Friday, June 19, 2015

Market Day

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Alligator meat
Frog legs
!

We'll pass on those!

 

Tonight's dinner will be fresh panfried whiting to go with our sweet corn, tomatoes, and blueberries for dessert.

16 comments:

  1. Cynthia your Farmers Market look completely different from Europe. I would like to try your dinner it sounds yummy!!

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  2. Freshly harvested food - delicious.

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  3. The first "Farmers Market" with the New Orleans stall - I agree - I'd be missing that one!
    New Orleans is/was fascinating but that GUMBO stuff I did not like.

    Attractive riverside/bayside area to sit and watch the marine activity at Beaufort.

    Anyhow you had an interesting exploratory day out and I do like your chosen
    dinner meal - whiting fish and chips are a real favourite of mine. Plenty of fresh
    lemon juice, sea salt and pepper on the fish - best stop before I start to drool!
    Cheers
    Colin (Brisbane.Australia)
    PS: Absolutely magnificent sunny ( 7.00 am Sat) morning - the warmth in the
    sun will come later.

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  4. Our local farmer's market is Tuesday night from 5pm-7pm in our local park. We've never been, that time is right in the middle of our happy hour, also known as nap time. I like Beaufort, pretty little town, but vastly overpriced all the time.
    Coming out of the local Dollar store today we saw 2 black ladies with a pick-up truck full of corn, watermelons and cantaloupes. We bought corn, 5 ears for a dollar, quite a bargain. They were fanning themselves with old-fashioned fans like you use to see in churches down here.

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  5. Not many people around for a market or sellers.
    I'm not a market person. I would bypass the frogs legs too...but i do wonder what they taste like.
    nice view i see there .

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  6. Wow you have such a variety in your markets. Here our community markets are all run by the same Association and all the food and wares on offer are exorbitantly priced. I love looking around and maybe buying some to much on but I buy very little. I wish it was different than I too would buy local more often.

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  7. p.s. When I first came to my city I took some friends out for dinner at a high end place. I had frog's legs and they were quite tasty but I found they had too many small bones. I've never eaten them again though.

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  8. You can be a shopper for finding markets when you have these choices.

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  9. It's good to have that much choice of markets. I loved this post, being able to check out your markets. Our local market is run by the growers themselves, but infuriatingly, they insist on prepackaging most things in plastic bags, which really reduces what I will buy from them. (NZ)

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  10. Glad you found a worth while market.

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  11. I would really enjoy that walk along the water front!

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  12. I want to sit in one of those swings and watch the yachts! That is so beautiful. I like the small farmer's markets too. Sure enjoyed this post.

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  13. I would have the lobster! You are going to have to explain and show us whiting... must be a fish and what are all those other fish on the sign at the fish market. No alligator for me either...I have eaten frog legs. I want to sit in the shade and watch the yachts too! :)

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  14. You've got a lot more markets to choose from than I do, but the couple that are nearby feature small farmers that bring in produce and a few bakeries that also sell their wares. Unfortunately not much is in season yet in CO!

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  15. Nice to see how you get around in the new surroundings and find new things.

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  16. So fun to read how you are settling in and exploring. I would have loved to sit and swing and watch the harbor. Sounds relaxing. The fish you chose for your dinner sounds great. Did you clean your own and get the discount per the red sign in the photo?

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