If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that one of my passions is to "eat local". Moving to a different state (South Carolina, from Minnesota-- can't get much different!), we've been checking out a variety of the area's farmers' markets.
One was in Historic Bluffton, the old part of town.
There was live music in the park and the aroma of food stands and smoky meats cooking was enticing. We had just had lunch but we welcomed a glass of iced herb tea.
It was a pretty setting but didn't have the small growers we wanted and the prices were, well, exorbitant.
Rating: Not our style. Too expensive and upscale, large growers, not family farms, few organics.
Next, Beaufort, and doesn't this look promising? A gorgeous park on the waterfront, giant swings for watching the yachts come and go...
And shade! Look, a breeze from the water and it's all in the shade!
Too bad there are so few sellers, no organics, and only large growers.
I think it might be a new venture for the town. Maybe we'll check it again later in the season.
Rating: Not now. The music was nice though and the setting couldn't be prettier.
Closest to home is the Friday market in little Ridgeland. It's held in an empty dirt lot between old buildings. There is no shade, no music, no tantalizing smells coming from barbecuing food.
But wait! There are real farmers in those little stands and some of them proudly grow without chemicals! There is time for conversation with the farmer who raised the food about how the crops are doing and whether the peaches are sweet and whether or not they will be there next week depending on what's ripe in the garden and if there is enough to make the trip into town worthwhile.
The farmers ask your name and remember you from week to week. They throw in a couple extra cukes or ears of corn and their prices are great to begin with.
Rating: The Real Deal. Yup, Ridgeland is our market.
Gullah melon, raised by George's brother on St Helena's Island, oh so sweet and still warm from the sun!
Oh, and the fish market is right across the street so we can bring home some seafood for dinner.
We'll pass on those!
Tonight's dinner will be fresh panfried whiting to go with our sweet corn, tomatoes, and blueberries for dessert.