Chances are if you live in or frequent Tallulah, you’ve seen the red tent on Tuesday and Thursdays near the courthouse and the gentleman quietly selling locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. His name is Eddie Kennedy and he is a familiar sight from April through October in Tallulah, with some of the best Farmer’s Market fare in the region.
If you’ve had the luck to have a conversation with Mr. Kennedy then you know that, while selling his wares is important, it’s not the reason that he is out.
“Love, witness and serve,” Kennedy will tell you with a smile on his face. “Our number one job is to love, witness and serve and that’s what I do when I’m sitting out here talking with people.”
Kennedy has been a farmer all of his life.
“There’s a bigger purpose for me when I come out,” he said. “When people come up, I get the opportunity to share our Lord and Savior with them. That’s what I do when I’m out here. I’m constantly witnessing the greatness of our Lord and Savior. And, of course, I get to sell my produce” he says with a chuckle.
Kennedy has worked for years with the local LSU/Southern University Ag Extension office in Madison Parish. “Farming is what I know. I’ve been doing this for so many years now, but I still have the passion for it. Sometimes I’ll work 24 hours straight taking care of everything.”
Kennedy says that he has little tricks that he does to ensure he’s bringing the best produce to sell. “I pick my greens most times late at night so that they don’t wilt and are looking good for market.” His advice to those who have home gardens?
“Make sure you get a soil sample done through the extension office,” he said “That way you know exactly what your soil needs to help grow great produce of your own.” While he will talk produce with you all day, he will always find a way to turn the conversation back to faith.
“Those three words, love witness and serve, sums up what is my purpose in life,” he said. “Many people don’t know what their purpose really is,” he continued. “We should all be serving our fellow man. When you see someone in need, they shouldn’t have to ask for help if you can help them. Now you got to know the difference between needing and wanting. If you need something then that means you can’t provide it for yourself. And if it’s something that I can provide then that’s what I’m going to try and do to help anyone. Love is about loving your fellow man. Not fantasy love but real agape love. The type of love that a person can see in your words and your actions. When we witness, we do the job that the Lord has set out for us and that is to spread the word of Jesus Christ. Satan is the author of confusion but Jesus is not about confusion. It’s easy to tell the difference in people and easier to identify who is working for who. When we serve we have to remember that God has no particular person. He can use us all. It’s a blessing for all to serve.”
Speaking with the frankness of a person who has lived 74 years, Kennedy’s faith is what sustains him through his days. “We as a people need to get out of self and get into the Word. Everything that we need to know is in the Bible. So many don’t know the truth, but I am a witness and I can tell you that the Word can energize you. My job is to spread the Word and when people come to buy my fruits and vegetables, I never miss an opportunity to share with them.”