The privileged position of Swallowtail at Sea Pines usually gets talked about as being mid-way on the Miracle Mile, between the Harbour Town Yacht Basin and the Sea Pines Beach Club. From the beginning, we were in the middle of the original plan for what became America’s favorite vacation island. This vantage point puts us within easy reach of everything that makes Hilton Head Island a lot of people’s idea of paradise.
As toney as such an address might sound, it is also a great place to keep your ear to the ground for inside information on how best to enjoy your time here. For generations, the plaza of The Shops at Sea Pines Center across the street has been that spot where insiders swap tips.
What We Found Out from Farmers
Still, it might be surprising that one of the best times to get that inside story is at the weekly Farmers & Makers Market that takes place across the street on Tuesdays, from spring through fall. As the season draws soon to a close, let’s have a look at what makes the Farmers & Makers Market the place where people “celebrate fresh, celebrate local,” as they find out what’s going on that’s fun.
People found more fresh, local produce; more seafood; more breads and cheeses; more crafts, and more artisans were on display than ever, at this year’s Farmers & Makers Market, as a result of some digging we did in the off-season.
The organizers of the market interviewed 24 of the area’s best-qualified growers, producers, and exhibitors to discover what the people they meet here in Sea Pines like best. They saw the Farmers & Makers Market continue to attract a loyal following in Sea Pines, and to make new friends among Hilton Head Island visitors, through all the uncertainties of 2020, and they set out to find out why people never stopped coming.
The facilities in the plaza across from Swallowtail, its location, the beauty of its setting, and the freedom of an open-air market enabled the Farmers & Makers Market to carry on, delighting residents and visitors alike, even as they practiced the sensible precautions we all learned to take during 2020.
From what they learned, they invited new growers and artisans to join them for the 2021 season, expanding on the pleasures that people have enjoyed here the most, and adding a few straight-from-the-truck locations around the plaza to put more growers within easy reach.
Secrets of a Farmers Market
A key factor in the success of the market has been called the big secret of farmers markets everywhere – that they are only partly about fresh produce. Arts and crafts enliven farmers markets almost everywhere, too, but that’s not what we mean in this instance. What we’re talking about is the human interaction that murmurs around a farmers market. It’s a passion that people pursue just about anywhere interesting people get together.
At the Melrose Place Farmers Market in L.A., movie folk gather in the beauty of some of the world’s most colorful fresh vegetables – and yes, maybe stroll a little slower in order to be seen themselves. One of those Hollywood families says that the first thing they do when moving to another city for a couple of months to shoot a movie is to get to the local farmer’s market. “It’s just the fastest, best way to get connected in a community,” one said. “I find out what’s going on, and what people are thinking about it.”
The Buckhead Farmers Market in Atlanta (officially the Peachtree Road Farmers Market) is known as the place where busy career couples reconnect with their friends after a hectic week at work. Many Sea Pines visitors and residents had their first farmers market experience at Buckhead, and they were glad to find that they could enjoy one even closer – at our Farmers & Makers Market – when they got to Hilton Head Island.
More than Meets the Eye
The colorful scene of a farmers market – green, red, orange, and yellow peppers; bundles of flowers that dazzle the eye even before being arranged; arts and crafts and handmade goods – is just the outward and visible sign of a deep connection. Gathering to share the fruits of work is the apparent purpose. An important pleasure pops up too, in addition to this purpose. A farmers market always seems to become a place and an occasion where people share the awareness of a community.
For visitors and residents alike, this is the inside story. Without giving up the repose and beauty of our life on America’s favorite resort island, the seasonal Farmers Market across from Swallowtail at Sea Pines gives your time on Hilton Head Island all the advantages of the inside scoop on what you can choose from to enjoy.