All other markets in town are closed until spring, but that doesn’t mean locals must give up their farmers market fun and delights! The Johns Island Farmers Market launches into its 4th year of operation on Saturday, January 14th. Charleston’s only year round farmers market is open every Saturday, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 3546 Maybank Highway, across from the Johns Island Public Library.
The market started on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, with 20 weekly vendors and has expanded to over 50 local farmers and artisans, delicious prepared food vendors, and live local musicians. The goal of the Johns Island Farmers Market is to be a one-stop shop to satisfy everything on a shopping list sourced locally and sustainably while also educating the community, establishing connections, and helping to shift lives in a loving, greener direction.
The year round market is always accepting new farmers and artisans who need a way to connect with the local community. Founders, Frasier Block and Blue Laughters, want to serve as a year round store front for local farmers and businesses and be a reliable source people can count on for shopping all year.
“We are thrilled to support and connect lots of new and returning farmers, small businesses, and entrepreneurs throughout this new year,” said Frasier Block. “It’s a great opportunity to know your local farmer/entrepreneur and get a majority of your shopping list sourced locally; our market is proud to provide that each week.”
Education is also a key component to the overall vision of its founders. “We love to incorporate interactive learning practices in an effort to teach the benefits of making more informed sustainable lifestyle choices.” The Johns Island Farmers Market is working closely with area schools to promote the talents of students in the community throughout the year. Local non-profit groups such as Clemson Extension Master Gardeners, Charleston Animal Society, and LEARN Horse Rescue are on hand to answer questions, take soil samples, and give pony rides. Each month the “Thyme Travelers Kitchen” will present cooking demos on eating local and in-season, teaching how cultures from around the world have influenced southern cuisine. Thyme Travelers Kitchen will also present interactive kids cooking classes.
JIFM is also the only local farmers market where adults and families who are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can use their EBT cards at the farmers market Info Booth for tokens to purchase fruits, vegetables, plant starts, meat, dairy, bread, honey, and other eligible foods. As an incentive for healthy eating, they will receive $10 free in Healthy Bucks tokens for fresh fruits and vegetables when they spend at least $5 on their EBT cards, as a part of the Double Your Healthy Bucks program.
Live music is a weekly staple on the grounds along with the food trucks. “We want this to be a fun and joyful place to spend every Saturday relaxing, eating good, listening to local musicians, connecting with new people, and of course shopping for the weekly groceries,” added Block. Each Saturday welcomes friends, family, and pets.
Free, convenient parking is offered in an expanded field adjacent to the market, as well as cozy fire pits to keep patrons warm in the cooler months.
Be sure to visit us every Saturday starting January 14th to fill your shopping baskets with goods from your favorite returning vendors plus lots of new ones!
For more information regarding Johns Island Farmers Market, please visit www.johnsislandfarmersmarket.com
(Visual and information credit: www.johnsislandfarmersmarket.com)