Downtown Florence has the makings of a new local hub for foodies. Don’t agree? Well, read my recent opinion piece about the restaurant row that I can foresee and then tell me what you think.
I hope that I was able to convince you of the “hub” part, but what about the “local” part? People want to buy local. They want to eat local. They just don’t know where to find local. Enter the new Florence Downtown Farmers’ Market.
Not long ago, the Downtown Farmers’ Market brought a commitment to keep things local like few others could have done. Eighty percent of what each vendor sells must be produced locally, as defined within a specific geographic radius around Florence. Such specificity and related enforcement, in my opinion, is what has led to the marketplace’s rapid growth and what will ultimately be critical to its long-term success. I hope that rule can be maintained.
The Downtown Farmers’ Market does more than supply produce and specialty goods. It also educates. Why is “local” produce better? Ask the farmer who is across the table from you and he’ll tell you. Why is “organic” not just for the granola crowd? Ask the mother shopping along side you who has researched what goes into the processed foods most of us eat on a daily basis. She’ll tell you more than you’d probably care to know.
The new Florence Downtown Farmers’ Market is be both a source of great food and a resource for great knowledge. All we have to do is nurture it through our patronage to see it grow and flourish — just like downtown itself.
The vendor list changes periodically so the best way to know what the full selection will be each week is to visit the Downtown Farmers’ Market Facebook page and then sign-up for its weekly newsletter. According to this week’s edition, the following are scheduled to be there on Wednesday, June 13, 2012:
Carolina Heritage - Fresh Poultry & Pork
Orangeland Seafood – Beef and seafood tacos, as well as fresh catch of the day and live Blue Crabs
Righteous Ranch - Grass Fed Beef
Trinity Farms - Fresh produce , Americana Eggs, and other specials
SC Real Foods - Local whole grain breads, granola, and more
Lone Palmetto Farms – Goat’s Milk Products, including Chèvre
Dickson Organics - Certified organic vegetables
Countryside Gardens – Plants, flowers, and herbs
Photo Art By Suzanne – Photographic art
Beth Robertson – Indian Art woven originals
Old Plantation Syrup – Cane syrup and BBQ sauces
Starving Skeeter Farms - Blackberries and blueberries
Note that links that I’ve inserted above were only those that I could find through Facebook and a basic interwebs query. If you have links for those vendors that I could not locate, please add them in the comments section below. We’re happy to help spread the word about all participating vendors.
I have no doubt that in the further the vendor list will grow. Tomorrow, Bistro To-Go, the new local food truck experience that we reviewed here on PeeDeeFoodie.com, will be available for the first time. Later, Taste of Spain will also join the roster. All will be found at the following location:
About the AuthorKevin Barron is a husband, father, self-described geek, and enthusiastic founder of PeeDeeFoodie.com. He also hosts its companion podcast, the Pee Dee Food Show, which can be found on iTunes and the blog. Learn more about Kevin under the Contributors tab above.
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Kevin, while I'd love to visit the downtown market (very much!) I don't work in town and am seldom in that area on a Saturday - assuming they're open then (I couldn't find the days/hours of operation).
So I go to Ovis Hill Farm outdoor market next to Naturally Outdoors on Saturday mornings and Thursday evenings to get my food - meat, cheese, milk, eggs, fruits and vegetables in season. And wonderful baked goods. I won't buy any meats that aren't organic, grass fed, free range if I can avoid it. This is another option for those of us on the West side of Florence with limited time.
I hope you'll check them out. J. D. Lee
@jdleester The DFM is open on Wednesday afternoons and early evenings; hours are listed above. Thanks for the suggestions, will do!