Haughton residents celebrated the opening day of its farmers market Saturday with blue skies, sunshine and a lot of smiling faces.
The early morning crowd arrived ready to shop at booths filled with fresh local produce and homemade treats. Market organizers say its new location on the corner of Highway 3227 and Allen Town Road has put it on the map and on track for a successful summer season.
The Haughton Farmers Market was established last year for the sole purpose of giving locals a venue to sell their produce, foods and crafts. Caroline King, a Haughton resident and market organizer, said this year is no different.
“We pride ourselves on giving the community products that are made or grown by people in the area,” she said. “We don’t charge anyone to be here either. We just want this to be the place to go on Saturdays to sell and buy local products.”
Now in its second year, the market has doubled in size due to the larger location.
“We try to offer a variety of things which keeps down the competition between vendors,” King said. “We want the customers to have choices and experience all the wonderful things we have available this year.”
There are two important rules at the Haughton Farmers Market – out of state vendors are not allowed and nothing is resold by a secondhand dealer. King said they check out each vendor to make sure what they sell is, in fact, locally grown or made.
Janet Brown of Ivan is one vendor that has taken her hobby and turned it into profit at the farmers market. Brown brings a variety of food items to the table, including pickles (bread & butter and spicy kosher), pickled squash, tomato relish and an assortment of jellies.
“If it can be pickled, it’s going to be pickled in the south,” Brown joked.
Social media has played a big role in informing the public about the new additions. South Bossier resident Janice Melancon stopped by Brown’s booth during her first trip to the Haughton market after seeing a post she made on Facebook.
“I think it’s great and I hope it continues to grow,” she said. “There are so many markets popping up and I just love that.”
Melancon purchased pickled squash, which she couldn’t wait to try, and some jelly at Brown’s booth.
“It’s a great way to try something new,” she added. “I would definitely recommend coming out to this market.”
The market’s first day was a success for many customers as well as for the vendors, who offered everything from fruits and vegetables to baked goods, hair accessories and craft items.
King said the market will continue to grow through the summer, potentially adding new vendors and items each week
“The new location is on a main road that connects so many towns,” she added. “We’ve had great support from the town of Haughton with maintaining the lot too.”
The Haughton Farmers Market will be open every Saturday through August 9 from 8 a.m. to noon. Parking is free and will be assisted by cadets from the Youth Challenge Program at Camp Minden.
Sponsors of the 2014 market are Ivey Building Center in Haughton and Lawnmasters of Shreveport.
For more information, check out the Haughton Farmers Market Facebook group or call Caroline King at 949-9592.