A Saturday morning at the Port Royal Farmer's Market
By Hannah Morris | Farmers Markets have always been a huge part of my life. With many of my summers having been spent in Minnesota, and having a Master Gardener for a step-mother, I am used to large Midwestern-style events bringing thousands of people to purchase goods consisting of cheese, flowers, and fresh veggies grown on local land.
Even though our local Farmers Market in Port Royal might only draw hundreds of guests versus the thousands you might see in a place like Minneapolis, there is certainly the same level of variety (with the wonderful addition of fresh seafood that our Midwestern states obviously are missing) and no shortage of warm friendly faces sharing their homegrown delights.
Located in Heritage Park next to the Naval Hospital in Port Royal, the Market brings in anywhere between 20 and 30 different vendors from throughout the area selling a variety of goodies. Throngs of locals come out in support each weekend showing support and proving that buying local is important in every community. Second to people at the event were lots of four legged friends, walking patiently and anxiously awaiting any morsel of food to fall off of one of the tables into their willing mouths. Local music fills the air, providing a nice relaxing tone to stroll around and pick some delicious ingredients for a fantastic meal.
On Saturday mornings in Port Royal you can find veggies of every kind, a wide variety of fruits, fresh goat cheese, shrimp, homemade dog treats, beautiful flower arrangements, local honey, and so much more. With each local farmer sharing a wide smile and some detailed information about their products, it was hard for me to decide on exactly what it was that I would be taking home this Memorial Day weekend. I ultimately decided to pick up some local fresh string beans and a pound of red potatoes. With springtime allergies galore in this small southern town, I also decided it was time to try the famous old remedy of tasting some local honey every morning – which of course the Market provided. The smell of fresh bread lingered throughout the air, leading me to a stand stacked with local breads and loafs. I decided to also grab a loaf of focaccia bread provided by Beaufort Bread Company, organic and topped with olives and goat cheeses. After picking up a beautiful flower arrangement, and getting a few pounds of local caught shrimp (much bigger than any store-bought) I decided to call it quits and head home to prepare my wonderful finds.
If you have never been to a farmers market, or fear you will be paying more than in the local grocery store – worry no more! You can get all of the comforts at nearly the same prices that you would pay in any chain grocery market. In addition to not spending any additional money, you are providing your bodies with natural, non-preservative foods that are hard to come by.
Though much quainter than I am accustomed to, I have to admit, the small town feelings, and the personalized service makes the Farmers Market at Port Royal hard to beat. I can already tell this is going to be a regular for me on Saturday mornings through the duration of the season, and I hope that you will consider buying local and making this a part of your summer routine too!
Photos by Hannah Morris and Amy Daring.