18 May 2021
Local produce is having a major moment right now, for a bunch of good reasons.
It’s good for you. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is a terrific way to boost your health and ward off disease. It’s an ideal source of energy to run your body at peak efficiency. Locally farmed produce tends to be fresher, newly-picked, and less tainted by additives or preservatives. It’s also downright delicious.
It’s good for the planet. Buying food that’s grown near you cuts down on fuel use and emissions, reducing the carbon footprint.
It’s good for the economy. It’s an ethical way to support local farmers and growers - hard-working and dedicated folks who usually don’t have much to spend on marketing. You also tend to get good deals since it cuts out the middlemen involved in buying retail.
What’s ripe right now?
When you plan to buy local, it helps to know what’s in season when. Certified SC Grown has a great website that tells you exactly that.
According to their charts, here’s what’s being harvested fresh in the state of South Carolina during the month of May: arugula, asparagus, basil, beans (snap, pole, etc.), beets, blueberries, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, fennel, garlic, herbs, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuces, microgreens, mixed leafy greens (collards, kale, mustard, turnip), mushrooms, onions, parsley, peaches, peas (snap and sugar), potatoes (red and white), radishes, rutabagas, squash (yellow), strawberries, sweet corn, Swiss chard, turnips and zucchini. That’s a whole lot of fresh deliciousness right there.
Check back each month for what’s currently in season in the Palmetto State.
Best places to get Fresh Produce near the Isle of Palms…
1) Farmer’s Markets
First up, of course, are farmer’s markets. You have plenty to choose from, including three good ones that are quite convenient to the Isle of Palms.
Charleston Farmer’s Market is the biggie,and an excellent choice. It’s been selected as one of the top ten farmer’s markets in the country. Located downtown in Marion Square, it takes place on Saturdays from 8:00 am till 1:00 p.m. Check out this page on our website for more details.
Mount Pleasant Farmers Market is also a great option. Located in Mount Pleasant at the Farmers Market Pavilion next to Moultrie Middle School (645 Coleman Boulevard), it happens on Tuesdays from 3:30 p.m. till 7:00. They also have live music and prepared foods from local artisanal producers, perfect to pick up for dinner for your crew. At last check, they have 14 different farms and more than two dozen vendors of various kinds.
Isle of Palms Farmers Market has a shorter season than the others, but it sure is convenient. It’s situated right smack dab in the middle of the Isle of Palms - at the IOP Rec Center, 24 28th Avenue. The 2021 season is set to kick off on June 17th, with markets happening the third Thursday of the month during the warm season. Hours are 4:00 p.m. till 7:00 p.m.
2) Boone Hall Farms Roadside Produce Stand
Yes, Boone Hall is a major tourist destination steeped in 330 years of history, with its famous Avenue of Oaks, plantation home and grounds. It also happens to be a working farm, situated on more than 100 acres tucked in the middle of booming Mt. Pleasant. In fact, Boone Hall is one of the few places in America that’s been producing crops continually for over three centuries.
Locals and visitors alike can enjoy its farm-fresh bounty today. They operate a huge tented produce stand with wide varieties of tomatoes, squash, potatoes, onions, peppers, strawberries, peaches, watermelon, and much more, as well as plants and flowers. The stand is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am till 5:00 p.m. It’s located at 2434 Highway 17 North in Mount Pleasant. Call the Boone Hall Farms Information Line at (843) 856-5366 for more info.
3) Charleston Farm Fresh
Their motto is, “Straight from the Farm to your Front Door.” Charleston Farm Fresh delivers fruits and vegetables from area growers, along with a whole slew of other local products, every other week. Options include produce, eggs, fresh breads, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits, special desserts and baked goods.
There are no minimums or delivery fees. They deliver to the Isle of Palms on Thursdays. Other delivery areas include Sullivan’s Island, Mount Pleasant, Charleston, Daniel Island, James Island, Johns Island, West Ashley, Park Circle and Summerville. Check them out on their website or on Facebook.
4) Community Supported Grocery
Community Supported Grocery is a local option that delivers weekly. Like Charleston Farm Fresh, they also deliver to the IOP on Thursdays. You can choose your bundle size, and they have pages of add-ons to customize your order. Recent offerings included new potatoes from Spade & Clover Gardens, cauliflower or broccoli from Hickory Bluff Farms, Rocket’s Robiola from Counter Cheese Caves, lion’s mane and king’s trumpet mushrooms from Lowcountry Fungi, and garlic scapes and heirloom summer squash from Lowland Farm. Find Community Supported Grocery on Facebook.
5) Green Lite Organics
The fine folks at Green Lite Organics make picking your perfect produce package a piece of cake. They have “GLO” boxes in various sizes and types – small, regular, large, grab & GLO, fruit or lite. Just chose your box. Then customize it to get just the items you want, as well as your preferred delivery schedule. Products are all local and organic, and carefully hand selected the day of delivery.
They cheerfully live out their motto, “Bringing the Farmers Market to Your Doorstep.” If you won’t be home at delivery time, just leave a cooler out for them to fill. You can order directly from their website.
So check out some of the delicious bounty from area farms and growers. It’s a healthy, fun way to get a true taste of the Lowcountry.