Locavore [loh-kuh-vawr, -vohr]
A Person who makes an effort to eat food that is grown, raised, or produced locally, usually within 100 miles of home
The local food movement didn't have to reach Edisto it was always here. Edisto is an island heavily dotted with family run farms. Large and small operations, full time to hobby-farms the people of Edisto have to be the most resourceful and self-sufficient people I have ever been blessed to encounter.
I made an early morning stop at our local markets Geechie Boy Mill and Kings Market to see what they were bringing in from the fields. What they have coming available is delightful.
Today was the opening day for the store at Geechie Boy Mill. They are starting the year off with a few new items most importantly homemade doughnuts. Don’t turn up your nose. These are not the saccharine sweet, grease, sugar, and preservative filled junk you are thinking of. These were simple, fresh, and hot just like grandma used to make. No syrup or glaze, just pure, homemade, and amazing. (Getting off the doughnuts now) The Johnsman’s (owners of the Geechie Boy) were bringing in fresh veggies and planting many more. They will have fresh eggs, local honey, jams and jellies, the doughnuts, fresh ice-cream, and of course GRITS. Their produce can and does vary given the fact that they plant the majority for chefs who special request certain produce, we luck out and get to buy the extra! If you haven’t stopped in their market before, make the effort. They have a great little store and are wonderful to talk to.
Kings Farmers Market is by far the more well know and popular market on the island. Owner Bonnie King was in this morning when I stopped by. She was getting the market ready by herself as the rest of the family was out rounding up their cattle. Yes, I said cattle. They are now proudly offering their own locally raised, grass fed beef. They are selling frozen ground beef and steaks. All their beef is antibiotic free and cared for by the King family on Edisto. I’ll be stopping in after work to pick up a few pounds. Kings Market is currently offering their U-Pick strawberries and Bonnie said their squash would be in soon. They had a lot to offer this morning by way of produce, fresh eggs, cheese, pies and baked goods. All in all it was quite exciting to see the farmers finally able to get their produce out of the fields. I know they are relived to be done with the crazy winter we all suffered through. Bonnie King did advise everything would be about two weeks behind its normal harvest schedule due to the late start planting this year.
Make sure to stop in and indulge in a little locavore, Edisto style. I’ll be hanging with the Fontaines at Edisto Seafood next week to see what they will be bringing in and to find out what this year’s shrimp season is expecting to look like!