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This morning, I had a dream that my mother was sitting on the edge of my bed shaking my arm and saying “It’s two o’clock! You missed the farmer’s market!” and I jumped up and said “Why did you let me keep sleeping?!”. We started talking about other things, I calmed down, and said “It’s okay, I wasn’t expecting you to wake me up, Mom. I mean, you don’t even live here. Wait. What are you doing in my apartment?” And then I woke up, and it was only 9:30 and I got ready to go to the market.


The signs for The Sprout, a raw vegan restaurant with a lunch stand at the farmer’s market. Yet again, I didn’t get anything, because I spent more money at the Owl’s Nest Plantation organic stand than I should have.


Heirloom squash and shadowy, mysterious bags of arugula at Rita’s Roots.




Produce at the Joseph Fields Farms stand:  pumpkins and gooseneck squash; okra; muscadine grapes; carnival bell peppers. Not everything at the Joseph Fields Farms stand is local, but everything is clearly labeled as to whether or not it’s locally grown.

Decorative gourds at another stand.

The first round of fall apples at Owl’s Nest Plantation.


And the money shot. Clockwise from the peppers:  yellow carnival bell peppers, sweet white onion, organic Russian banana fingerling potatoes, organic Winesap apples, organic flying saucer squash, organic portobello mushrooms, plums, tomatoes. In the center are organic golden beets. All local, but the apples are from the midstate (~100 miles away). You can see one of my reusable market bags in the corner. One nice thing about the Farmer’s Market is that, while there are plastic shopping bags available, most people I see come with their own reusable bags or market baskets.

I live one block from the Saturday farmer’s market. There are weekends (plenty of them) when I sleep until two in the afternoon and miss the whole thing completely, which is shameful. But this morning I was wide awake and I went down to take my pick of fresh, local fruits and veggies. I brought my camera (I even went back to my apartment to get it) and then discovered while standing in front of a stall full of adorable, bright flying saucer squash that I had LEFT MY MEMORY CARD IN MY LAPTOP. I was peevish, but oh well. I’ll be back next weekend, and until then there are pictures of this week’s haul.

All this for $23, all of it grown locally on small farms and co-ops. Clockwise from the lemonade: 
-fresh squeezed lemonade (no, really, they juice the lemons right there at the stall)
-heirloom “black” cherry tomatoes
-organic butternut squash
-red potatoes
-cucumber
-organic Japanese turnips with their greens attached
-organic portobello mushrooms (the most expensive item by weight at $8/lb, but it takes quite a few mushrooms to make a pound, so it’s not so bad)
-organic beets (for my borscht later this week, I’m excited!)
-green onions
-jumbo head of organic garlic
-red onion

The squash and the turnips came from Rita’s Roots, a “transitioning-to-organic” farm on nearby Wadmalaw Island. In addition to their stand at the Farmer’s Market, they also run spring and fall CSA programs. On the weekends when I do make it to the Market, I make a beeline for Rita’s (even before I get the OMFG delicious jumbo cup of lemonade). It’s always kind of a surprise–they seem to be pretty strictly seasonal, so I can’t necessarily count on seeing the same thing two weeks in a row, but there’s generally a selection of greens and root vegetables, although this week was very heavy on the squash. Rita Bachmann runs the stand and is always polite, helpful, and smiling.

There’s a raw vegan restaurant and juice bar in Charleston called The Sprout. It’s been around for a good two years, but this year they have a stand at the Farmer’s Market, serving up raw vegan lunches on the go. I didn’t get anything this week, but it was heartening to see them there (seriously, this is South Carolina we’re talking about) and I’ll probably be back for a smoothie or a sandwich next weekend. The menu board this week advertised mock tuna salad, cashew cheese, sunflower seed “burgers,” and raw pad thai in addition to six or eight different varieties of smoothies.

I am NOT usually up this early on a Saturday (it’s noon), but I feel surprisingly refreshed and ready to tackle my bread machine this afternoon.

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