Slow Food Columbia is one of 200+ Slow Food USA chapters, located in Columbia, South Carolina. Our mission is to support the movement behind GOOD, CLEAN and FAIR foodways in the Midlands and beyond. Our convivium hosts workshops, potlucks and other events throughout the year to celebrate local + seasonal flavors; to showcase the culinary talents of our region's chefs, farmers, + artisan producers; to strengthen connections between members of our local food community; and to educate the public about the importance of knowing where your food comes from.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Kings of Pastry dessert tasting, Dec. 14

The Kings of Pastry! This is going to be cool. We thought our Slow Food community might like to know about this groovy event being held at The Nickelodeon on Dec. 14 at 6pm:

Back by popular demand, this film is a dandy for foodies. Local arts denizen Jean Denman has organized a fab dessert tasting party and talkback with local pastry chefs and sparkling wine!

Treats from Chocolate Nirvana, Motor Supply, Cupcake, and The Pie Girl; bubbly from Morganelli's; and a panel w/the sage Kaitlin Ohlinger (a.k.a. the Wine Snob) from Cellar on Greene, Patrick Wagner of the Culinary Institute of the Carolinas, and the ridiculously talented Travis Weatherford of the Immaculate Consumption!

Check it out and buy tix at the Nickelodeon Theatre's website:

We love our local Slow Food community!

Happy holidays and thank you to everyone who bought tickets to the Southeastern Cheesemakers wine and cheese tasting this Friday -- it has sold out! Woo hoo!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Congress passes child nutrition improvements!

Victory! Letter from Slow Food USA President Josh Viertel:
Slow Food USA

What a day for American children and parents - today Congress signed into law the first significant improvements to child nutrition and school lunches.

I wanted to write to you to say thank you and congratulations - this wouldn't have been possible without a movement mobilized to make our food better for all.

Over 160,000 of you stood up for child nutrition. Whether you signed our petition, emailed or called your legislators, attended one of over 300 'Eat Ins' in all 50 states, donated to the Time For Lunch campaign, or even talked to your neighbors about the issue, your actions will mean children across the country get safer, healthier food.

At a time when we know that the food we feed our children will cause one in three of them to develop diabetes, and when obesity levels are at an all-time high, this legislation is an important step towards creating a better future for American children.

This is what happens when people come together to take action on the issues they care about. In the end this Bill is far from perfect, and has involved large compromises, but this is a great achievement towards our end goal of making kids healthier.

For months, this law hung on a knife's edge as powerful opponents tried to prevent its passage. In the end, the actions of you and people like you meant Congress could no longer ignore the will of the people, and could stand up to the powerful interests pressuring them to kill this bill.

Today, Congress helped make children healthier. Congratulations to you, and to all our partners in our 'Time For Lunch' campaign. Please share your thoughts on our blog.

Thanks for making it happen,
Josh Viertel, President Slow Food USA

PS - If you'd like to donate to help make sure our movement is always mobilized to stand together to defend the values we share, please click here - none of this would be possible without your support:
Slow Food USA and the Slow Food USA Logo are registered trademarks of Slow Food USA.
20 Jay Street, Suite M04 Brooklyn, NY 11201 Tel: 718 260-8000 or 877 SlowFoo(d) Fax: 718 260-8068

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Southern Cheesemakers Wine & Cheese Tasting, 12/10!

Friday, December 10
Historic 701 Whaley
$20 members/$25 non-members
Co-presented by Slow Food Columbia and Sustainable Midlands


Please join us on Friday, December 10th from 6-8pm at 701 Whaley as we enjoy artisanal cheeses from the Southeast!

cheeseWe will be featuring cow, sheep and goat cheeses from these dairies:

Sweet Grass Dairy, Georgia, (Cow,Thomasville Tomme, Asher Blue,Camembert)

Flat Creek, Georgia (Cow, Aged Cheddars, Blue)

Evorana Dairy, North Carolina (Sheep, Piedmont, Stonyman)

Locust Grove Farm, Tennessee (Sheep,Galloway) 

The cheeses will be compared with compatible wines from US vineyards. This is Slow Food Columbia's first artisan cheese tasting, and it's a great excuse to get together for a little holiday cheer! 

