In Rita's Blog

April 1 started out a little dreary. I was behind in my food sourcing and found myself eating grits, eggs and greens for the first part of the day – not that I mind those, it’s actually a favorite, but I didn’t know where my next meal was coming from just yet… I was feeling food insecure!

Luckily, Lowcountry Local First was having the Dirtworks Incubator Farm launch that afternoon and the reception was catered using local ingredients by Cassique and the Beach Club on Kiawah Island. Amen, I was saved…at least for the evening.

I dedicated April 2 to driving all around town to gather my sustenance for the next little while. My day consisted of:

A trip to Ambrose Farms on Wadmalaw Island yeilding – U-pick strawberries, beets, asparagus, Spring onions, carrots and the first (literally) Spring broccoli, offered straight from the farmers hand. Thanks Pete!

My journey carried me back to Johns Island for a stop at Blackbird Market where I picked up:

– 10lbs carrots grown on their farm plot on Wadmalaw
– Rio Bertolini’s Split Creek Farm Goat Cheese Ravioli (convenience food!)
French Boule baked at Normandy Farms Bakery
– 2 jars of pickled SC peaches – we are in a fruit shortage at this time of year, so I was really excited to find these!
Nicole’s Nutty Goodness snack bars (more convenience food – hooray! – I need all the help I can get)

Crossing Main Rd., I found myself at the Piggly Wiggly scoping out their local dry goods selection. I came up with:
Charleston Coffee Roasters whole bean organic dark roast coffee, and
Charleston Bloody Mary Mix mix to be used with the Firefly Vodka I pick up at the ABC next door.

Onward up Maybank Highway to Earthfare Health Foods Market who has a lovely display of local produce right as you walk in the door.  They receive most of their local fare from the all-local food distributor Grow Food Carolina.  My findings there:
Sweet Potatoes from Care Farm in Orangeburg- they look a little rough, but they taste divine – sweet and silky texture, bright orange flesh. Needed nothing but a little sea salt.
Tomatoes – Hydroponic from Kurios Farms – they are pretty darn good for being grow indoors in March.  I’m really thankful for a local tomato right now…
Zesty Salad Mix from City Roots in Columbia – beautiful microgreen mix with pea tendrils, beets, brassicas, and sunny shoots.
BeerWestbrook Brewing CompanyWhite Thai 6-pack o’ cans.


The Glass Onion off 17 keeps a stock of the Green Grocer’s AMAZING raw milk. Celeste Albers is one of our finest producers in town – a hero of mine. I also grabbed some homemade pickles and pimento cheese.

Heading through downtown, I made a quick u-turn into Crosby’s Seafood to pick a local catch –
Flounder filets

And the farthest journey of all – to Our Local Foods off of Clements Ferry – but worth the trip to acquire Happy Cow Creamery’s Butter and Cheese. Can’t forget the sweet tooth – Split Creek Dairy’s creamy, delicious Fudge.

I head home to find a freshly delivered package waiting on my doorstep – from Anson Mills in Columbia – a most precious and holy box of the finest in South Carolina Heirloom, organically-grown grains…various Flours for bread, tortillas and dough, Farro, Carolina Gold Rice, Popping Corn, stone-cut Oats and Grits.  Spectacular.

The pantry and fridge are stocked with the most beautiful foods in our land. I have found the food security I was looking for with a little hunting and gathering. I’m thinking this challenge will be more than possible – healthy, delicious and conscious.

Now to begin cooking…