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Issue 1.42 | Monday, April 6, 2009 | Sow a seed or five

THE ART OF THE HOME: This Kiawah Island house, a striking departure from typical Kiawah designs, will be featured on the ninth annual Kiawah Island Art and House Tour on April 17. See Good News for details. (Photo provided.)

:: Charleston Farmers Market growing


:: New fun at the ballpark

:: Two letters: Currents' helpful, markets

:: Spoleto on a budget

:: Fort Sumter, Gibbes, Inn on top list


___:: CALENDAR: Coming events
___:: REVIEW: Show and tell with us
___:: HISTORY: Elizabeth Lamboll
___:: QUOTE: Leno on alternatives
___:: BOOKSHELF: Interesting reading


ABOUT US is a new online twice-weekly publication that offers insightful community comment and good news on events. It cuts through the information clutter to offer insight and news on the best of what's happening locally. More.


After 20 years, Charleston Farmers Market still growing strong
Director, City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs
Special to

APRIL 6, 2009 -- Created in 1989 by Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., the City of Charleston's Farmers Market was created to provide access to farmers and growers from the Lowcountry to sell, directly to consumers, their locally-grown, vine-ripened fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers and other delectable farm-fresh items. The market was presented every Saturday morning from April through mid-October at Marion Square.


In addition to fresh produce from the farmers, there were also a few arts and crafts created and sold by local artisans, along with food vendors and sidewalk café seating to enjoy brunch and live entertainment such as folk music, bluegrass and jazz to round out the market experience. The market was coordinated by the city's Economic Development Department.

After about seven years, two major changes occurred with the CFM. A major renovation was planned for Marion Square so it was necessary to relocate the market during that time. Simultaneously, it was decided to shift the market management responsibilities to the city's Office of Cultural Affairs, which has the infrastructure to produce large outdoor events such as the Piccolo Spoleto and MOJA Arts festivals.

During the three-year renovation of Marion Square, the market was sited at the Maritime Center for one year and then moved to Hutson Street, which was one-block away from the Marion Square location. As part of its new oversight responsibilities, the Office of Cultural Affairs surveyed various groups and citizens interested in the Charleston Farmers Market about their preferences as to the location, day, hours of operation, products available for the sale and other information needed to update the market format. Toward that end, public hearings were conducted to get as much community input as possible. Hundreds of people participated in the survey.

As soon as the Marion Square renovations were complete, the market was moved back into the beautifully renovated park. Everyone agreed it is the perfect permanent home for the Charleston Farmers Market.

Since that "metamorphosis," the success of the CFM has been phenomenal. During its longer season - from April through December - the market features 100 vendors: farmers, growers, artists, crafters, ready-to-eat food vendors, plus live entertainers. Among the huge array of goodies for sale are fresh produce, including organically grown items; plants, flowers and herbs; handmade pasta and pasta sauce; fresh local shrimp; bakery items, coffee and tea; jams and jellies; pickled cucumbers, green tomatoes, okra and green beans, and more.

In addition, the market offers handmade fine crafts, jewelry, pottery, baskets, art, photographs and more. Sidewalk café dining and live musical entertainment round out the format with food concession vendors selling tempting offerings to enjoy in the park's lovely, shady setting: crepes, omelets, tacos, quesadillas, desserts, designer coffee and tea. The size of the crowds attending the market each week averages between 1,500 and 2,000, although during the Piccolo Spoleto Festival and December's Holiday Magic, there can be as many as 4,000 to 5,000 in a day.

Last year, Travel and Leisure Magazine named the Charleston Farmers market one of the 10 best farmers markets in America.


"The weekly Charleston Farmers Market has become an integral part of our thriving community and we are looking forward to another successful season," Mayor Riley says. "The wide variety of wonderful items to purchase at the market makes it everyone's favorite Saturday morning destination. It is like a great weekly festival of food, art, crafts, music and fun for the whole family - a place to visit with your friends and meet new ones, too. It's one more example of why Charleston is one of America's most livable cities."

The 2009 Charleston Farmers Market begins on April 11 at Marion Square. The official ribbon cutting will take place at 10:30 a.m. with Mayor Pro Tem Robert Mitchell and Charleston City Council Member Yvonne Evans, a longtime member of the CFM Advisory Board, officiating. CFM Manager Sarah Cothran and I will assist with the unveiling of the 2009 poster image, "Watermelon Sky," by Lisa Shimko. Entertainment for opening day of the market will be the great bluegrass group South Carolina Broadcasters.

