Listed on the Aiken Historic Register, the Farmers Market sells fresh produce including corn, tomatoes, beans, fruit and more. Goods displayed are laid out on the tables built by farmers and families of Aiken County over 50 years ago. The Market, now as then, is a place where produce is sold and conversation and recipes are shared with friends, old and new.
If you are interested in selling your locally grown produce at the market, call 803-642-7761.
Produce Available at the Farmers Market During the Season (please note that produce available varies throughout the year and this list is not all inclusive)
Hours of Operation for 2014
April – September Tue. Thurs. Sat. 8:00 am – 12:00
October – March Sat. 8:00 am – 12:00
Please support small local family farmers. Look for the Certified South Carolina Grown logo. Buy LOCAL. Buy FRESH.
A History of the Aiken Farmers MarketWilliamsburg Street between Park and Richland Avenues was the site of the Aiken Cotton Platform and Scale. It was a raised wooden structure open to the elements. Bales of cotton were stored for two blocks along the street up to the cotton gin, across from the Coward-Corley Seed Co. Farmers parked their wagons and cars under the trees. At the busy market, open Monday – Friday, they sold cotton, produce and homemade goods. On Saturdays, beginning in the late 1920’s, farmers, also, sold produce from a shed behind the Public Works building on Newberry Street. Farmers’ wives, who were part of the Aiken County Council of Farm Women, organized the Club Market, Sept. 4, 1930. The ladies sold flowers and bulbs to finance beautification projects in Aiken. Often they had homemade baked goods that were sold for “pin money”. The goods for sale were propped on bales of cotton at the Williamsburg location or on wooden tables at the Newberry location.
In 1935, both locations were very active. By 1951 both venues were struggling to stay open. The family farmer was unable to compete with large commercial cotton growers. During that year, the City decided to condemn the property and raze the cotton platform. The City planned to relocate the Club Market to make room for a parking lot. The Farmers’ Grange with county chain gang labor erected the current structure located in the parkway. Work began in 1952 and was completed in 1954. The farmers and their families built the 45 tables, which are still used today. By 1962, cotton was no longer sold at the Market and it had become an open-air curb market where farmers sold homegrown produce, flowers and homemade goods.
In 1980, plans were made to sell the property for commercial development. Thanks to the efforts of Rosamond McDuffie & the Aiken Historic Preservation Commission, the Market was rescued. In 2003 the Aiken County Farmers’ Market was designated a Landmark in Aiken. It is the oldest (in continuous operation at the same location) county farmers’ market in the State of South Carolina.
Water from countless flower buckets has been poured on the trees in the last fifty plus years. The oaks have grown and now shade the building. Today, descendants of the early farmers bring produce and flowers to the Market. They set their goods on tables that were used by their parents and grandparents, continuing the traditions of small family farmers. The Market, now as then, is a place where items are offered for sale and conversation and recipes are shared with friends, old and new.