Big thanks to Slow Food enthusiasts Anna Redwine and Mary Roe for working with Slow Food Chapter Leader Kristen DuBard and Sustainable Midlands leader Ryan Nevius to make this happen!

701And kudos to Richard Burts and Tom Chinn at Historic 701 Whaley (pictured, right) for being so supportive of progressive culture in the Midlands and beyond. Thank you!

Click here to buy tickets via secure transaction at Brown Paper Tickets
$20 for Slow Food members; $25 for non-members.

This is truly a unique event, and we are sure to sell out fast! 

Slow Food Columbia
Membership special extended until November 30th!   
Click here to join Slow Food for only $25!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How this Thai-Carolinian Chef Keeps it Lean and Green

Our latest guest blog was contributed by Executive Chef Alex Suaudom du Monde, who runs the well-loved Baan Sawan Thai Bistro with his erudite, oenotherapist brother Sam and their parents on Devine St. in the Five Points district of Columbia, SC. It's a well-known fact that his green curry ahi tuna is a thing of beauty, but we didn't realize that the restaurant has a private, boutique herb and chile pepper garden that is grown just for them, or that they use melted bar well ice and rain barrels to water their plants. Read below for more Slow thoughts from this Thai-Carolinian restaurateur. Thanks, Chef Alex!

It's a challenge to run an ethnic niche restaurant on the other side of the planet from the ecosystem where the recipes were first developed. Sourcing ingredients is always an exercise in creativity.

But in our tiny, family run bistro, the volume is not so overwhelming that we can't still use many of the same techniques that we used at home when I was growing up.

We try to grow as many of our own ingredients as possible, with the same philosophy that guides our menu. In terms of m├ęthode, we deconstruct traditional recipes, then execute them with classical and modern techniques.

In terms of gardening, we grow lemon grass, kaffir lime (for the leaves), a variety of peppers, basil and so forth, all while adhering to FDA & DHEC guidelines.

But with some things, it does seem everything old is new again. In the old country, I remember the huge, clay cisterns my uncle had spaced along the corners of the house, used to capture and store rainwater for household use.

Here, we use modern rain catchment techniques to help water our garden. Inside the restaurant, we re-use the melted, leftover ice at the end of the night to water plants in the dining room.

It may not be much, but it adds up, and it's water that would otherwise go down the drain. It's just the way we did things, growing up, and nowadays people call it using gray water, reducing your carbon footprint, etc.

(The pic is from when my wife Raiessa & I attended a rain-barrel making workshop put on by the Clemson extension. There's another one 11 Dec; Build-a-Rain Barrel Workshop, Clemson Sandhills REC. The kid, by the way, is helping us tighten the spigot in the barrel.)

I'm a purist when it comes to certain things. I like my bourbon neat, my beers dark, my calibers .45 and I'm not a fan of kitchen gadgets. It's like when I first learned to shoot; I asked one of the old salts at the range what he thought about laser sights. "Learn to shoot!" he said. I'll never forget the twinkle in his eye or the harrumph in his voice, when he said that.

I'm the same way in the kitchen, now. I'd much, much rather use a knife than a food processor. (And incidentally, it's that much less electricity that I use. Again, every little bit helps, right?)

A couple of times a week I have to shred a counter full of heads of cabbage for spring rolls, and it's so much more of a pure experience to use a knife rather than a processor. I have much more control, and I feel so much more in tune with my ingredients. I like to hear and feel the crunch as the knife makes the cut. It's just so...satisfying.

But it's a busy world full of work and not much time in which to do it, so I will, regretfully, sometimes use a mandoline or a machine. I still don't own a laser sight, though. And if someone were to ask me what I thought of, say, a VeggieChop Vegetable Chopper, I'll tell them to learn to cut.

Here we have a mortar & pestle. I've used the same one for years and years, now, just like my dad did, and I use it to make ingredients for many of my dishes.

It grinds and macerates peppercorns, garlic, coriander etc together in such a way that the flavors blend and layer, and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

A processor would create a paste, which is alright, I guess, or a lot of little bits like the garlic you can buy in fat, glass jars, which is not alright. The mortar & pestle creates an effect I think of as similar to when you make a nice stew, and it's better the next day. Why is that? I think it's because the flavors have time to mature together, which is an effect the mortar & pestle facilitates especially well.

