Farmers Markets have always played an important role in the Southeast, but with the development of more small alternative farms, including organic operations and showcase farming for tourists (for which the markets often serve as outreach elements) their importance seems to be growing even more.
To recognize that fact in South Carolina, Gov. Mark Sanford has proclaimed August as 'Farmers Market Month" and is urging all South Carolinians to eat local products to celebrate the designation. The designation is an extension of National Farmers Market Week, which was celebrated August 1-7 across the nation.
Sanford notes three state farmers markets and over 100 community-based markets are a significant part of the rural economy offering "healthy fruits and vegetables, flowers and plants, herbs, baked goods and other products at affordable prices."
"The popularity of farmers markets continues to rise as increasing numbers of consumers discover the joys and pleasures of shopping for unique products direct from the farm and buying familiar items in the freshest possible state," said Sanford in the proclamation.
"The local farmers market is a great place to teach children about the origin of their food," he added.
Read the formal proclamation.
Find the nearest farmers market by visiting www.agriculture.sc.gov and clicking on Farmers Markets Directory under Publications.