By Lanier Laney
From now through August, Beaufort farmers markets will be hitting a crescendo of locally grown produce harvested at the peak of ripeness.
Grab a heirloom tomato just picked that morning and put it on a piece of fresh baked bread slathered with Duke’s mayonnaise, a little sea salt and take a bite of heaven!
Port Royal Farmers Market, on Ribaut Road in front of Naval Hospital Beaufort, is the biggest with more than 1,000 people visiting now each Saturday morning from 8:30 a.m. to noon. It was started seven years ago by Kit and Louis Bruce when the downtown farmers market was closed due to Waterfront Park renovations. It now has more than 35
local vendors and is open year-round. Kit has been adamant that all the produce and items sold be sourced from the Lowcountry. And many of the vendors she has helped sponsor have gone on to supply local restaurants and beyond with their ever-expanding businesses. The farmers markets are often the first “audience feedback” that vendors get about their products and it proves to be invaluable in their future decisions of what to grow or produce. Plus, the growth of local farmers markets has helped give a shot to the local economy.
The new Downtown Farmers Market is every Wednesday from 3 to 7 p.m. on West Street in front of Nippy’s. And Pick Pocket Plantation Farmers Market off Robert Smalls Parkway is open Saturdays, 9 a.m.. to 4 p.m., and Tuesdays, 1 to 6 p.m. Habersham Farmers Market takes place every Friday afternoon from 4 to 7 p.m. at Habersham Marketplace. The monthly First Friday event will be Footloose Friday on July 6.