I was born in Washington DC, but I've lived here in Columbia, South Carolina since I was three. That makes it thirty-six years, now. And as an asian growing up in the deep south, I can tell you whole-heartedly that right here, right now is an exciting time to be living here.

The last few years have seen Columbia moving forward in ways I could not seriously have imagined in the previous thirty.

There are so many dedicated, talented people doing fascinating, creative things in Columbia, like Ben at City Roots farm, in the pic at right.

It's not that these people weren't here before, I don't think. It's more that there's a growing community that seeks to bring them together and put them to work in ways that move Columbia in the direction we want it to go.

It's something I believe that South Carolina desperately needs, and I'm proud to be a part of it, in my own quirky little way.

--Alex Suaudom du Monde, exec chef baan sawan thai bistro

Friday, November 5, 2010

Food and Music Synergy: Is there such a thing?

Hi all, 
The following stems from a blog I just wrote, but I'd also appreciate any feedback through the survey link at the end of this blog.  
Sarah Quick
Slow Food Columbia guest blogger

Food and Music Synergy: Is there such a thing?
I've recently been considering the food movement research I have been doing against musical ideals and preferences. Initially, I had basically compartmentalized my research interests, only joining the food research in a very vague way to other previous research interests in the way heritage is conceived. 

However, this year's Society for Ethnomusicology meetings spurred me on to explore food and music as possibly not so separate spheres of action and thought. I saw a call for papers by graduate student Andrew Mark asking panelists to consider "Sound Ecology?: Theories, Places and Parallels for Ecomusicology," and I decided to do a last minute proposal for a paper idea. Besides allowing me to explore my recent research interests in a different way, this panel has introduced me to "ecomusicology" as a concept.  Another provocative and entertaining connection between music and food that has come my way of late:  The Vienna Vegetable Orchestra.
So my recent research has been pretty exploratory, involving my participation as a fiddler with my friend Amy on guitar at the All Local Farmer's Market in Columbia and interviews. Quoting my earlier paper abstract, I seek to understand the social and cultural relationships between these food and musical sensibilities. Are these intersections recognized? If so, how do these practitioners view such relationships—as spurious, as central, as metaphorical? Does their musical praxis reflect, refract or obscure their ideological stances regarding sustainability and ecological matters? 

Another way I have started "collecting data" is through a survey instrument. If you are at anyway active in the local and/or Slow Food movement in the Columbia region of South Carolina, please take the survey!  It should take you less than 10 minutes, and you  can always "opt out" once inside.  

Here's the link:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Renovated Building Ready for All-Local Farmers' Market

Renovated Market Building at 701 Whaley

It had been two weeks since I'd looked in on the renovations for the All-Local Farmers' Market. I'd told Tracie I'd write about the market's Grand Re-opening, so I biked over at lunch today to check it out. The market will be in the building this Saturday. 701 Whaley manager Tom Chinn was doing a little cleaning up when I got there.

Wood recycled from 701 Whaley beams

Inside, serious progress from two weeks ago. Along the lower back wall, wood paneling has been installed. Tom told me the wood was recycled from beams that had been in 701 Whaley. Floral & Hardy had also been over, working on their new booth.

Garage doors installed across front

The arched garage doors are in and you can see how much more natural light there will be, even if the doors are lowered.

Posts also made from old beams
The addition of a porch across the front of the building is really wonderful.

Tom pointed out a couple of details--more 701 Whaley beams re-purposed to support the porch roof and as newels.

Tom Chinn, not wanting
his picture taken btw.
The market will be here on Saturday, regular hours 8am-noon, but with extra activities to celebrate moving back in--cooking demonstrations by Kristian Niemi and The Flying Foodie and S.C.-brewed beer on the house, from Thomas Creek Brewery, to toast the new space.

If you need more information, you can find it at or on Facebook.

Pumpkins at Heyward & Queen
On my way home, I rode by a pretty darned appealing pumpkin "patch," sort of a mini pumpkin museum.

It's at the church on the corner of Heyward and Queen in Shandon. Pumpkins are for sale; if no one's there, you can use their self-serve honor system.

