If you live in Charleston for a good portion of your life you start to become less sensitized to the renowned cuisine that surrounds you day in and day out. It’s not that the food isn’t delicious or boring by any means, but you start to take it for granted. It doesn’t really hit you until you travel to another city and then you realize how blessed your taste-buds have been.
One of the key reasons for the never ending culinary excellence lies in the fresh, seasonal ingredients that we have access to thanks to regional farmers’ produce and locally sourced seafood caught from the waters of the Lowcountry. Upscale restaurant chefs in Charleston have been taking advantage of these quality ingredients for years. But now, with community farmer’s markets gaining popularity, everyday Charlestonians can connect with local growers and producers, get insight on seasonal dishes and buy some of the freshest local produce right in their own neigborhoods.
The first of its kind in the modern era was the Charleston Farmers Market. Founded by Mayor Joe Riley in 1989, it was created for the advocacy and support of local growers and producers and to create a community connection in the Lowcountry. Its appeal quickly caught on with locals and tourists alike. Over the decades the farmers market has grown into a routine event held every weekend from April 4th until November 28th in Marion Square in historic downtown Charleston. Its success has lead to the spread of other farmers markets in outlying communities around the Holy City.
The Johns Island Farmers Market started up a few years ago and has grown to include artisans and vendors who make everything from unique candles and soaps, to fresh local honey to homegrown vegetables, herbs and spices. Food trucks, live music and kids festivities have also made their way into this family event. Since then, the Farmer’s Market in Summerville has opened behind the Summerville Town Hall as well as the Mount Pleasant Farmer’s Market held at Moultrie middle school, open every Tuesday until Fall. Both include a variety of Lowcountry vendors and growers as well as live music and other activities.
Sullivans Island Residents Propose Farmers Market
The latest proposal by several residents has community leaders on Sullivans Island considering the creation of its own farmers market. According to Island Eye News, “Council has given the go-ahead for the formation of an advisory board to work toward implementing a “trial run” of an island-based FarmersʼMarket to take place for a month next spring.” After seeing the success that neighboring communities have had, it seems Sullivans Island is ready to test the waters with its own farmers market although a location, day of the week and capacity size have not been determined yet, but keep an eye out for it this spring.
Other Farmers Markets Around Charleston
Sunday Brunch Farmer’s Market – April 26 through December 20th from 11-3 every Sunday at the beautiful wooded parking area just behind The Charleston Pour House deck and The Lot 1977 Maybank Hwy. The Pour House deck (one of our very favorite places) will be open, too, and we can’t think of a better place to connect with friends and family, buy incredible local goods and soak in some great local music with an adult beverage if you choose!
Mixson Farmer’s Market – Each week, Mixson partners with GrowFood Carolina to provide fresh produce grown by state farmers. The Farmers Market also stocks local cheeses, fresh breads, artisanal grains, honey, jams, jellies, and more. The Farmers Market runs through November 7th.
Folly Beach Farmers Market – The Folly Beach Farmers Market is back at a new location on Wednesdays from 6-9pm, and it’s bringing a lot of extra variety to patrons! The Folly River Park is located just across from where they previously set up at the Grill and Island Bar on Center Street. Head out to see new vendors, food trucks and enjoy a movie at the Tides Hotel after indulging in some of the finest goods found on Folly Beach! Movies start at 8:45. The open market offers a wide variety of local goods, from locally grown vegetables to handcrafted pastas.
North Charleston Farmers Market – The North Charleston Farmers Market is open every Thursday from May 21 through October 29 from 12:00 noon to 7:00 pm at Felix C Davis Community Center, 4800 Park Circle. The City of North Charleston’s annual Farmers Market includes a number of local farmers and growers selling fresh local produce, fruits, and vegetables. Local vendors are always on hand offering arts and crafts and other food products.
Sources: Island Eye News – Farmers’ Market Proposed For Sullivans Island
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