The hours for the market are 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. every Saturday. It's the very best place to be on Saturday morning in Charleston! We hope to see you all there.

Ellen Dressler Moryl is director of the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs.

How to get someone wet and have some fun
By ANDY BRACK, publisher


APRIL 6, 2009 - When Dave Echols, general manager of the Charleston RiverDogs, wondered over the winter whether the new would be interested in co-sponsoring something at the ballpark, we started thinking.

"What could it be, what could it be? Hmmm."

Nothing came to mind until we remembered how much fun kids had last year on Big Splash Day in the Splash Zone. From there, we thought of the word "currents" in our name. And then we noodled over whether there was a new way to tie to water at the ballpark.

Then it hit us: a dunking tank. You know - the thing where somebody hovers above a pool of water as another person lobs a ball at a target? And if the target is hit, the person in the tank drops into the water and is soaked, amid peals of laughter? Wow! How fun could that be?

But could we talk the RiverDogs into it? So when we served this idea to Echols, we soon discovered he had heard it before. Seems that RiverDogs Sales Manager Mike Petrini has been lobbying for a dunking tank for awhile to be installed in the Splash Zone.

Petrini tells us that every year, the RiverDogs adds some new attraction to the park and he had been pushing for a dunking tank to add to the fun at the stadium. When mentioned it too, the writing was on the wall.


If you are the third and fifth person to send an email here, you'll win two free box seat tickets to RiverDogs games on Friday and Saturday. Make sure to include your mailing address.

So Thursday on Opening Day (RiverDogs vs. Rome Braves, 7:05 p.m.), be on the lookout for a new dunking tank, co-sponsored by and ERA Tides Realty. And have a throw for a dollar. Proceeds go to offset costs of the tank and to fight blindness.

If you dunk someone, you'll win a special small gift from Happy pitching!

Andy Brack is publisher of He can be reached at:

CharlestonCurrents: Good reading, and ahead of the curve

To the editor:

It's just occurred to me that of all the many, many items I get by e-mail, I actually read CharlestonCurrents. Thought you should know that it's really, really good, useful and relevant. Since the future of newspapers is online, you could very well be a bellwether of what's to come. Keep up the great work!

-- Barry Waldman, Vice President of Communications, Trident United Way, North Charleston, SC

Don't forget about MUSC's farmers market

To the editor:

Just wanted to let you know, if you were not aware, that MUSC does its own sort of farmers market, but it is open to the public. It's every Friday from7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Horseshoe area on Ashley Avenue across from Blend or the Wickliffe House. I am hoping to try it out this week or next and very much looking forward to just hopping over there from my office on my lunch break!

Thanks for your very useful and interesting issue of CharlestonCurrents. Always enjoy the read!

-- Leigh Ann S. Garrett, Events Coordinator, Center for Women, Charleston SC

Our policy: We encourage readers to submit feedback or letters to the editor. Send your thoughts to editor Ann Thrash. We reserve the right to edit for length and clarity. One submission allowed per month. Make sure to include your name and phone number. Submission of a comment grants permission to us to reprint. Please keep your comment to 200 words or less.


The public spiritedness of our underwriters and nonprofit partners allows us to bring to you at no cost. This issue's featured nonprofit partner is the Center for Women, the only comprehensive women's development center in South Carolina. The Center for Women is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to make personal and professional success an everyday event for Lowcountry women. The Center, honored in 2006 by Oprah's Angel Network with a $25,000 grant, has reached more than 70,000 women since it started in 1990. Not only has it connected thousands of women to professional sources for practical help, support, counseling and referrals, but it continues to provide outstanding educational programs to help women in their careers and businesses. Learn more:

  • To learn more about all of our underwriters and nonprofit partners, click here.

Program to highlight new discoveries about Fort Sumter

New information about Fort Sumter's construction and events leading up to the start of the Civil War will be the focus of a Charleston Museum program on May 2. The program, which runs from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., will conclude with a visit to the fort in Charleston Harbor.

Dr. Russell Horres, a volunteer researcher and guide for the National Park Service, will begin the program with a talk at the museum. For many years, Horres has studied and transcribed the Fort Sumter copy-letter book in the museum's archives. His research with this U.S. Army Engineers letter book, kept from July 1857 to April 9, 1861, provided a wealth of information on the construction of the fort, details of its design, daily life and conditions there, and events preceding the start of the war. By tracing the correspondence back to the National Archives, Horres uncovered even more information, including the involvement of slaves at the installation and the sources of brick for the fort. The museum's archivist will have this rarely-exhibited copy-letter book available to participants during the program.

