GrowFood Carolina, a nonprofit, is South Carolina's first local food hub. Its downtown Charleston warehouse stores fresh produce from nearby farms. Then GrowFood's staff markets, sells, and distributes this local product to grocery stores, restaurants, and other wholesale customers. Their nonprofit mission-driven structure allows them to return a large percentage of the sale price to the farmer.
Two weeks ago, GrowFood asked CIC to assist with farmer Josh Johnson's prodigious butterbean crop. Johnson's Old Tyme Bean Co. is growing two varieties: the Jackson Wonder, a heirloom speckled bean, and the Bridgeton, a more typical green lima. GrowFood wanted to freeze some of the butterbeans to increase their availability. While GrowFood has freezer storage capacity, it lacks the ability to blanch, cool, and vacuum seal the butterbeans. The CIC will tackle this task on three different dates, corresponding to Johnson's crop schedule. These photos show CIC students working on the first batch.