--Jenny Maxwell

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

50 Green Resources for Eco-Friendly Schools

We received a tip-off on this terrific list of 50 online resources for eco-friendly schools from

Take a look!

50 Online Resources for Eco-Friendly Schools

"Schools produce lots of things – honor roll students, star athletes, influential teachers and some of the largest amounts of waste. Educational settings have been known to waste energy, food, water and paper on a daily basis."

"Thanks to the ongoing green movement, many schools now understand their impact on the environment and how it can be improved. Today’s eco-friendly schools are sustainable, energy efficient and better for the planet. With baby steps and big efforts, any school can transform into an eco-friendly environment and become an example for other institutions."

"Here are 50 online resources for eco-friendly schools:

Environmental News
These environmental news sites and blogs will keep students and educators up to date on sustainability, energy efficiency and other environmental issues affecting schools.
  1. The Daily Green.
    The Daily Green is your one-stop source for green news and sustainable practices you can try at your school.
  2. Grist.
    Environmental news site, Grist, discusses environmental sustainability, climate change and living green.
  3. E Magazine.
    E Magazine is a bimonthly publication that focuses on environmental news and resources for green living.
  4. Planetsave.
    Planetsave provides going-green tips and environmental news to keep you up to date.
  5. U.S. Green Building Council.
    Learn about how your school could get LEED certified and read news about other green school buildings."
Read about the other 45 here:

Our next Slow Food Columbia meeting will be this Monday, October 18 at 6:30pm at City Roots Farm, 1005 Airport Blvd, Columbia, SC 29205. Come join us!

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Visit to Sandhill Farmers' Market in Northeast Columbia

Hello all, 

This is Sarah Quick writing, a semi-recent member of Slow Food Columbia. Below is something I just posted in my own site, "Dear Folks and Anthropology," a blog that I basically started 2 years ago but left sitting for various reasons.

SFC events manager and blog administrator Tracie Broom recently invited me to post here at the Slow Food Columbia blog, and I thought the Sandhill Farmers' Market might interest some...

Almost every Tuesday, I visit the Sandhill Farmers' Market, run through Clemson University's Sandhill site, across from the new outdoor shopping mall at the Village at Sandhill.

They offer gardening advice from master gardners as well as information to vendors and shoppers.

Because of my Northeast location in Columbia, the Sandhill market has been more readily accessible than other farmers markets. I also like what I can get there: artisan bread (Heather's), SC shrimp, goat cheese and other local SC meats, honey and a larger variety of fruits and vegetables (some organic and some chemical free) depending on the season. Also available are organic soaps, boiled peanuts, and flowers as well as yummy kettle corn and toffee.

Vendors are required to have a certain amount of locally produced food/crafts to be able to sell there.

My usual purchases are the SC shrimp (soo good) from "the Shrimp Guy, LLC" and bread as well as some fruit and vegetables. Sometimes I don't eat a substantial lunch, so I might splurge on the yummy kettle corn while shopping.

This past Tuesday, Oct. 5th, I visited the market with a camera in tow. Besides the normal shrimp purchase, I decided to try some garlic brats from Old McCaskill's Farm.

I always like walking by this vendor because of the beautiful wool items for sale.

That's all for now, but see Susan Slack's excellent A Taste of Carolina blog for more pictures and recipes of September fare at this market.

Note: You can still join Slow Food for the reduced price of $25 (normally $60) through October 22, 2010!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lower your energy costs at home/office: Free public seminar 10/18!

Thanks again to Sustainable Midlands' Ryan Nevius for spearheading such great public programs on greening our homes and workplace environments! The RCPL composting workshops were a smash sellout success. Next up:

Monday, October 18th at 6PM in Columbia, SC: 

Free public seminar on how to reduce your energy costs at home and in the office! Attendees will learn the most effective techniques to save money on building energy costs, and who can help get the job done.

Sustainable Midlands, The United States Green Business Council (USGBC), Midlands Chapter and the South Carolina Energy Office are joining together to offer this seminar to Midlands residents and small businesses.

