Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.
We’re so happy that Lester of Williams Produce and founder of Pointe Coupee Minority Farmers Cooperative has become a regular fixture at our Downtown Saturday market. Lester has been gardening since he’s been old enough to know how, but has been specializing in commercial farming since 2002. He started by growing food for his mother when she had health concerns that required a wholesome diet that he couldn’t find at his local grocery stores. He grew purple hulled peas, butter beans, mustards, collards, turnips, and okra. His mother shared with her friends and community of the older generation, and soon Lester’s produce became so popular that he decided to expand his operation. Along with his assistant and the occasional presence of one or two of his grandchildren, you’ll find Lester with a table full of colorful produce, which now features mustard greens, turnips, rutabaga, jester squash, red and yellow onions, and a whole lot more. Come late spring and summer, he’ll also have heirloom lemon cucumbers and beans (tiger eye, red beans, and edamame), along with watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew.
The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round in four New Orleans neighborhoods. The CCFM hosts nearly 80 local small farmers, fishers and food producers, and more than 100,000 shoppers annually.