Every Saturday in Marion Square, right in the heart of Charleston’s Historic District, you’ll find a weekend favorite of locals and tourists alike. It’s the Charleston Farmer’s Market. But the CFM is more than just a farmer’s market; it’s a source of pride and connection for the entire Charleston community, bringing together people from all parts of the Lowcountry and beyond.
Founded by Mayor Joe Riley in 1988, and the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service, the Charleston Farmers Market (CFM) has received numerous awards: in 2005, it was awarded the Three Sisters Award from the Charleston Save the City Committee; in 2008, the CFM was ranked by Travel + Leisure Magazine as one of the top 10 Best Farmers Markets in the Nation; and the Charleston City Paper Readers’ Poll, readers have named CFM the “Best Outdoor Event” for seven years in a row (and running).
There’s many reasons for all the rewards: you’ll find over 100 local vendors, offering everything form local produce, plants, herbs and cut flowers to breakfast and lunch vendors, live entertainment and an assortment of juried arts and crafts from local artisans.
“Whether you stop to grab a bite to eat, get your local grocery shopping done, find a one-of-a-kind gift for a loved one (or for yourself) or relax while enjoying live music on what we like to call, the largest outdoor dining patio in all of Charleston your entire family is certain to enjoy a memorable Saturday at the market,” says Harrison R. Chapman, CFM Manager.
What To Know Before You Go
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your CFM visit:
1) Bring cash and small change.
Your purchases will go easier and faster if you have exact (or close to exact) change. Some vendors accept credit cards, but most deal exclusively in cash, and almost all the vendors will appreciate your single and $5 bills.
2) Bring your own bags.
Not all vendors offer bags. Your precious purchases will be easier to carry if you bring your own large bag with handles or, even better, a backpack.
3) Talk to the farmers.
If you see an unusual looking item and and want to give it a try, ask the farmer how to prepare it. For the best tips ask how they like to eat it.
4) Know what’s in season.
To help with your shopping and recipe planning, know what will be in season when you visit. This handy South Carolina produce availability chart shows you what is in season when. (insert image titled SC-Produce-Avail)
More about the Charleston Farmer’s Market:
(329 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29403)
CFM is open every Saturday, from April 8th through November 25th, 8 AM to 2 PM as well as Saturdays and Sundays in December during Holiday Magic for the Holiday Market.