A Glimpse of Our South Carolina Autumn

We are so fortunate to have enjoyed a simply gorgeous fall this year.  I guess all of the rain from the summer months did some good after all because the color on the trees this year have been more vivid than I ever remember.

God has definitely been showing His majesty this season!

I first visited this area when I was in college several years ago.  We were on chorus tour that took us through Asheville (where I first saw and fell in love with the Biltmore house) into Greenville.  At the time I didn’t think there was much to this area.  A few small colleges, but nothing really attracted me or many people I knew at the time.

Then we moved here with Audley’s job.

Greenville has changed so much over the last (dare I say it?….) 20 years!  They have completely revitalized the downtown, restoring buildings, bringing in business, creating parks and are competing to claim the title of the destination of Foodies everywhere.
{There are some amazing places to dine here!}
But one of the highlights of the downtown area is a gorgeous park in the midst of everything.  The Park at Reedy Falls has bike and running trails, areas for picnics, waterfalls, and attaches to the old cotton warehouse that has been revamped in to shops, and the amazing High Cotton restaurant.
{You dress up to eat here!}

It’s just a great place to go and relax, an escape from the Urban life, right in the middle of the city!

 

Over the weekend we enjoyed a little family downtime by spending the afternoon at the falls goofing off together and taking pictures.  It was a relaxing time for us all and we were truly able to enjoy some of our South Carolina autumn.

 

One of the last hydrangeas of the season.  I love the look of them at this stage.

 

 

The mood of my teenagers reflected the beauty and casualness of the day.  It was like we didn’t have a care in the world.

Couldn’t we all use more days like this?!

 

 

 

 

 

Even Audley & I got in on the fun during the day.

Honestly it has been too long since our family has enjoyed such down time.  With the hectic schedules of work, school, youth group and sports we tend to forget how important it is to have this time.  With a cold front moving in this week I don’t see too many more days like this showing up in the next couple of months.  It was so nice to get out and enjoy a bit of our area without really having to drive far.  And it was even more enjoyable to have this time with my precious family.

I hope you are having a beautiful autumn where you are!

Greenville’s Saturday Market

While I think we have had exactly ten days of spring since March 20 (we’ve had a lot of rain & chilly temps), it has been just enough that one of our local growers markets has opened for market season!  Now if there is one thing I love better than growing my own food, is farm fresh and delicious produce bought straight from the ones who grow it.
In fact, I am a firm believer of skipping the produce section at the grocery store as much as possible during the late-spring, summer and fall months and hitting the local market on Saturday for food for our family.
Fresh?
Oh Absolutely, ten times better!
Local?
So much better than imported!
GMO’s?
No way!
And the best part of all is we are supporting our local community of growers!
Yes, it is more expensive than the grocery store, but the quality & flavor of what we buy is so worth it!

Here is a peak of the opening Saturday of market season around here…..

Despite the threat of rain and chilly (OK, it was cold!) temperatures, the market area was packed!

 

The Saturday market is right downtown on Main Street.  Two blocks are closed off between Washington & Court Streets where vendors set up from 8:30-12:30 each Saturday beginning in May.

 

As we shopped we enjoyed the live entertainment by this local bluegrass group.
 How fun is that?!

Since it is still early in the growing season, fresh lettuces, strawberries, radishes, & asparagus were the common produce found.  There were a few very early tomatoes scattered about, as well as vendors sharing samples of produce they hope to have in coming weeks.

 

 

 

 

I loved the way this vendor chopped up several varieties of lettuce that could be purchased as a mix.  So pretty!

 

 

I love the idea of growing lettuce in a hanging basket!  Anyone can do this no matter how small a place you have.

Besides spring veggies (I missed out on the asparagus …. really disappointing), we found local grass-fed beef, South Carolina caught seafood, fresh organic chicken, and eggs.

The Spinning Spider Creamery had an abundance of fresh cheese and cheese spreads to choose from.

It was really hard to make a decision with all of the delicious flavors!

 

But, I finally settled on a Muntford Jack.  It was so good!

One of my favorite vendors of the day was the pasta tent.  There was a huge line so I knew this had to be some really good stuff.

So many wonderful flavors and styles of pasta, all of it made fresh with organic ingredients and gluten-free so everyone could enjoy it.  I can’t wait to cook with this in the coming week!

 

We splurged a little when we came upon one particular vendor.

We took one look at these gorgeous Strawberry pies and were sold.  It was definitely a treat, and oh my goodness how delicious it was!

MacKenzie Grace licked the pie pan clean!

Seriously, she did.

Other great vendors included local farmers selling starter plants, fresh cut spring flowers, fresh honey, homemade soaps, and artwork.  There was so much to take in!

One of the things I loved most about this little market is that each vendor must be approved.  Visits are made to their farms and facilities and they are verified to be South Carolina official.

I love it.

Do you have local markets where you are?