Once a month, a portion of George Street closes down to accommodate the College’s first and only Farmer’s Market, orchestrated by CofC student Adelaide Bates.
In coalition with the Office of Sustainability and CofC Dining Service, the Farmer’s Market provides fresh, local produce for purchase and includes tables to promote some of CofC’s programs and clubs. From fruits and veggies to dairy and chocolate products, the Farmer’s Market offers an array of products that promote healthy and sustainable living. The most recent Farmer’s Market included collards, lettuce, snap peas and strawberries (just to name a few) from local farms in Johns Island. Local creameries provided milk, Greek yogurt, blue and cheddar cheese and even Charleston caviar! And what’s a market without a little sweet spot? Students were also able to buy ice cream, assorted chocolates, and local honey from nearby farms. Aside from being fresh and delicious, all these products were sold at reasonable prices, usually ranging from $1 to $3.
Sophomore Adelaide Bates, of the Office of Sustainability, introduced the CofC Farmer’s Market for the first time this semester.
Bates is heavily involved with the farmer’s market in her hometown and sought to bring these effective and sustainable food practices to the College: “Growing up in a town of 500 folks, many who were fishermen, farmers, craftsmen, I knew the little man well. I knew the struggle of the little man all too well, and farmers markets are the best way for us to support them, and, for those who don’t know yet, why we should be supporting them.”
By bringing local produce to campus, Bates has introduced students to an alternate way of buying food and supporting Charleston farms and businesses.
Developing the Farmer’s Market has been no easy feat. Because of the College’s many institutional barriers and policies, the farms and programs involved in the Farmer’s Market must meet many strict qualifications in order to participate. To assure that the local farms are providing verifiably safe and clean produce, they must have a Good Agricultural Practices certification.
Unfortunately, acquiring the “GAP” certification is a lengthy and expensive process, so many small-scale farmers in Charleston don’t trouble themselves with the system. However, the market also provides products through an organization called Growfood Carolina that guarantees fresh produce from local farmers in the area.
The CofC Farmer’s Market is available once a month on Tuesdays, and the products vary depending on participating farms and businesses. Cash, credit and (thanks to CofC Dining Service) dining dollars are accepted forms of payment! Make sure to watch out for the flyers every month for listed products, and come support the Charleston community!