CCU, local growers talk benefits of local produce

In collaboration with the Waccamaw Market Cooperative, Coastal Carolina University hosted their third Farmer's Market at their Conway campus Wednesday.

A variety of local and seasonal items, such as fruits, vegetables, baked goods and honey, were available for purchase from more than ten vendors.

Miracle Lewis, a CCU student and a coordinator of the Farmer's Market, says they added some new features to this year's event.

"We also have cooking demonstrations from Horry Georgetown Tech students, chefs here at Coastal, and the athletic department," Lewis said.

Lewis wanted the demonstrations to help students learn quick and easy ways to make recipes with their produce. She also said the Farmer's Market is an important lesson in the benefits of locally-grown produce.

"It tastes a lot better. There's really a difference in the taste. And it's a lot cheaper usually," Lewis said.

Johnny Graham, a 5th generation farmer and manager of Myrtle's Market in Myrtle Beach, said that in addition to better taste, there are also financial and nutritional benefits to buying locally.

"If you buy local produce, you're helping that guy that's out there digging in the dirt, driving the tractors, you know, out there blood sweat and tears to get this stuff fresh for us. The other thing is that when you buy produce that's been trucked in from somewhere, once it's picked from the field, it starts losing it's nutrients everyday," Graham said.

Graham also said there are plenty of places around Horry County where you can buy locally grown food if you weren't able to make it out to CCU's Farmer's Market.

More information on vendors and the Waccamaw Market Cooperative can be found here.