The cost for the program is $30 for museum members and $35 for nonmembers (the fee includes boat transportation to Fort Sumter). Advance reservations are required, preferably by April 24. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to the Fort Sumter welcome center at Liberty Square and for parking garage or meter fees.

Kiawah Art and House tour to benefit Gibbes Museum

The local volunteer group Gibbes, etc., will sponsor the ninth annual Kiawah Island Art and House Tour on April 17. The tour, which runs from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., raises money to support the Gibbes Museum of Art.

Six Kiawah homes that showcase spectacular art collections will be open for the tours, with each house also featuring dramatic views of the salt marsh, ocean, woodlands or river. Tickets are $55 and include an admission to the Gibbes. They can be purchased at the Gibbes Museum Store online here or by calling 722-2706, ext. 18.

Gibbes, etc., is composed of Kiawah Island women dedicated to the support of the museum. Since 2001, the group has raised more than $600,000 to help fund traveling exhibitions and art education projects in the community. For more information, go to

Expedia survey: French Quarter Inn among world's best

The French Quarter Inn in Charleston ranks fourth in North America and fifth worldwide in Expedia's Insiders' Select list of the world's best hotels. The rankings are based on a survey of Expedia travelers and employees.

The Insiders' Select list recognizes individual hotels worldwide that consistently deliver excellent service, a great overall experience and a notable value. The ranking incorporates Expedia's more than 275,000 customer reviews, combined with a value rating and the local market expertise of hundreds of Expedia employees. The full list represents about 1 percent of the more than 99,000 hotel properties offered on Expedia.

Share your ups and downs

  • HAVE A REVIEW? If you have a review of a book, movie, restaurant or local arts endeavor, please send no more than 150 words to editor Ann Thrash. Make sure to include your name and full contact information.

Elizabeth Lamboll, botanist

Elizabeth Lamboll was born around 1725, probably in Charleston. Historians believe that she was the daughter of Richard Pitts, a local silversmith. She married Thomas Lamboll in November 1743. He was thirty years her senior, and she was his third wife. The couple had one daughter.

Lamboll contributed to the establishment and advancement of scientific gardening in colonial South Carolina. As a skilled amateur gardener, she created one of Charleston's earliest gardens, composed primarily of indigenous flowers, vegetables, shrubs and trees. Lamboll lived in a house located on the northwest corner of King and Lamboll Streets near the Ashley River. Her garden was landscaped directly south of the residence.

Actively sharing seeds and roots with local gardening enthusiasts, Lamboll may have taught the nursery owner Martha Daniel Logan her gardening techniques. Lamboll showed people useful applications of berries and roots obtained from plants growing in their gardens. Lamboll's friendship with the Philadelphia naturalist John Bartram helped him become the premier botanist in the American colonies. She alerted him to previously unknown plant species, which he described and documented for botanical publications.

While Lamboll enthusiastically pursued gardening, her husband corresponded with Bartram, telling him about the plants she was gathering to ship to him and explaining her cultivation methods. In a letter dated February 16, 1761, Thomas Lamboll revealed how his wife diligently managed her gardens. He outlined the steps she followed to prepare plant beds with mold and to raise or flatten ground as needed to assure adequate moisture for vegetation. Elizabeth Lamboll carefully saved rainwater for her plants and exposed it to sunlight so that cold water would not shock plants. She covered her garden beds with leaves in winter. While planting, Lamboll cleaned roots, removed insects, and used her fingers to dig holes to place roots and seeds.

In 1760 Bartram reported that Lamboll had sent him "two noble cargoes" that initiated a regular exchange of plants such as the magnolia tripetala, or umbrella tree, indigenous to South Carolina. On April 30, 1761, Thomas Lamboll sent Bartram a list of "Flowers & Herbs" that his wife "is fond of procuring," including tulips, aniseed, and peonies. A year later Thomas Lamboll inventoried the contents of his wife's shipments to Bartram, which consisted of oaks, roses, lilies, honeysuckle, asters, and holly.

Lamboll died in Charleston in October 1770. Her daughter, Mary Lamboll Thomas, continued to ship plants to John Bartram's son, William Bartram, as her mother had sent specimens to his father.

