Vendors get early start as farmers market returns to Mt. Pleasant

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - At least one vendor at the Mount Pleasant Towne Centre Farmers Market woke up to the sunrise this morning in order to prepare for the event's May return.

"Some of the stuff, the less perishables like cucumbers, I'll pick the day before," says Tony Munjin, who was busy Saturday morning working his Freeman Produce stand. "But the strawberries that are more perishable, I'll pick the same day early in the morning. Like 6 o'clock."

The Mt. Pleasant Towne Centre Farmers Market, which began this morning and will run every Saturday through July 14, runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  But that start time did not stop produce vendors like Munjin from getting a much earlier start on what will be a long day.

Munjin predicts that from the time he started getting ready this morning to the time he packs up and gets everything back to the Johns Island farm where his fruits and vegetables came from, he will have worked a 14 hour day.

But the benefit the market provides to local farmers far outweighs the necessary workload.

"It's good for advertising, and you get to meet people from all over," says Munjin. "It provides a lot of opportunities, too many to name."

According to the farmers market's application packet, vendors at the market are required to live within a 100 mile radius of Mt. Pleasant, and at least 50-percent of what they sell must be produced by the vendor within the same radius. This ensures that local farmers truly benefit.

A jump castle sat at one end of the market, providing something fun for kids to do while parents weaved through a street filled with hand-died fabric, jewelry, and specialty food vendors. A group of Wando High School string musicians were set up at the other end, entertaining parents and children alike.

But judging by the number of customers surrounding the busy produce vendors, it is clear why they call it a farmer's market.