Mel's Take 5

 

Your Publisher’s Guide to all things #NaturalinNola

Local, Whole Food Providers

  1. Farmer’s Markets 

Local farmer’s markets have long been a place to find fresh, local ingredients and can be a melting pot of food from fresh baked bread, to local dairy and seafood, to all the in-season fruits and veggies your heart desires, even fresh plants for your garden and flowers for you home. I always feel very French when shopping at my local farmers market and feel as if I have stepped back in time to grocery shop as they did for centuries. The Eat Local Challenge has a great list of local markets from the Crescent City Farmers Markets here in NOLA to the Covington Farmers Market on the Northshore, you can check out the list here: www.nolalocavore.org/local-foods/local-farmer-markets or just google “local farmers markets.” If you go to the Crescent City Farmer’s Market, tell Paul the Pesto Man Melissa says, “Hi!” Happy shopping! 

 

  1. Urban Farms 

Urban Farms have been popping up all over the city for the past few years and I love it.  Talk about a win-win for everyone involved. We as consumers get access to fresh, local produce, they make great use of the land, it’s better for the environment as it promotes a shorter supply chain, they beautify what were previously blighted properties, they employs locals, and they teach us about sustainable farming practices. What’s not to love? Hollygrove is probably the most known and it really is a conglomerate of many local farms/farmers, but there is also Grow Dat Youth Farm, Grow Me Somethin’, Backyard Gardeners Network, Parkway Partners, and more. Most of them operate under the New Orleans Food & Farm Network, which can be found here: www.noffn.org. Happy farming! 

 

  1. Local Farms 

I personally have not had a chance, but have wanted to go visit the farms on the Northshore for some time. I would love to pick blueberries at one of the blueberry farms on the Northshore such as 3D Blueberries or Blue Tarra for $10/gallon. Or eat strawberries picked right off the vine at Mrs. Heather’s Farm in Ponchatoula. Or visit Tompkins Farm in Covington for my family’s dairy and meat so I can see first-hand where their food is coming from. Local Harvest is a great resource, just put in your location and see all the farms you can go to. I’ll see y’all there, because this spring and into the summer, I am going. Let’s make a day of it and then let’s make it a regular thing.  www.localharvest.org. Happy picking! 

 

  1. Seafood Markets 

Being a pescatarian myself, or as I like to say, a Louisiana vegan, I am always in search of fresh, local seafood. Captain Valderie of From the Boat to You sells seafood outside of Hollygrove on the weekends and I believe also has his own location as well. He is one of the happiest and most knowledgeable purveyors of fresh, Louisiana seafood I have ever encountered and his fresh seafood at incredible prices is hard to top. If you have the chance to meet him, I highly recommend it. If I miss Capt. Valerie, I often just head over to Bucktown as I have since I was a little girl and hop into Captain Sid’s or Deannie’s market. Locally, I also sometimes hit up Michael’s Seafood on Jeff Hwy or Big Fisherman on Magazine and have heard good things about Broadview Seafood on Broad as well. Happy fishing! 

 

  1. Butcher Shops 

Cleaver & Co is one of the best local butcher shops here in the city and I believe the founders are fellow Tulane MBAs. Roll wave! I am no longer a meat-eater myself, but I once was and my family still is so when I can, I stop by for locally sourced specialty meats for them. Cleave & Co’s service is unparalleled, their product top of the line, and I love that they have created relationships with local farmers all over southern Louisiana. There is also Chris’ Specialty Meats in Lakeview and I’ve heard good things about The Gourmet Butcher in Gretna, home to many of stuffed birds. Happy hunting! 

 

Fresher ingredients. Local economy. Cleaner planet. 

 

You can reach me at melissa@nalamag.com anytime.