About one month ago, I had a dream. In it, I was walking through my favorite place to be on a Saturday morning, The Charleston Farmers Market. I could smell the bread, the jasmine, the sizzling doughnuts, and practically taste my first strawberry of the season. Then, I awoke to the nightmarish reality that I had longer yet to wait. It’s been a naughty and long winter in Charleston, so the arrival of this year’s market seemed an agonizingly long time coming.
The nightmare ended this morning with the opening of the very first market of the season. I got there just as the open air market “doors” opened, eager to indulge in what is always a veritable celebration of spring, a true rite of passage to mark the beginning of the Lowcountry’s long and verdant growing season.
I scrambled to Thackery Farms booth first, just to spy their always luscious displays of organic goodness (pictured) before it got dissassembled. Baby fennel, tiny, crisp radishes, baby cabbages, poppies, and sweet onions, all shimmered with beauty and freshness.
Old friends and familiar faces bounced cheerfully through the eager crowd. I found long tapered spears of asparagus, milky clusters of Mepkin Abbey’s velvetty oyster mushrooms, and yes, that very first taste of the very first local strawberry. The sweet juiciness that trickled down my chin, reminded me of the joyful continuity and generosity of farmers and of Mother Nature. They do so much to salve the wounds of a world, of late, so full of chaos. Thank goodness for them.
The Charleston Farmers’ Market – Marion Square, downtown Charleston.
Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., April – December