DSC06762We spent last week in the South Carolina Lowcountry, just inland from Hilton Head Island. It’s a lovely spot to Spring Break, because along with all the tourist fun centered around Hilton Head and the beach, we get to experience the gorgeous May River and all the fun (i.e., food) that the lowcountry has to offer.

I’ve blogged about one of our favorite Bluffton experiences before – the Farmers’ Market that takes place in Old Bluffton every Thursday afternoon, and I thought I would share with you some sights and experiences from our visit this year.

And, if your travel includes a visit to Hilton Head Island this summer, add this adventure to your Thursday afternoon itinerary!

Pastured Pork – I Was in Hog Heaven!

As we wandered through, my kids spotted a table with all sorts of pecans. They asked to sample them so we made our way in that direction. I noticed that the farmer also offered a heritage breed of pork.

“I love that you offer a heritage breed. What do you feed your pigs?” I asked.DSC06763

“Oh, they’re raised on pasture, you know. Grass. Except,” he replied, and then paused to help another patron with some pecans.

In my mind, I finished his sentence for him. “Except for the feed we have to give them in the winter time.”

Turning back to me when he was done, he said, “They eat grass. Except for when they wander into the garden. Then there’s no telling what they get ahold of in there.”

Glory be! I bought sausage, bacon, and pork chops. My family has already devoured the sausage and declared it the best ever.

Farmer Joe was a love … he said he wanted to give me a big hug for buying so much meat from him! I told him that he’s selling the kind of product that I want to support and thanked him for being there.

If you’re in the Savannah, Georgia area, here’s the information for the farm:

Clark & Sons Organics

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Gorgeous Gullah Fare

One of the secrets of the Bluffton Farmers’ Market is that it’s more than a market – it’s the best place for dinner in town! You can get amazing Carolina BBQ, Chinese dumplings made onsite, and some of the best that Gullah cuisine has to offer.DSC06765

For those of you fascinated by the history of food, check out Ultimate Gullah to learn more:

Simply speaking, Gullah food is about ancestral ties and American living, adaptability, creativity, making do, livin’ ot da waddah and on the lan’. It is a culture within the culture, with its own history, heritage, and distinction. It is a food culture handed down through practice more so than with words … .

Ultimate Gullah, from The Ultimate Gullah Cookbook by Jesse Edward Gantt and Veronica D. Gerald

This is where my mom was able to find some delicious deliciousness that was mushy enough for my stroke-survivor dad to enjoy. And, really, who wouldn’t scarf down a crab cake smothered in she-crab soup? Normally, Dad’s dinner plate is a sight I try to avoid, but we were all salivating at this one.

DSC06769Bill Dupont performed, while adults sat at picnic tables and enjoyed their market finds. Kids, meanwhile, danced in the open field or found their way to a newly-constructed playground, complete with the bow of a pirate ship to climb all over.

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Shaded by a canopy of trees and the glorious Spanish moss that occupies them, patrons sampled and bought everything from local honey to fresh strawberries, gluten free granola and fresh seafood.

Speaking of seafood, mom and I stopped at the nearby Bluffton Oyster Company on our way home to fetch some fresh shrimp and oysters. But you’ll hear more on that in my next post!

(Don’t forget about Plants-a-palooza, our weeklong celebration of all foods botanical, which starts Monday, April 21st! Start stocking your shelves now!)

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