The Mid-City Green Market opened today, April 17, for the first time, and this new, weekly farmers market appears to be off to a great start.
The market continues through 7 p.m. this evening outside the American Can Co. building at 3700 Orleans Ave., near Bayou St. John. There is a live music from the DeSoto Street band and a free wine tasting at the adjacent Cork & Bottle Fine Wines from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The market has taken over the same space and is being held on essentially the same schedule as a market operated here before Katrina by the Crescent City Farmers Market. That group's Mid-City market did not return after the storm. But Cork & Bottle owner Jon Smith (pictured above, at right, at the start of today's market) thought the neighborhood would embrace a weekly market here again if given the chance, so he decided to form his own nonprofit to host it.
The Crescent City Farmers Market has encouraged the idea and gave Smith plenty of support in planning and organizing the new market.
Many of the vendors out there today are familiar faces from the former Mid-City market and the other farmers markets held around town. Some of the produce and products available today include Creole tomatoes, some of the last of this year's Plaquemines orange harvest, greens and onions, artisanal bread, pestos, handmade chocolates, fresh local shrimp, seabream, drum, crabs and oysters, kettle corn popped as you watch and an array of edible herbs and decorative plants.
Smith believes the number and variety of vendors will grow as the new market gets established. Based on the response I saw in the first hour of today's market, there seems to be plenty of opportunity here to grow.
- Ian McNulty