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.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tons of Local BBQ Fun at City Roots Farm

Thank you to everyone who participated in our belated Terra Madre Day celebration this past Saturday at City Roots urban farm in Columbia, S.C.!

We had a fantastic time, and we can't wait to do more events like this.

Special thanks to City Roots Farm Manager Eric McClam, a truly gracious host. We're all excited to work together again!

Produce sales M-F, 9-5 at City Roots
With his recently acquired Masters in Architecture from Tulane, Eric and his architect father Robbie based the farm building's high-ceilinged design (topped with self-ventilating, clerestory windows) on the Southern tobacco barns of old.

Greenhouse dining!
We predict that it's going to become one of Columbia's hottest event venues. Can you imagine the coolness of an urban farm wedding or holiday party on nearly 3 acres, 5 minutes from downtown, with a greenhouse and mod, stylish barn?


The Plowboys let 'er rip
The McClams may try to convince the neighbors to let them make a giant mural on that broad, white wall there on the south side of the fields. Here's hoping!

Delicious catering by SMOKE!
Eric says they're planning to go for LEED certification for the building; we love the exposed wall studs in the retail/event space and the newfangled low-flush toilet (in the very clean, spacious bathroom, next to the large, 38-degree cold-storage room).

A very family-friendly venue
For those of you who couldn't get tickets due to the sell-out status of the BBQ, we are so thankful for your interest and will plan a bigger event next time!

The soon-to-be-stocked tilapia pond!
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Toward the goals of raising awareness of Slow Food, celebrating local food, and promoting "good, clean, and fair" food practices, SFC leader Cerelle Centeno checked people in with the help of Five Leaves Farm owner Ben Dubard.

A new City Roots collaborator, Ben, his wife Kristen (pic'd w/SFC members Katie and Chris Reid), and their family just moved back to the Rosewood neighborhood, a mere 4 houses down from City Roots. Now Ben can grow crops in the city! Five Leaves Farm out in Cedar Creek will serve as a new growing space for Anson Mills crops.

Served w/compostable corn resin forks!
Speaking of crops, City Roots' greenhouse-grown sunflower sprouts and snow pea sprouts are phenomenal. Nutty, bright, crunchy and fresh! You can buy them at the farm M-F, 9-5, or at Rosewood Market + Deli.

Tom Hall, leader of the Plowboys and co-owner of the new Smoke Southern BBQ Revival restaurant takes a cleaver to a Caw Caw Creek pastured pork butt. Emile DeFelice raises some darn fine pigs, and the guys at Smoke really know how to cook them!

Big thanks to Tom's vegetarian wife Julie Hall, a litigator and mother of three, who braved giant trays of steaming, smoky, slow-cooked pulled pork in order to help us keep the buffet nicely refreshed.

Despite being a longtime veg, Julie makes an amazing shrimp etouffee and a killer andouille jambalaya, by the way. (She's from Louisiana.)

Smoke co-owner and catering manager Heath Sessions outdid himself fancying up the cole slaw with pears, dried cranberries and blue cheese; The X-man gives a thumbs up to Heath's moist, delicious sweet potato cornbread.

Local bluegrass stars The Plowboys played some rousing sets from their repertoire. Maybe it was the fresh farm air, the enchanting woodsmoke from the campfire ring, or the cool drinks flowing from The White Mule's donation-only beverage station, but the band sounded particularly excellent.

Also excellent: The Shop Tart's overalls. Got to love a lady who dresses for the occasion AND promotes shopping indie and eating local to the well-heeled denizens of our fair city.

Cerelle thanked everyone and displayed a freshly printed City Roots T-shirt (handprinted on organic cotton by City Roots neighbor Emily McCravy of Fox + Grapes), while Eric talked a bit about the farm's mission.

Baby Augie and his social work maven mama, Caroline, were loving the gooey mac and cheese.

Augie's dad and his colleagues from the Thomas Cooper Library at USC enjoyed the springlike weather, having walked to the farm from their Rosewood home.

Tori and Heather from the Nickelodeon showed their support for local foodways (foreground), as did Nick board members Sanders and Donna Tate (background).
Local artist Anna Redwine (center) has a show up at Gallery 80808 in the Vista (with fellow artist Laura Spong) til the end of this week. Check it out!

USC Green Quad project coordinator Carter Cox spread the word about the local foods class she's teaching next year. The Green Quad is doing great things to promote sustainable gardening and green living at USC!

Hook up with the Green Quad at

It really was a great day. Conversations arose between local backyard gardeners and tips were divulged by Ryan Nevius, Master Gardener and Sustainable Midlands guru. Greenhouse innovations were marveled at...
...the kids went ape for the McClams' Oaxacan hammocks...

...And then the kids went ape in the clover patch out front. The farm is planning on farming bees and making honey from the clover. Cool!

When things quieted down at the end of the day, the organizers kicked back to enjoy a cozy campfire circle and a great view of the full moon over Owens Field.

We can't wait to celebrate all things good, clean and fair with our local Slow Food community again soon*!

Slow Food Columbia Sincerely Thanks Its Sponsors for the Feb 27, 2010 Terra Madre Day Celebration at City Roots Farm!

Caw Caw Creek
City Roots
Smoke Southern Barbeque Revival
The Plowboys

*If you have ideas for Slow Food community-building events or initiatives in the Midlands and the Carolinas, please contact us!

Slow Food Columbia
Slow Food Columbia online


Anne said...

Love these pics! And what am I doing with my hand there? Is that a gang sign? Do gang members wear overalls? I am not in a gang.

Great party, y'all!

bsmithhill said...

Sounds like this was an awesome event! Sorry I missed it--next time, hopefully!

Carter said...

Thanks for the shout out to the Green Quad! Loving all these pictures and I had a blast at the event. I look forward to collaborating in the future!

Laura Rogers said...

I wanna do this again. It was really fun. XOXO Julie