"Techniques, Technologies & To Do's: Solutions to lowering your energy costs at home & in the office"
Monday, October 18
6pm, Free
The Olympia Room at the 701 Whaley building (upstairs/2nd floor)
701 Whaley Street
Columbia, South Carolina, 29201 

For more information and to reserve your free seat today: 

Email your RSVP to Ryan Nevius at ryan@sustainable or call 803-381-8747.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Potluck lunch + Boys & Girls Club crop mob, Sat. Sept. 25!

dig in

Follow Slow Food Columbia

THIS MONTH ONLY: Join Slow Food for only $25! The annual September low-cost membership drive is on. Click here to get in on the cheap! Usually $60! (Through Sept. 30, 2010.)
Monthly Meeting
Monday, September 20th
6:30 pm, City Roots Farm

DIG IN! Crop Mob & Potluck 
Saturday, September 25th 
Greetings Everyone!

I hope you all can make to our monthly meeting on Monday. We will be discussing our potluck lunch event on Saturday, September 25 at City Roots Farm. We still need volunteers and home chefs to help out!

Please know that if you would rather dig than cook, come on down to the Boys and Girls Club by Memorial Stadium in Rosewood on Saturday morning!

If you would rather cook than dig, feel free to bring or drop off your potluck dish to City Roots!

If you want to do both, hurrah!

Below are the details for the event. Please email with any and all questions!

"Everyday people have the power to change the world, and have a great time while doing it. Our
food system's broken, and it's up to us to fix it, so let's dig in." 

Join Slow Food Columbia, Boys and Girls Club Families and City Roots Farm as we create a butterfly garden at the Boys and Girls Club Ben Arnold Center.

The garden will complement the center's organic community garden and pioneer "seed to table" programing done at the center.  The kids at Ben Arnold won the Best Tomato grown by a Community Garden at our recent Palmetto Tasty Tomato Festival!

Everyone will then enjoy a tour of City Roots farm, and Slow Food Columbia will provide a potluck lunch for all participants!

Below is the schedule for the day of the event.  Please respond to so that we can plan the potluck.

Volunteer Schedule for Sat., Sept. 25:

8:45-12 noon: work at Ben Arnold Center constructing garden.

The Boys & Girls Club
1100 S.Holly St

Columbia, SC 29205

12 noon: tour of City Roots

12:15: lunch provided by Slow Food Columbia volunteers for the Boys and Girls Club families at City Roots Farm

Please bring a potluck dish to feed approximately 20 people. As many of our guests will be working families, please choose an easy to make dish with at least one local/in season ingredient and a recipe card.

See you there!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Free composting classes in September at RCPL!

This is a great opportunity to brush up on composting with experts! Big thanks to Sustainable Midlands for coordinating!

Free Composting Classes For Richland County Residents

In 60 minutes you can learn how easy it is to turn grass clippings, yard waste and kitchen scraps into a rich soil amendment.  

You will receive a free composting booklet and a free wire composting bin!
(Registration instructions below)

Course Includes:
¬ Why compost 
¬ What to compost
¬ Method: Slow or Fast
¬ What system works best for YOU?
¬ How to use finished compost
¬ Frequently asked composting questions

Classes Offered the following Thursday evenings and Saturdays:

September 2nd     6:30PM 

Parklane Adult Activity Center
7494 Parklane Road, Columbia SC 29233

September 4th  10AM 

North Springs Park Building, 
1320 Clemson Road, Columbia, SC 29229

September 9th  6:30PM 

Richland County Library SE Regional Branch
7421 Garners Ferry Road Columbia, SC 29209

September 11th  9:00AM 

Richland County Library, St Andrews Regional 
2916 Broad River Road Columbia, SC 29210

September 16th  6:30PM 

Bible Way Church Fellowship Hall  
440 Atlas Road Columbia, SC 29209

Compost Exhibit at Forest Acres Green Living Festival on September 25th from 10AM to 4PM at Forest Lake Presbyterian Church6500 North Trenholm Road Columbia, 29206


To register for your free class or for more information send email to:

Presented By: Sustainable Midlands & 
Richland County Master Gardeners Association

Sponsored By: Richland County Solid Waste Department

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tasty Tomato Fest recap + monthly mtg this Monday!

Come to our monthly meeting this Monday, August 16, 2010, at 6:30pm at City Roots Farm. All are welcome![And if you have any feedback/constructive criticism on the new blog/site redesign, we're hoping you'll let us know!]


Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to everyone who pitched in with their time, effort, dollars, goods, services, talents, and presence to make the first-ever Palmetto Tasty Tomato Festival such a smashing success! We've already started planning next year's tomato festival. Got ideas? Want to work with us? Let us know!

image: Jonathan Sharpe
Here is a brilliant set of festival photos by the Free Times' utterly talented, foodie photojournalist, Jonathan Sharpe:!/album.php?aid=194790&id=613107706

[Cola native Will Gettys of Cyberwoven web design and his son Eli, pictured right, invited their new neighbors (who'd just moved to Columbia from Austin, TX). Welcome, awesome new friends!]

Here’s a little recap, below, as well as links to our new website, FB page, pics, and press!

We love our wonderful, fun-loving, conscientious food community here in the Midlands!

More photos from the festival:!/album.php?id=547732303&aid=192958

image: T. Broom
Join/donate to/volunteer with Slow Food Columbia

Become a member of the Columbia, SC chapter of the international non-profit organization, Slow Food, and join in the mission to support "Good, Clean and Fair" foodways in our local communities.

The all-volunteer Columbia chapter is run via collaboration between the board, local Slow Food members, and volunteerslike Anna Redwine and Claudia Seeger! (right)

image: T. Broom
Donate to/volunteer with Sustainable Midlands!

This coalition of non-profit organizations in the Midlands provides education and facilitates communication among citizens and community leaders about creating communities that have clean air and water and support principles of sustainability.

The coalition is coordinated by Master Gardener Ryan Nevius (left), in collaboration with the organization's steering committee and volunteers.

image: Jonathan Sharpe
Volunteer with City Roots Farm!

The 2.8-acre urban farm, located next to Owens Field, produces sustainably grown products like farmed tilapia, microgreens and heirloom vegetables, while educating the community about the benefits of locally grown food, composting, vermicomposting and other environmentally friendly farming practices.

The farm, inspired by Will Allen's Growing Power urban farm initiative in Milwaukee, WI, is owned and worked daily by the McClam family of Columbia, SC (right), in collaboration with Five Leaves Farm co-owner Ben DuBard and volunteers.

Got suggestions for event elements at next year's Palmetto Tasty Tomato Festival? Tasty tomato recipes? Comment below!


[Reposted from the official Palmetto Tasty Tomato Festival website]

image: T. Broom
The multi-generational crowd at the 2010 Palmetto Tasty Tomato Festival enjoyed a bushel of fun times, starting with a side-by-side tasting of commercially bred vs. locally grown heirloom tomato varieties, some sourced affordably for us by Kev at Rosewood Market and some donated by heirloom specialist Rodger Winn (with tasty baguette slices and centerpieces donated by Earth Fare), as well as a Homegrown Tomato Contest with local foodie celeb judges.

Image: Jonathan Sharpe
With its rich agricultural history, hot climate, and strong community of international heirloom enthusiasts, South Carolina produces some crazy looking, delicious tasting tomatoes. 
Check out this chocolate striper -- part of the 30-40lb donation from Rodger's Heirlooms in Little Mountain.

 image: T. Broom
Live bluegrass music was provided very generously by two fantastic local bands, Jack McGregor & Debbie Daniel of Slap Wore Out & their buddies (left), who played first, and The Plowboys (below right), who rounded out the evening.

image: Jonathan Sharpe
Nothing like some old-time tunes to put you in the mood for having fun on the farm, right?

image: Jonathan Sharpe
Folks went crazy for tomato bobbing (w/color commentary by Plowboys leader and SMOKE BBQ co-owner Tom Hall). 

This young lady, who volunteers frequently at City Roots, was "like a piranha," it was proclaimed, in her tomato bobbing prowess!

image: Jonathan Sharpe
Local artist Amanda Ladymon and S&S Art Supply owner Eric Stockard celebrated their recent move to a Main Street storefront (a few doors down from the Nickelodeon's future Fox Theater home) by running a wonderful kids' art table.

Thanks guys!

image: The Shop Tart
Meanwhile, local design/print superstars The Half and Half (chef/designer Thomas Jennings, firm co-principal Nick Wilson, and Thomas' cool lady Annie Ellis, pictured left to right) came and sold sets of heir tomato festival posters -- the art print versions!
The limited edition run of 50 art print festival posters sold out within 3 days, but they should still have some of the ltd. ed. run of 100 small, square tomato art prints, all designed by Thomas.

