Farmers Markets Invade Folly

Quick quiz: Which Folly market's pictured here? (Hint: Friday's Farm & Artist Market doesn't debut until Sept. 13.)

Quick quiz: Which Folly farmers market is pictured here? (Hint: Friday’s Farm & Artist Market doesn’t debut until Sept. 13.)

At the start of August, Folly Beach didn’t have its own farmers market. By the end of September, the community will have two.

The Folly Beach Farm & Artist Market debuts next Friday, Sept. 13, just weeks after the Folly Beach Farmers’ Market began convening on Wednesday evenings. While organizers initially contemplated a joint effort, diverging visions resulted in the bifurcated set-up.

For non-Folly folks, here’s a guide to keeping the markets straight:

The Folly Beach Farmers’ Market is located in the parking lot alongside The Grill at 43 Center St. Because it’s sited on private property, participation is capped at eight vendors, although The Grill’s owner is confident supporters can successfully lobby for a change in the local ordinance: “We have no doubt we can push forward and grow,” Jason Craig says.

“We’re conceiving of ourselves as an event with live music,” he adds.

While Craig says the market has “a couple of anchors to make sure key bases are covered,” various artisans and specialty producers rotate into the weekly lineup. Tonight’s sellers include Joseph Fields Farm, Normandy Farm Artisan Bakery, Blue Pearl Farms, Local Roots Wildflowers and King of Pops. Market hours are 5 p.m.-9 p.m.

By contrast, the Folly Beach Farm & Artist Market is “going to be at least three times as big,” promises organizer Toni Reale of Roadside Blooms. She and the Old Whaling Company’s April McCarty are aiming to host 25 vendors at the city’s River Park. As of yesterday, there were still slots available: “Can you send folks our way ASAP?,” Reale asked in a Facebook post.

According to a release, “Supporting Folly Beach and surrounding local businesses is a priority for the creators of the market and all vendor products will be grown, produced, or crafted in the Lowcountry or immediate surrounding area.” The Farm & Artist Market will also feature live music, with Katina Rose handling songstress duties on opening night.

The Farm & Artisan Market will be held every Friday from 4 p.m. until dark.

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