Carolina Forest to get new farmers market

Ripe strawberries, fresh tomatoes, and everything in-between will now be available in the Carolina Forest parking lot every Thursday. (Source: Conor McCue)
Ripe strawberries, fresh tomatoes, and everything in-between will now be available in the Carolina Forest parking lot every Thursday. (Source: Conor McCue)

CAROLINA FOREST, SC (WMBF) - Ripe strawberries, fresh tomatoes, and everything in-between will now be available in the Carolina Forest Rec Center parking lot every Thursday.

Starting on July 31, the area will join North Myrtle Beach, Conway, and Surfside Beach as markets operating under the Waccamaw Market Cooperative.

"It's the middle of the week, people can get their groceries, their produce for the weekend, and they can do it in the afternoon," explains Carolina Forest Civic Association President Bo Ives.

Ives has fought hard for this addition along with many others in the community. He says, even with the new Lowes Foods and other grocery stores in the area, the farmers market should not create much overlap.

"This isn't something that should cannibalize too much, but how can you resist home grown versus something that might have been trucked from a far distance," Ives said.

The Clemson Cooperative Extension informed the group in May that they would have the market because their research showed Carolina Forest is a thriving area. The civic association says this is confirmation the area is moving in the right direction.

"It just makes us a place, and not just a zip code, we're now a destination for people," Ives said. "Now that we're getting job generators within our own area, it's really making us more town like."

The association made the announcement to the community earlier this week and says the positive feedback has been overwhelming. They posted the news on Facebook and say more than two thousand people have clicked on the page.

"We've never had that much traffic on one notice before, it's usually around 500 for a big notice," Ives explained.

On the other hand, Ives said the county's interest in the area's development isn't a surprise.

"Everyone else is realizing the potential we've known already."

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