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5 reasons to visit Lowcountry farmers markets

picking produce

There are so many fresh vegetables to choose from at local farmers markets. Pexels

What our kids consume is everything. Especially in an age where snacks and sugar are so prevalent, providing healthy groceries is an important part of our job as parents. Beyond traditional grocery stores or big-box stores, shopping at farmers markets allows for fresh food from local sources.

Most farmers markets in the Lowcountry also have music, art, drinks and a place for a community to come together to support local farmers and artisans. These markets also let children see first-hand where fresh produce comes from, and why it is important to support small businesses.

Here are five great reasons to visit your local farmers market:

Support for local farmers. Shopping at farmers markets supports the small-time growers who can’t compete with big companies and factory farms. Plus, buying from them directly frees them from going to third parties in order to get into grocery chains. Also, speaking to the farmers directly helps to understand the hard work they put into growing organic and natural produce.

Great community experience. Farmers markets are great for bringing communities together. Many have bands playing music, activities for kids and some even have cooking demonstrations. If there is a special holiday coming up, you can be sure the artisans will have decorations and crafts to celebrate.

Fresh, organic produce. The goods sold at local farmers markets haven’t been shipped in on a boat or delivered on a truck. The fruits and vegetables are picked from plants in fields not too far away. Also, the natural and organic methods used to grow these plants means they have less chemicals than those found in regular grocery stores.

Unique shopping experience. Along with buying fresh and organic produce, farmers markets also have other unique items for sale. Looking for a special gift for a dog lover? Some area markets sell healthy dog treats. Maybe you have a friend who just bought a new home? Check out local artwork for a one-of-a-kind item they can display in their new living room. Other goods often found at farmers markets include baked goods and dessert treats, naturally-made honey or jellies, and hand-made soaps or bath bombs.

More ethical and environmentally friendly. Growing fruits and vegetables in the most natural way is good for the land and surrounding plants. If you care about the environment, buying food at local farmers markets is a way to incorporate green practices into your life. Plus, local farmers treat their animals well so you can be sure that the farm-fresh eggs you buy are from free-range chickens. The produce also comes from farms that are close by, which cuts down on transportation and makes for a smaller carbon footprint.

Here is a list local farmers markets in the Charleston area.

Charleston Farmers Market

Saturdays from April to November, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

329 Meeting St. • Charleston

Goose Creek Farmers & Artisans Market

Saturdays year-round, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

519 N. Goose Creek Blvd. • Goose Creek

McClellanville Land & Sea Market

Saturdays from April to December, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

1369 Pinckney St. • McClellanville

fresh produce

Find fresh produce and locally grown ingredients at local farmers markets. Pexels

Moncks Corner Farmers Market

Thursdays from April to November, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

418 E. Main St. • Moncks Corner

Mosquito Beach Farmers Market

Sundays from April to October, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

1229 Mosquito Beach Road • Folly Beach

Mount Pleasant Farmers Market

Tuesdays from April to September, 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

645 Coleman Blvd. • Mount Pleasant

North Charleston Farmers Market

Thursdays from May to October, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

5025 Lackawanna Boulevard • North Charleston

Sea Island Farmers Market

Saturdays year-round, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

2024 Academy Road • Johns Island

Summers Corner Farmers Market

Thursdays from April to June, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

1609 Beech Hill Road • Summerville

Summerville Farmers Market

Saturdays from April to November, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

200 S. Main St. • Summerville

The Town Market on James Island

Fridays from May to October, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

1122 Dills Bluff Road • James Island

West Ashley Farmers Market

Wednesdays from April 20 to November 2, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Ackerman Park at 55 Sycamore Avenue • West Ashley