He is currently working on two supplementary art print editions, one of garlic and one of an onion, so that tomato print owners can procure a full set of kitchen art prints (for the holidays?!)

image: Jonathan Sharpe
Other fave festival activities included feeding fish food to the 1500 farmed tilapia in City Roots' greenhouse (they should be large enough to sell to the public by December 2010 or so!), and checking out the "Chicken Okra Forest" -- where the farm's now-legal flock of hens live amongst a field of bushy, prolific Clemson Spineless okra plants.

image: T. Broom
Plenty of festivalgoers whipped out their throwing arms for the wildly popular “Chuck the Commercial Tomato” skee-ball game.

You could hear the "WHHHOMP" of tomatoes hitting their 5-gallon targets all the way from the Pole Bean Tee-Pee!

Image: T. Broom
Using 100% corn PLA compostable drink cups, the bar served SC-made Thomas Creek and RJ Rockers beers, sustainably packaged wine, NC-grown roasted peanuts from Cromer’s, and homemade Bloody Marys made with local honey, molasses, and spices by Brad Weeks (left) of Spotted Salamander catering (who swiftly sold out of their amazing tomato pies as well).

Image: T. Broom
The Tomato Recipe Showcase potluck supper was a huge success, too – it was jam-packed with goodies and utterly delicious. 

image: T. Broom
Major thanks to key Slow Food volunteers like Debi Schadel, Lucy Willms and Chris Reid for keeping things in order in there and washing what seemed like a truckload of potluck dishes!

Huge thanks to other Slow Food, Sustainable Midlands and City Roots volunteers, without whom we really couldn't have pulled this off: Slow Food members Renee Johnson, Jana Fredericks and Claudia Seeger kept the tomato tasting table afloat witih 140+ lbs of freshly sliced heirlooms.

image: T. Broom
Renee's husband Jim worked with Amanda and Joe Jones of Doko farm to ensure that the tomato skee ball was major fun and fancy free; and Columbia Design League president Anna Redwine engineered the event signage (with a little help from Betsy Kaemmerlen, Slow Food chapter leader Kristen DuBard, Slow Food events manager Tracie Broom, and Sustainable Midlands head Ryan Nevius!)

image: T. Broom
The registration tent was staffed graciously by Slow Food Columbia Treasurer and board member Nancy McCormick, her daughter, and others like Slow Food member Katie Reid. 

The McGregor family and Tom Hall made sure we had P.A. equipment for announcements, music, and A/V; and Slow Foodie Christine Adair stepped in to take care of whatever had slipped through the cracks. Talk about some great Carolinians!

image: T. Broom
Free Times photojournalist and food writer Jonathan Sharpe (left, with Chef Joe Turkaly, who brought a gorgeous ceviche for the potluck!) donated his time and his talent to document the festival, as did local photog (and PC College math professor!) Kara Shavo. Thanks guys!

The suggested donation bar was manned by Brad Weeks, Ryan Nevius' terrific husband Barry, City Roots volunteer Megan Leppla and her rad Dreher Island ranger sweetie. 

Furthermore, City Roots farm manager/Slow Food board member Eric McClam put in a call to his brother, who very generously dropped everything and brought a team of friends to come and sweat it out over the beer coolers all evening. Thank you all so much!

Image reposted via The Shop Tart
Meanwhile, local stonemason/sculptor Jefferson Jay Hubbell dreamed up and executed a flawless, purist version of a Make-Your-Own-Tomato-Sandwich table, complete with plain jane white bread, Duke’s mayo and thick, juicy yellow/red German Striper tomatoes sourced by Kevin at Rosewood Market. (Thanks, Kev!)

Jay's trusty colleagues, Tim Simmons of Thomas Cooper Library and Dickson Monk of BCL/Manly Publishing provided backup, comedy, and camaraderie. 

image: Jonathan Sharpe
What a blast!

image: Jonathan Sharpe
The festival was such a great way to honor our local green thumbs, farmers, chefs and foodies for choosing local, eco-friendly, organic, and socially just foodways. 

