The Lowcountry is a region known for its fresh and delicious seafood, but did you know it also has a thriving agricultural scene? Local farmers are growing various seasonal produce perfect for your next gathering.
When planning your menu, it’s important to consider the seasonality of ingredients. Seasonal produce is more flavorful and nutritious than produce shipped long distances. It’s also more sustainable, as local transport requires less energy.
Here are some seasonal ingredients that you can find at Lowcountry farmers markets and farm stores, such as Thornhill Farm in McClellanville:
- Beets: Beets are a versatile ingredient that can be roasted, boiled, or pickled. They’re also a good source of fiber and vitamins A and C.
- Carrots: Carrots are another versatile ingredient that can be eaten raw, cooked, or roasted. They’re a good source of vitamin A and beta-carotene.
- Potatoes and sweet potatoes: Potatoes and sweet potatoes are both excellent sources of carbohydrates and fiber. They can be mashed, roasted, baked, or fried.
- Turnips and radishes: Turnips and radishes are root vegetables available in the fall and winter. They’re a good source of fiber and vitamins A and C.
- Apples: Apples are a popular fall fruit that can be eaten fresh, cooked, or baked. They’re a good source of fiber and vitamin C.
- Pears and persimmons: Pears and persimmons are fall and winter fruits that can be eaten fresh or cooked. They’re a good source of fiber and vitamin C.
- Squash: Spaghetti squash, acorn squash, butternut squash, and kabocha squash are all winter squash varieties perfect for roasting or baking. They’re a good source of fiber and vitamins A and C.
- Salad greens: A variety of leafy greens are available year-round in the Lowcountry, including kale, spinach, romaine, and arugula. They’re a good source of vitamins A, C, and K.
- Collards and mustard greens: Collards and mustard greens are two southern greens popular in the fall and winter. They’re also a good source of vitamins A, C, and K.
In addition to fresh produce, the farm store managed by Chucktown Acres at Lowcountry Land Trust’s Thornhill Farm also sells a variety of holiday pantry essentials, such as canned salsa, escovitch sauce, bread and butter pickles, jellies, jams, apple butter, fresh sourdough bread, and cookies.
Here are a few simple recipe ideas for your next Lowcountry gathering:
- Potato Latkes with Apple Sauce and Sour Cream
- Charcuterie Board with Jellies, Jams, Apple Butter, and Cheese
- Winter Greens and Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
- Carrot and Ginger Soup
- Acorn Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice and Cranberries
- Deviled Eggs with Bread and Butter Pickle Relish
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping
- Apple Pie
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Cream
- Kale and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
- Collard Greens with Bacon and Ham Hocks
- Carrot and Potato Gratin with Parmesan Cheese
- Creamy spinach with garlic and lemon
- Pear and Persimmon Salad with Brussel Sprouts, Blue Cheese, and Candied Pecans
- Arugula Salad with Radishes, Parmesan Cheese, and Lemon Dressing
- Apple Butter Pancakes with Cinnamon Sugar
With so many fresh and seasonal ingredients available locally, there’s no excuse not to host a farm-to-table gathering for your next social event. When you use seasonal ingredients, you’re supporting local farmers and ensuring that your food is flavorful, nutritious, and sustainable. Next time you plan a gathering, check out your local farmers market or farm store for fresh and seasonal produce. Get ready to enjoy a delicious and memorable meal!