After losing the lease on his Rosebank Farms Stand location to the Town of Kiawah Island, Sidi Limehouse says he’s found a new stand space at 4362 Bohicket Road.
“We’ll be opening in about two weeks,” Limehouse says.
Last winter, The Post & Courier reported on the Town of Kiawah Island’s plans to construct a new municipal complex at 4475 Betsy Kerrison Pkwy. — a location outside of Kiawah limits — forcing Limehouse to vacate the produce stand he’d been running for the past 19 years. The plan had been decided during closed-door sessions of town council and immediately caused heated reactions from both Limehouse and his supporters.
“If they don’t want me to be there, I really don’t want to be there,” Limehouse said in a City Paper interview last October. “I don’t really know what I’m going to do yet. Fold up my tent and disappear.”
Rather than pack it up completely though, Limehouse has found a new home, this one between two churches on Johns Island. And frequent shoppers will find the same seasonal goods — produce like squash, tomatoes, onions, and eggs — except sunflowers. According to Limehouse, a landscape subcontractor for the Town of Kiawah, The Greenery, mowed nearly all of his sunflowers down. Limehouse contends he had about 10,000 sunflowers planted on his old plot, and that only some 1,000 remain.
“I talked to The Greenery contractor about saving them,” Limehouse says. “But when I came back they were almost all gone. I was, what we call in the South, pissed.” Limehouse adds that his sunflowers are his signature flower at his stand. Each sells for between $2 and $3 a piece. The Greenery declined to comment.
Kiawah Town Councilman John Labriola says that the town didn’t know Limehouse still had plants planted at the site. “His lease ended in March,” says Labriola. “We made plans with The Greenery to maintain the property, to cut the grass. Sidi told me he talked to this guy from The Greenery, but it’s not for Sidi to tell him what to do. So he cut the grass.”
Labriola added that as soon as Limehouse made him aware of the sunflower clear cutting, all mowing was stopped in order to save the remaining flowers. “There was nothing intent in it,” the councilman adds. “We wish Sidi well.”
Councilman Labriola says the Town of Kiawah not only wants the best for the farmer but has gone out of their way to help him following the property purchase. “We gave him financial help of $15,000 to move,” Labriola says. “I’ve said, I hope the town supports him and visits his new stand.”
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