-- Excerpted from the entry by Elizabeth D. Schafer. To read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check out The South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used by permission.)


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  • Editor: Ann Thrash, 843.494.4468
  • Publisher: Andy Brack, 843.670.3996
  • Address: P.O. Box. 22261 | Charleston, SC 29413

© 2008-2009, Statehouse Report LLC. All rights reserved. is published every Monday and Thursday by Statehouse Report LLC, PO Box 22261, Charleston, SC 29413.

Spoleto on a budget

Jazz artist Rene Marie. (Photo by Ned Radinsky courtesy of

The folks at the Spoleto Festival are helping arts patrons keep an eye on their wallets this year with a new Ways to Save section at the festival's Web site. The site will feature new offers every week, and some will only be available online. Here are seven world-class Spoleto performances that you can see for $20 or less:

  • Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet - Tickets start at $10.

  • Mahler, "Das Lied von der Erde" - Tickets start at $10.

  • Mozart Requiem/Poulenc "Gloria" - Tickets start at $10.

  • Brahms Violin Concerto/Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 - Tickets start at $10.

  • Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater - Tickets start at $15.

  • Jazz singer René Marie - Tickets start at $15.

  • The opera "Louise" - Tickets start at $20.



"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Teach a man to create an artificial shortage of fish and he will eat steak."

-- "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno (1950 - )


Opening Day: 7:05 p.m., April 9. The Charleston RiverDogs take on the Rome Braves at Riley stadium in Charleston. More:

Lowcountry Oyster Roast: 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. April 10, Drayton Hall Plantation, 3380 Ashley River Road, Charleston. Held in conjunction with the Historic Charleston Foundation's annual Festival of Houses and Gardens, the oyster roast and picnic includes local steamed oysters, a Lowcountry buffet supper, beer, wine, and soft drinks. Guests can also take a guided tour of Drayton Hall's main house. Tickets: $45 adults, $20 children ages 6-18, and free for children under 6. Tickets: HCF Events Office, 722-3405.

Founders' Day: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 11, Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, 1500 Old Towne Road, west of the Ashley. Celebrate the 339th anniversary of the "Birth of the Carolinas" during Founders' Day. Living-history programs, demonstrations of the firing of black powder cannons and muskets, re-enactments and other activities showing how Charleston's first English settlers lived in 1670. Cost: $5 adults, $3 ages 6-15, $3.25 for S.C. seniors or disabled. Details are online.

Easter EGGstravaganza: 11 a.m. April 11, Hampton Park. The city of Charleston's largest Easter egg hunt includes a magic show, games, a jump castle, refreshments and even a visit from the Easter Bunny. Free to children 12 and younger. Sponsored by the city of Charleston.

"Run Forrest Run 5K": 4:15 p.m. April 11, beginning at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park. Sponsored by the Charleston RiverDogs, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Coburg Dairy, the race is a fundraiser for the Storm Eye Institute at MUSC. The race finishes at home plate, where runners are greeted by the RiverDogs' players before the start of that evening's game against the Rome Braves. Registration: $25 if received by March 27 (includes T-shirt, one ticket to baseball game and post-race party with dinner from Bubba Gump's); $30 after March 27. Registration forms available at the RiverDogs Box Office at Riley Park, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., The Extra Mile Running Shop and online at or

Heyward-Washington Garden Tours: 4 p.m. each Friday in April, Heyward-Washington House, 87 Church St., Charleston. The Heyward-Washington House garden includes plants that were introduced to the Lowcountry no later than 1791. Visitors will see camellias, tea olives, boxwoods, native azaleas, yellow begonias, roses, herbs and more. Cost: $10 for adults, $5 for ages 3-12 (free for Charleston Museum members); includes both the garden and house tours. More info: 722-2996, ext. 235.


Historic Charleston Foundation Festival of Houses and Gardens: Ongoing March 19 through April 18, various sites. Tours feature the interiors and gardens of approximately 150 historic private homes in 10 colonial and antebellum neighborhoods during the peak of the city's springtime blooms. Other events include Plantation Picnics at Drayton Hall Plantation, daily walking tours through the Old and Historic District, "Eat and Run" luncheons, harbor tours, book signings, etc. Proceeds benefit the work of the Historic Charleston Foundation. Tickets/more info: 723-1623 or by clicking here.

