Crescent City Farmers Market feels effects of recent flooding

Recently, markets held in the Crescent City have dwindled in size because some vendors are having to deal with the loss of not just their homes, but their crops as well.

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Farmers Markets are feeling the effects of the recent flooding.

Recently, markets held in the Crescent City have dwindled in size because some vendors are having to deal with the loss of not just their homes, but their crops as well.

Each week, the American Can parking lot on Orleans Avenue comes to life.

"I live in the neighborhood so I come here every Thursday and I get my fish from Pete and Clara's booth," said frequent customer, Laurie Dawes. "I love this place."

From the smell of homemade cakes and candy, to fresh seafood, residents come to support local merchants at the Crescent City Farmers Market.

"It's something the public should come out and enjoy," said Clara Gerica, of Pete and Clara's Seafood. "There's nothing like fresh produce, fresh seafood and fresh products."

However, lately shoppers are noting a difference.

"We get a lot of folks coming out wondering where their favorite egg vendor is," said Market Manager, Will Crary. "They're wondering where their favorite okra person is and it's hard to tell them they're not going to be here for a little while because they're fighting that uphill battle."

The Crescent City Farmers Market has four weekly markets. The one held on Thursday is typically one of the smaller ones, but that especially holds true now after several of their vendors lost everything due to recent flooding.

"One of our vendors had eight feet of water in her home," Crary said. "Another one of our vendors had a river rushing through her fields ... We may get anywhere from 15-to-20 vendors at this market, today we have six vendors, and that's partially because of floods and because summer has also been so brutal."

Gerica wasn't flooded, but says she knows the devastation.

"Because I went through disaster with Katrina, so yes I felt for them," she said through tears. "It's hard being a farmer or a fisherman and being destroyed, it really is hard. I know when we were in disaster, it was you're out of business, you have no income."

Less vendors mean less customers.

"We've come to get certain items and they're not here and we hate to shop anywhere else but we have to until they return," Dawes said. "But I know they'll come back."

It's a tough situation for all, but with community support, Gerica says, those affected will pull through.

"We're resilient," she said. "You'd be surprised what farmers and fishermen do."

Officials with the Crescent City Farmers Market have been collecting donations for their August 2016 Louisiana Floods Rapid Response Crescent Fund. All money collected goes directly to the vendors hurt by flooding to try and help get them back on their feet.

Grants given will be proportional to what they lost, though officials say every little bit helps. To find out more information, go to www.crescentcityfarmersmarket.org.
 

(© 2016 WWL)


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