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Eat Local Month Spotlight: Geechie Boy Mill

April 21, 2017

We Charlestonians wouldn’t know what to do without our grits. Whether we’re eating them for breakfast, as a side item, or as a bed on which to rest some shrimp, grits are a practically perfect food. But for those of you who think picking up a pack of instant grits from the grocery store will do to satisfy your grits craving, I beg you to think again.

Living in Charleston means that we’re blessed with some of the best grits in the world (and I say that in a totally unbiased way), and those grits come from Geechie Boy Mill. Located just down the street from Charleston in quiet Edisto Island, SC, the Geechie Boy Mill and Market is an unassuming building right off of Highway 174.

A classic example of “don’t judge a book by its cover.”


Inside, you’ll find a treasure trove of locally-made goodies. Amazing grains of different varieties. Handmade soaps. Fresh donuts. T-shirts. Farro. Cornmeal. Pottery.

They pack a lot into a very small space.

And a wide variety of Geechie Boy’s own dressings, marinades, and jams (which are spectacular, btw). But they don’t just peddle their own goodies, they also support locally-made companies and products, like Red Clay Hot Sauce, Burnt & Salty brand condiments (try the Korean mustard; it’s amazing), Melvin’s BBQ sauce…the list goes on.

I seriously fight not to empty my entire wallet every time I stop by.

And, of course, the pièce de résistance: grits!

But not just the white or yellow grits you’re accustomed to. They also have Jimmy Red Grits. And blue grits. And speckled grits. And any other grits that might appear seasonally. There’s a whole world of grits out there, just waiting for you!

From the Geechie Boy Mill Facebook page.

So it’s an easy choice to make the switch to eating local when local means eating some of the best tasting grits of your life. Also, take a leaf out of Sean Brock’s book (and I mean this literally from his cookbook, Heritage) and soak your grits in water overnight for creamier, more flavorful grits.

Good to know.

If you can’t make it all the way out to Edisto, you can find Geechie Boy Mill grits all around town, at places like Mercantile & Mash, Blackbird Market, Bull Street Gourmet, and sometimes even in the local section at Harris Teeter or Bi-Lo.

Eat Local Month Events

Eat Local Month 2017 Kick Off

April 5, 2017

Happy April, friends and followers! Can you believe we’re already a quarter of the way through 2017? Because I truly don’t know where the past few weeks went. But, I digress! The reason we’re here is to celebrate the kickoff of Eat Local Month! Every April, Lowcountry Local First invites everyone to focus their attention on local growers, fishermen and restaurants and inviting our community to actively engage in eating what’s ripe and in season.

To participate in Eat Local Month, all you have to do is shift $10 (or more) of your weekly food spending towards supporting the local food system. Easy peasy. Sign up for the challenge here and LLF will give you all kinds of helpful tips and tricks. You can also check back on my blog on the reg, as I’ll be giving you fun updates, recipes, and reviewing restaurants who focus on local food, to help make your challenge even easier to complete!

My Favorite Places to Buy Local Food

  1. Blackbird Market 
    Johns Island
    Awesome for local veggies, meats, take-and-bake desserts (and to-die-for tomato pie), fresh baked bread, locally-made food products, and takeaway hot lunch and dinner items.
  2. Farmers Markets
     Johns Island, Downtown, West Ashley, Mount Pleasant
    Chock full of local farmers and artisans, food stands, and more. A great place to buy local produce and even hear great local musicians!
  3. Veggie Bin
    Downtown
    Awesome local produce, coffee, kombucha, eggs, and more. And at amazing prices!
  4. Stono Market
    Johns Island
    Stono Market has a great selection of fresh produce, and a huge supply of take-and-bake food options. Plus, the Tomato Shed Cafe is amazing for good ole-fashioned southern cooking!
  5. Roadside Produce Stands
    Various
    Throughout town on the side of the road, you’ll find purveyors selling (relatively) locally grown produce, and for the most part, it’s all pretty great. I got some of the best collard greens ever from a lady selling them out of the back of a rusted pickup truck.
  6. Geechie Boy Mill
    Edisto Island
    Yellow grits. Red grits. Blue grits. White grits. Red Peas, Farro. I could keep going, but it’s all produced and sold at the little wooden shack on Edisto. They also have apparel, donuts, coffee, and a lot of locally-made food products.
  7. George and Pink’s
    Edisto Island
    Yes, the floor is made of dirt, but it’s been there forever, and they have great local produce. You can tell that you’re truly supporting people in this community when you shop here.
  8. Harris Teeter
    Various
    Harris Teeter does a great job of featuring local produce and locally-made artisanal products.

You can also read my Eat Local posts from previous years, local recipes, and more local recipes by perusing my blog! Be sure to check back every week for new tips on eating locally!

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