Friday, April 5, 2013

Tomato Vine

We are very lucky to live close to the Greenville state farmers market, and also the downtown Saturday farmers market. We often treat the downtown market as an excursion on Saturdays, taking the time to grab a bite to eat and stroll up Main Street in addition to picking up something from one of the many vendors that have set up shop. It only starts up in the spring, and lasts just long enough to buy a pumpkin for Halloween, but can be a little more expensive than the supermarket and inconvenient when we travel on the weekends. This is why the state farmers market is a favorite place of ours, with fresh, local produce year round and open on Mondays through Saturdays, 8am to 6pm. (And the Piedmont Spring Plant and Flower Festival is coming up May 2-5th, mark your calendars!)
However my recent favorite store for fruits, vegetables and local produce is Tomato Vine, on Old Buncombe Road. With prices up to half what they are in the local supermarkets, fresher produce and a great selection, I tend to stock up once a week.

Not everything is local. There is an assortment of products I haven’t seen elsewhere, such as plantain and banana leaves that I assume aren’t from the region. During off-season the fruits have also traveled longer distances, for example your strawberries are from Florida, not the local farm that will supply them in a month’s time.

Nevertheless there are entire shelves devoted to local jams, preserves, honey, syrup and bread. Nuts and dried fruit are available in bulk, as well as peanut brittle and other sweets. There's a good selection of chiles, and like I said, the prices can’t be beat.

Located at 4120 Old Buncombe Road in Greenville for at least twenty years now, they are open year round. Parking is easy and grocery carts are available, just remember, they don’t accept credit or debit.

Note for my Greenville readers:

For those of you interested in native plants for your garden or home, tomorrow (Saturday April 6th) is the South Carolina Native Plant Society’s Upstate Spring Native Plant Sale. Open from 9am to 1pm, you can find the sale in the parking lot of University Center at the corner of South Pleasantburg and Antrim Drive in Greenville. A great chance to pick up beautiful native plants, grasses, shrubs and trees that provide habitat, nectar and food for our native wildlife!



  1. How lucky you are to have such a wonderful place to buy your fresh produce from. What is the green prickly leaf in the second picture? Some type of Cacti? xx

  2. I'm pretty sure those are nopales, or prickly pear cactus pads. I've heard they have a soft but crunchy texture, and taste like green beans or asparagus. Will have to try some and report back!

  3. The local-made brittles are incredibly tasty - actually not all that I purchased made it home to Chicago....

    1. To be fair, I haven't yet met a brittle I don't like... but yes, the one from Tomato Vine is exceptional :)


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