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The Hollygrove Market Buyers' Club

The Hollygrove Market & Farm offers fresh Louisiana produce from rural farmers and local backyard growers to members of a buyers' club on Saturdays. Club members pick produce from makeshift picnic tables with vinyl covers, plus they can choose from farmers' surplus items — baby root vegetables and red beans this week — in a lagniappe section. Those items are purchased separately.

  The market buys the farmers' produce over a two-, three- or four-month period, and each week, farmers bring their current harvest to sell.

  Americorps volunteers Ashley Locklear and Alicia Myers pack and unload boxes of seasonal produce including mushrooms, wild rice, strawberries and oranges in preparation for the buyers' market.

  As a "produce broker," Locklear works with farmers throughout Louisiana to sell their food to the program. Myers contacts the participating members each week with the current menu, market news and health-conscious recipes. Customers also receive a map showing where their food originates.

  "We want to connect people to the farmers, and if it's just with a little map, it seems to do the job," Myers says.

  "So much of what we do reflects community desires, so it's not something that we'll dictate now, because that'll change," Vance says. "The community will let us know what works for them and what doesn't."

  Visit www.hollygrovemarket.org for more information about the buyers' club program. Email alicia@hollygrovemarket.org or call 483-7037 to join.

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