Help local economy, buy Lowcountry produce
March 4 Wellness Wednesday, held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the
Children’s Hospital lobby, will feature National Nutrition Month. Learn
which local fruits and vegetables are in season. Also featured will be
healthy recipes using some of the produce available at the Farmer's
by Kelsey Grobbel
Buying produce and meats from the local farmers’ market presents a
myriad of benefits: knowing the food source; providing a break from the
grocery store grind; supporting the local economy and community; and
helping to sustain the environment.
Convenient to MUSC family and friends, the farmers’ market on the
Horseshoe also provides an excellent place to socialize, learn about
new foods and even enjoy some entertainment on occasion.
Buying produce at the market has the following benefits:
fresh food experience. Consumers benefit by getting the freshest foods
possible since they are picked at the peak of ripeness and get
transferred directly from the farm to the market.
with the producers. The vegetables are not coming from a foreign
country like Chile. The meat is not shipped from a packing plant in
Kansas. At the farmers’ market, you have the opportunity to meet the
person growing your food. They can answer questions regarding what type
of farming techniques are being used, and what production and what
animal practices are in place.
money. Since food sold at the farmers’ market is local, the
transportation costs associated with commercial or imported foods are
not added to the price. You also save money by eating foods in season.
The climate and growing conditions dictate the type and time of produce
grown locally, so you will avoid produce that needs special growing
accommodations and, therefore, skip the increased costs.
the local economy. Consumers aren’t the only ones who benefit from
these markets. Farmers benefit by making a larger profit, since they
don’t have to ship their produce through a wholesaler and compete with
big commercial farms for supermarket merchandising. The local economy
also profits when money goes back to hometown farmers.
the technical, economical and economical reasons to support the local
farmers’ market, check out one and have some fun. You could:
the local environment. The environment benefits, because the produce
isn’t being shipped across the world requiring large fuel consumption.
Local, smaller producers generally tend to adhere to sustainable
farming practices, using fewer toxic pesticides, herbicides and
processes. This allows for greater flexibility such as unique crop and
herd rotations and field diversification that are environmentally
a new fruit or vegetable. Produce in season within the Southeast region
includes asparagus, beets, strawberries, broccoli, turnips and
- Ask the vendor his favorite way to prepare a particular type of produce. Many have recipes to share.
for special events being planned at the farmers’ market. Many have
cooking demonstrations, tastings and activities for children, too.
markets include: the Charleston Farmers Market (at corner of Calhoun
and King streets) open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning April
11. The MUSC Farmers Market is open from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every
Friday in the Horseshoe,.
children about buying fresh food. Give your children each $2, and let
them explore the market and how far that money can go while
experiencing the beauty and uniqueness of fresh produce. This may also
help them develop an appreciation for better eating habits through
ownership in the selection process.
Friday, Feb. 27, 2009