Have you met Kristen DuBard (right), Slow Food Columbia's new chapter leader?

When the Cola chapter founder, the wonderful Cerelle Centeno, relocated to her hometown of NYC earlier in 2010, she tapped Kristen -- a Cola native, local farmer, mother of two, web content/IT specialist and all-around groovy lady -- to lead the nonprofit organization.

Come say hey to Kristen and other Slow Food Cola members at the monthly chapter meeting, held every 3rd Monday at 6:30pm at City Roots Farm!

image: Jonathan Sharpe
Awards were presented by festival founder Ryan Nevius (the esteemed head of Sustainable Midlands) for the best tomato grown by local gardeners in a number of categories. 

[Don’t forget: contest entrants all get 20% off at Spotted Salamander!]

Motor Supply Co. GM (and big-time Slow Food supporter) Eddie Wales & his family, above, took 2 prizes for their tasty homegrown 'maters, including some black cherry tomatoes that got The Shop Tart hooked on black heirloom tomato varieties. Congrats, guys!

image: Jonathan Sharpe
Thanks again to our local celeb judges who gathered to officiate the 2010 Homegrown Tomato Contest!

Belinda Gergel, Columbia City Council
Richard Burts, Historic 701 Whaley
Ann Timberlake, Conservation Voters of SC

Frank Knapp, SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce (right) 
Amanda McNulty, SC ETV's "Making it Grow," Clemson Extension
Rodger Winn, Heirloom seed maestro
Jenks Farmer, Horticulturist and permaculture expert
Emile DeFelice, All-Local Farmer's Market at 701 Whaley & Caw Caw Creek Pastured Pork 

Eva Moore, The Free Times (above, left)

Reposted via The Shop Tart
Anne Postic, The Shop Tart (left)
Alicia Barnes, ABC news anchor (right)
Chef Tim Peters of Motor Supply Co. Bistro
Chef Mike Davis of Terra Restaurant (above, center) 

Chef Ricky Mollohan, chef/owner Mr. Friendly’s, Solstice Kitchen & Cellar on Greene
Kristian Niemi, owner of Rosso and Gervais & Vine Restaurants
Tom and Julie Hall, owners of SMOKE Southern BBQ Revival
Sean Hanley of MoMo’s Bistro
Julie Culclasure of Blue Cactus Cafe
Chef Alex Suaudom du Monde of Baan Sawan Thai Bistro
Chef Joe Turkaly of Doc's Gumbo Grille
Chef Benoit St. Jacques of Rosewood Market

Special thanks to our 2010 sponsors! City Roots Farm, Laurie Aker and the staff at Earth Fare, Basil, Benoit, Kev, Katie and the staff at Rosewood Market, low-cost local printers Copy Pickup, our local lowest-price mushroom compost source Carolina Eastern over on Shop Rd., City Roots neighbors Southern Vistas Garden Center, Mill Creek Greenhouses, Rebekah's Garden, Rodger's Heirlooms, 701 CCA, 701 Whaley, The Nickelodeon, Jack McGregor + Debbie Daniel of Slap Wore Out, Tom Hall + the Plowboys, and The Half and Half letterpress design + printing (how about those gorgeous event posters by designer + Mr. Friendly's chef Thomas Jennings?)

And huge thanks to our amazing volunteers! You’re the best.

image: Jonathan Sharpe
Thinking about sponsoring the 2011 Palmetto Tasty Tomato Festival with goods, services, or a financial donation?  We are especially interested in connecting with  donors who would like to sponsor the following: 

  • purchase of 100% compostable cups and dinnerware; 
  • tent, table, chair rentals; 
  • locally made beer & liquor; 
  • design, marketing & printing costs; 
  • local, sustainably grown heirloom tomatoes and other produce and ingredients; 
  • crates of gassed green tomatoes shipped from afar; 
  • charitable contributions to the non-profits Sustainable Midlands and/or Slow Food Columbia

image: Jonathan Sharpe
Leave a comment here, or drop a line to: 

Sustainable Midlands project coordinator Ryan Nevius at


Slow Food Columbia chapter leader Kristen DuBard at

Thanks again for your interest and support. We love our wonderful, creative, conscientious food community here in South Carolina!