By Claire LeBeouf
“Don’t forget your bag of groceries!”
“Y’all go pick some oranges.”
“I picked that from my garden this morning.”
Locally grown. These are all things you will hear in South Louisiana when it comes to local food. It is common down south to grow produce and sell it, but it is more common to give it away to friends, family, and neighbors. Citrus trees line people’s back yards with branches of juicy fruit begging to be picked. Fresh cucumbers and tomatoes are plucked straight from the vine and eaten with salt and pepper. Plastic grocery bags are the universal way to transport produce from house to house.
Janet Tauzin, a grandmother of four, enjoys passing down this South Louisiana tradition.
“I know my grandkids love when we send them home with fruits and vegetables that I get from my neighbor’s garden,” Tauzin says.
In spring, lemon trees are in full bloom just in time for crawfish season. Homegrown lemons go perfectly with all the fixings that go into the boiling pot. People put in hours of hard work in their gardens planting, pruning, and picking. But they are willing to let others try what they have grown year after year. Now that’s southern hospitality, Cajun recycling and good eating!