Keeping Wednesdays fresh at the Downtown Farmer's Market
By Molly Ingram | I had seen the signs for ages but had never found myself cruising around downtown when the Wednesday Farmers Market was open until last week. And if you haven’t been, you have been missing a wonderful chance to shop locally.
The market is held every Wednesday from May through September (maybe a little longer depending on weather) and it is held in a nice open lot right next to the Santa Elena History Center. Specifically you will find them at the corner of North. and Bladen Streets between 2 pm and 6 pm.
There were maybe 12 vendors there so there wasn’t the crush of the Saturday market in Port Royal and you could park right in the middle of the lot so you didn’t have to lug purchases miles back to where you parked.
Most of us have guests arriving during the summer on a Thursday or Friday before a weekend. A great way to welcome them to the Lowcountry is with some wonderful items found at the market. For example, I was chatting with the lady at the peaches stand (oh, they were gorgeous) and happened to mention that much as I loved peaches, I had made a pie once and that had done it for me. Pealing peaches is an art form unto itself and not one I have mastered or want to master. Magically, out came a quart (guessing) Mason jar filled with peaches ready to be put in a tart or pie. The peeling was all done for you! And for $7, you get enough for two pies and who knows how many tarts.
Yum times 10!
Then I found fresh honey from a local beekeeper and wonderful smelling soaps followed by two huge stands with tons of glorious vegetables – everything from shucked lima beans to heirloom tomatoes to giant blackberries. No more Publix for me during the summer. In talking with one of the farm owners, I asked him if all of his items were from his farm. His answer was one of the reasons I chose to live in Beaufort. “No ma’am. I bring produce from some of the farms on St. Helena to sell for them and then my cousin who lives in Georgia lets me sell his squash and zucchini. But the rest is all ours.”
Plus there was a gentleman there who made and sold Brunswick stew. Just Brunswick stew, nothing else. And I had it for dinner last night and it was terrific.
And Jannies Bakery was there with their delicious homemade breads like banana nut or blueberry. Simply stated, her Sweet Potato Pie is one of the best I have ever had. After enjoying some homemade lemonade from Jannies, I ran into my butcher (his shop is just down from Grayco’s on Lady’s Island) who was offering some of his wife’s delicious homemade breads. OK, got the sandwiches covered for the weekend.
And finally there was a lovely lady originally from England selling her absolutely delicious shortbread and delightful scones. Now this is what I call one-stop-shopping at its best!
So put the Wednesday Farmers Market on your calendars from 2 – 6 pm. You don’t want to miss this wonderful opportunity to enjoy what our local friends have produced. Come after exercise class or stop in after work on the way home. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.