Why Buy Local and Where To Do It
Something I’ve been learning more and more about lately is the idea of buying and eating local and the benefits of doing so– in our case, buying and eating local produce. Especially in the summertime, there are SO many beautiful vegetables being grown all over the Midlands, but you don’t always see them in the supermarket. I’ve always heard that a tomato from someone’s garden (friend, neighbor, your own, etc.) tastes 100 times better than any you could find in a store. Now, I’m learning and experiencing for myself that that’s the case with most anything.
What we find in the supermarkets can come from anywhere in the world, and a lot of the produce for sale was picked when it was under-ripe then shipped (sometimes in transit for days or weeks at a time) and “fresh” ? right when it hits the store. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t make me as excited about eating my supermarket’s fruits and vegetables.
Now, give me a strawberry from a farm 10 miles away, and I can immediately tell that it was picked when it was ripe and delivered right to the market. Nothing beats a perfectly ripe, sweet and juicy strawberry, am I right??
Buying locally grown produce cuts out the extra transit time, meaning your produce can be picked when it’s at its peak flavor and nutrient level– so it tastes better and is the best for you! Not to mention, you get to support the farmers in your city. Win-win!
All this to say, I’m making a serious effort to purchase produce locally grown and in season (none of that vine-ripened tomato in December non-sense). It will taste better, I know where it comes from, and I’ll be happy supporting my neighbors and community members. Join me?
In the Columbia area, there are plenty of opportunities to purchase locally grown produce, grains too! Here are some of the local markets– times of markets and websites included:
Soda City Market on Main Street
Every Saturday from 9-1
*This is the market closest to me downtown, so I’m most familiar with this one. Multiple farms bring their produce here every Saturday– you can buy fruits and vegetables, Anson Mills grains, local dairy products or beef, most anything you could think of, it’s great.
Farmers in the Forest:
Every Wednesday from 3-7
Sandhill Farmers Market
Tuesdays from 2-7
Irmo Farmers Market
1st and 3rd Saturday of every month from 9-1
Town of Lexington Farmers Market
Every Saturday from 9-1
SC State Farmers Market
Open Monday- Saturday from 6am-9pm and Sunday 12pm-6pm
Sidewalk Farmers Market Fridays from 4-7
Rosewood Market is open Monday-Saturday from 8am-8pm and Sunday from 9-6pm– they’re always selling local produce and products.
Patty from our newsletter says…. “City Roots is a local farm in downtown Columbia with wonderful produce. They have incredible micro greens.” We can vouch for that!
They are open Monday-Friday 9-5PM, and they’re located at 1005 Airport Blvd. 29205.
Urban Fresh Farms— Coming soon to Downtown Columbia!
South Carolina Department of Agriculture Resources
Find out more information about CSAs, Certified Roadside Markets, State Farmers Market, Community-Based Farmers Markets and more here: https://agriculture.sc.gov/where-to-buy-local/
While I included all of the farmers markets I know of in the area, I’m sure there are even more out there! If you don’t live in the Columbia area, do some research and see where there’s a farmers market near you. Also, many grocery stores will post where their produce comes from, take a look next time you’re shopping and see if they’re selling local fruits and vegetables, you could be pleasantly surprised 🙂
Now, I’d love for you to answer this Columbia’s Cooking Question…
Do you know of anywhere else in the area to purchase locally grown produce?
We’d love to add your suggestions to our collection so we can support local farmers and community members. Thanks for your help!