State officials want you to eat local

Image by Flickr user NatalieMaynorImage by 20080804farmers.jpg The area's multitude of farmers markets can keep you stocked on fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as giving you the chance to just have a good time.

As part of Farmers Market Month, the S.C. Department of Agriculture is asking folks to search for the "Certified SC" logo before they buy. The monthlong effort is an extension of National Farmers Market Week, which runs August 3-9.

S.C. Dept. of AgricultureThe Agriculture Department has a press release on Farmers Market Month, but the basic idea is that they're asking everyone to take advantage of the fresh, farm-grown, local foods available around you, and most of that happens to be at local farmers markets.

From the S.C. Department of Agriculture:

To celebrate farmers markets as a valuable part of the state’s food distribution system and to encourage consumers to buy local produce and products, Commissioner Weathers encourages everyone to “Eat Local for a Day - the Certified South Carolina Way” during Farmers Market Week. He said, “Look for the Certified SC logo. If you don’t see it, ask for it, because ‘Nothing’s fresher. Nothing’s finer.’ ”

“The local farmers market is a great place to teach children about the origin of their food,” said Commissioner Weathers. “Ask the farmers questions. They are passionate about their products and would love to talk about them. Look for recipes. Try something new. Above all, enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of a local farmers market. Then, take your products home and celebrate with an all Certified South Carolina Grown family dinner on the table.”

But, besides quality, one of the big issues is also economic. The Agriculture Department says that every $100,000 more in farm sales creates five new jobs and about $200,000 in economic activity.

So what are some of your farmers market options this week?

Freshfields Village Farmers Market — Monday, 4-8 p.m.
Mount Pleasant Farmers Market — Tuesday, 3 p.m. till dark
Moncks Corner Farmers Market — Wednesday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Chicora-Cherokee Farmers Market — Wednesday, 3-7 p.m.
North Charleston Farmers Market — Thursday, 2.-6 p.m.
Marion Square Farmers Market — Saturday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

And these are all ongoing, so if you can't make it this week, drop by soon. You can also find a complete directory of farmers markets across South Carolina and a list of what's in season courtesy of the Agriculture Department.

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