'Fun is Good' Conference: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 17, Charleston Marriott, 170 Lockwood Blvd., Charleston. Presented by the Charleston RiverDogs and the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, the conference is designed to show business owners and organization managers how to empower their staffs and achieve success. The RiverDogs' famous "Fun is Good" philosophy emphasizes that laughter is not just the best medicine, but can also be the key ingredient in turning a floundering business into a profitable one or jump-starting a stalled career. Keynote speakers include RiverDogs co-owner Mike Veeck. Cost: $125 per person. Registration here.

Moonlight Mixer: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. April 17, Folly Beach Fishing Pier. Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission's popular Moonlight Mixers series returns for another season, with nine mixers scheduled for April through Septemeber. DJ Rob Duren will play oldies and beach music for dancing. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Cost: In advance, $8 for Charleston County residents, $10 for nonresidents; at the gate (if available), $10. Sellouts are common, so advance purchases are recommended. More info/other mixer dates.

(NEW) Blessing of the Fleet: 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 26, Alhambra Hall, Mount Pleasant. Enjoy samples of local restaurants' best seafood dishes, live music by the East Coast Party Band, shrimp-eating and shagging contests, arts and crafts, and a parade of decorated shrimp trawlers at the 22nd annual festival. Admission is free; tickets will be sold for food samples. More info, including a list of other "Week With the Fleet" activities.


In this section, we offer a list of good reads that you might want to consider reading:

  • A Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson
  • A Turn in the South, V.S. Naipaul
  • The Book of Marie, Terry Kay
  • Charleston Jazz, Jack McCray
  • Going Deep: 20 Classic Sports Stories, Gary Smith (review)
  • I'll Be Sober in the Morning: Great Comebacks, Putdowns, and Ripostes, Chris Lamb (List)
  • Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman, Merle Miller

  • Suggest a book to us


8/20: Yarian: New local music CD
Fisher: Uses of social media
Hall: Time for renovations
Morris: Dog days at Drayton
Lindbergh: Gifted school
Jackson: Insurance tips
VanBogart: Singles
Stewart: Get it clean
Rosenberg: Elect women
Nathan: Turtle release
Johnson: Online school
Thiers: Protect skin
Lee: Scoring supplies
Shockley: Company wellness
McKenzie: Park opening
Jones: Cheer on US rugby
McGahey: Young pros
Ridder: Dress for Success
Bender: Patriots Point
Gerardi: Furry Affair
Arnoldi: Reducing stress
Mathos: Field to Families
Moniz: Book burning event


8/20: Good, bad, spineless
Locals on Runway
Cookie contest
Vote on car tags
True confessions
New way of tithing?
Lookout for manatees
Big green bus here
New Mt. P. promo
WDAV at Spoleto
Protecting your computer
Thoughts on hurricanes
Special weekend at home
Zucchini pie
Charleston cookie contest
Age spots
Mt. P. Farmers Market
Charleston library honored
First vegetable garden
Markets, mushrooms
Feeding the need
Waddling in
Great Food + Wine Festival
Provocative poem
Seeking colorful birds
Grab-bag of thoughts
The candy map
Shem Creek park input
Controversy over fireworks
Talking about oysters
Help bald eagles thrive
Local man moves up in contest


8/17: RIP to old clunker
8/10: Lots to squeeze in
8/3: On flying Delta
7/27: Conspiracy theories
7/20: Protect carriage animals
7/13: Economic thaw here?
6/25: Sanford shouldn't resign
Lots of questions
Mosquitoes, water park
Think big
On public television
Shorten the session
A last supper
Legislature: do something
Spring is in the air
Mortgage discrimination
Carriage regs
Fun at the ballpark
Southern tour
Cultural appreciation
Hodges leaves great legacy
Being positive about economy
Remember rural areas
Looks at three books
What tourists see
PDAs, Phelps, layoffs
Whales vs. Dolphins
Dear Ellie ...
Lift hood on "reform" efforts
Truman book is great pleasure
Manning band is inspiring


8/20: You know you're from...
On the school menu
Wines for grilling
First Day Fest facts
Sales tax holiday
Twittering tips
Fall planting
5 for teens
7/20: Beach reads
Save the books
7/13: Hot plants
Staying cool
Old Exchange 5
Historic house
6/25: Mosquito list
6/22: Hot stuff
Five to bid on
Last of Spoleto
Fun in the sun
Out go the lights
5 on duck race

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