11 Aug 2020
Along with everything else, COVID has affected the status of your favorite farmers market around the Lowcountry. A farmers market is a terrific way to get fresh, healthy food straight from the farmer who grew or raised it. That part fits perfectly with these pandemic times, as anything promoting immunity and good health is a beneficial thing. And shopping outdoors for your groceries is an added plus, as it’s preferable to shopping around others indoors. What’s not so great are the crowds. The main farmers market around here, the Charleston Farmers Market, traditionally draws huge crowds to Marion Square on Saturday mornings almost year round. It was voted one of the top ten markets in the country, and it earned that accolade by being a bustling, cool place to be.
The farmers market and the pandemic
Well, area organizers took those two factors into consideration and came up with a solution, at least for the time being. Farmers markets are now operating as “essentials markets.” The Mount Pleasant Farmers Market adopted this approach a while back, as I covered in this blog. It rechristened itself as the “Mount Pleasant Essential Farm Goods Market.” Check it out on Tuesdays from 1:00 p.m. till 7:00 p.m., in the large pavilion area next to Moultrie Middle School along Coleman Boulevard. Now two other main markets have followed suit - the Charleston and West Ashley Farmers Markets. They'll both be operating as essentials markets for the foreseeable future. The Charleston one has a new day of the week and a new location.
Here are the new Essentials Market parameters:
- Essentials-only format, with just farmer/grower vendors (no prepared food vendors, entertainment, or other activities);
- Vendors and patrons are required to wear masks and maintain 6-foot social distancing;
- Sanitation stations are provided throughout, along with signage to help with safe guidance through the market;
- Charleston Essentials Market: Wednesdays from 4:00 p.m.– 7:00 p.m., in the VIP lot next to The Joe (Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Baseball Park), at 360 Fishburne Street in Charleston, with free parking in the lot across the street;
- West Ashley Essentials Market: Saturdays from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. in Ackerman Park, at 55 Sycamore Avenue in West Ashley;
- Check Charleston Market or West Ashley Market Facebook pages for dates of upcoming markets.
Sunday Brunch Farmers Market
Also, you might want to check out the Sunday Brunch Farmers Market, located behind The Pour House at 1977 Maybank Highway on James Island. It lasts from 11:00 a.m. till 3:00 p.m. every Sunday. It’s all local, with great vendors, live music and food options. Of all the local markets, they seem to have the most vendors and options, like plants, beverages, and more. Wear a mask and practice safe social distancing, of course. Check out their website for all the details, or their Facebook page. So check out a farmers market, aka essentials market, or two to stock up on fresh fare. And when you are looking to book a beach house Charleston, be sure to give EP a call. All best, Lowcountry Lisa your Isle of Palms vacation blogger