Locally Green: Charlie Caldwell

By Leslie Moore

Locally Green: Charlie Caldwell

Charlie Caldwell, Ovis Hill Farms

How long have you been farming?

This is my third career. I was in the Marine Corps and worked as a graphic artist in the days before computers. I’ve been a part time farmer for many years, but started doing it full time in 1996. Right now, we have about 400 sheep and about 10 acres of vegetables. I do very little of the actual farm chores; I spend my time doing educational seminars for children and managing our farm markets. We teach the children about food and where it comes from – they visit the livestock, we have a teaching garden and let them watch our Border Collie herd the sheep.

“Real food” is a term used a lot these days. Please tell us why you think this is important from a farmer’s perspective.

This is a niche business. I do it because I care about the quality of our food. For example, Whole Foods contracts with local farmers and they use the same packing plant we do. Real farmers care about their animals and how they are treated. People read about bad practices and want change, but the only way to change anything is with your grocery dollars.

Our markets bring together local farmers, bakers and others that produce quality products. In addition to grass fed, pasture raised meats, all of our produce is organic, either certified organic or grown organically. Every Tuesday we spend 10 hours on the road going to different farms throughout the state, picking up and delivering products that will be sold at many local markets.

What are some of the benefits of eating locally raised food?

The health benefits are widely written about – people can go to eatwild.com and learn more. But, one of the biggest benefits is that you are supporting local farmers and producers of food. When you spend your dollars locally, the same dollar is turned four or five times – in your community. It’s good business.

The fresher a vegetable is, the more nutritious it is. Cows and sheep are meant to eat grass, not grains, so when they are pasture raised, the nutrition and taste are better – and it really is about the taste. Our customers keep coming back because this food is good. It’s what food is supposed to be.

Visit Ovis Hill Farm Market at Gallery on the 8th in Myrtle Beach on Wednesday from 3-7 pm year round and at the North Myrtle Beach Farmers Market on Fridays from 10 am-1 pm starting in May. For more information about Ovis Hill Farms, or to schedule a visit, visit ovishillfarm.com or call 843-992-9447.

Farmers Markets in the Area

(Note that hours vary, some markets are seasonal only)

  • Holden Brothers Farm Market, Hwy. 17, Shallotte
  • North Myrtle Beach Farmers Market, 1st Ave. South, North Myrtle Beach
  • Mike’s Produce, Lake Arrowhead Rd., Myrtle Beach
  • Myrtle’s Market, Mr. Joe White Ave., Myrtle Beach
  • Ovis Hill Farms Market, Gallery on the 8th, Myrtle Beach
  • Downtown Conway Farmers Market, Industrial Park Rd., Conway
  • Pawleys Island Farmer’s Market, Parkersville Park, Pawleys Island
  • Millgrove Farm Store, N. Fraser St., Georgetown
  • Georgetown Farmers Market, East Bay Park, Georgetown

Order local food online at thelocaltablemb.com and find more sources for local food at localharvest.org and eatwild.com.

About this writer

  • Leslie Moore Leslie Moore is the editor for Strand Media Group. A 25 year resident of Pawleys Island, she is blessed with a life filled with the love of family and friends and satisfying work to do every day.

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