that would be the envy of any local grocery store.
For more information about the market and its upcoming vendors, check out its Facebook page.