Garden Blog

Growing Community Series - Pinehurst Farmers Market

Growing Community Series - Pinehurst Farmers Market

In the Pinehurst neighborhood, located in sunny, Columbia, South Carolina, April Jones founded the Pinehurst Farmers Market almost two years ago because she saw that the two grocery stores within a mile walking distance in the Pinehurst neighborhood closed suddenly, at the same time.  She realized that a food apartheid area had been created in her neighborhood.

Inspired by legendary farmer Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm located in Upstate New York at a BUGS (Black Urban Garden Society conference in Atlanta, Georgia) to be the change she was looking for in her Pinehurst Community. “If you are looking for someone to save you, no one is coming. You will have to save yourself,” Says Penniman. Those words were a call to action for Jones to create a solution to the issue of food access in the Pinehurst neighborhood. The vision was created to form a self-reliant, self-sustainable plan of action that would create healthy, organic food options for the community that would support the local economy and give residents access to food sovereignty.

Socially Distanced Produce Purchasing at the Pinehurst Market

Ms. Jones founded the Pinehurst Farmers Market in order to create an equitable, fair space for farmers and the Pinehurst community. The Pinehurst Farmers Market is committed to food justice and food sovereignty, and creating a spirit of self-reliance, and community action. The market allows the farmers to use their organic, regenerative growing methods, and shared cultural experiences, with shared solidarity to create food access and life-giving food for members of the Pinehurst community and residents throughout the City of Columbia.

Pinehurst Consulting allows April to focus on the sustainable work and allows her clients to excel in the marketplace. She focuses on land access issues, strategy, long term planning and marketing.

The farmers are uniquely situated in the State of South Carolina which has a lot of access to farm land and has a rich, deep and abiding history of foodways. Sunny South Carolina has a long history of boosting the local food economy by having many small farmers grow produce. The Pinehurst Farmers are committed to growing extraordinary, sustainable, nutrient dense food.

Jason Roland selling at Pinehurst Farmers Market

Each farmer brings their outstanding, especially cultivated produce and meats to the Pinehurst Farmers Market and serves their community same-day harvested produce. The Pinehurst Farmers Market offers the highest quality produce available at very reasonable prices and gives the residents of the Pinehurst neighborhood access to high quality food.

April Jones family has roots in the southern region. Her mothers’ family is from Georgia and her father’s family is from Louisiana. “I have a long legacy of family being connected to the land”, she says. My maternal grandmother’s garden was always full of fresh produce ready to be picked. My grandmother was organic before it was hip. She was a frugal woman who taught me the value of hard work and dedication to a task. “I draw upon her legacy with the Pinehurst Farmers Market and commandeer my social justice work in honor of her memory.”

“As a toddler living near the Pacific Ocean in San Diego, California, I can remember walking to the neighborhood organic food cooperative and viewing my mother pouring dry beans into paper bags and stopping on the way home from the public park to say hello to the street vegetable and fruit seller as she purchased several types of avocados and lots of limes and lemons.”

Out of the growth of the Pinehurst Farmers Market, the Pinehurst Community Action non-profit was created to address food equity and food justice issues. The non-profit is currently fundraising and grant writing, any solidarity is great appreciated. You can donate on the Pinehurst Community Action’s Facebook page.

The Pinehurst Farmers Market is every Wednesday from 1:30-3:00pm in Downtown Columbia SC.

Check out the Pinehurst Farmers Market and the Pinehurst Community Action on Facebook and Instagram.

If you would like to listen to the episode of Ask a Sista Farmer that April participated in (it’s a great interview!) you can find it HERE: 

Ask A Sista Farmer Podcast


Article Written by: Angie Lavezzo

About the Author: Angie Lavezzo is the former general manager of Sow True Seed. Beyond her professional role at Sow True, Angie's passion for gardening extends into personal hands-on experience, fostering plants and reaping bountiful harvests.