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, November 10, 2015

Slow Food Columbia at the Food and Farm Event of the Year

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

Slow Food Columbia at the Food and Farm Event of the Year

Grateful and Humble 'Farmers of the Year' Flo & Portia from Chapel Hill Creamery gave great thanks for being present with "A room full of people who want to change the world" at our opening dinner reception. This kicking off a weekend's workshop conference with passions shared and benevolence all around.  Myself privileged to attend the food and farm event of the year on behalf of our Slow Food Columbia Chapter, I was joined by fellow advisory members Katie Welborn and Anna Redwine~
Anna, Ariel, Katie Slow Foodies 

This is my third year attending CFSA's Sustainable Agriculture Conference. First year as a recent horticulture graduate on the precipice of farming for Midland area farmers markets, second year as a 'New and Beginning Farmer' Dow Scholar recipient, and present this year representing Columbia's fair food ways and Midlands grassroots farm and food policy groups, Slow Food Columbia

We were greeted with a cornucopia of local, organic foods and a warm and insightful reception, while the hotel was a buzz with trade booths, seed exchange, food and farm literature and networking abound.  

The opening evening receptions dinner boasted the Goat. A heart warming Shepard's Pie with braised goat paired with quintessentially seasonal roasted roots, crucifer vegetables, and creamy goats cheese riddled throughout. The dinner heralded the likes of outstanding farmers, activists, and long time association members. Impassioned food council activists Grace and Carey of NC's Davidson's County Local Food Network, inspired the room with their community driven strategy to reach out and make the change we want to see in our neighborhoods and counties, "It's not about fighting the power. It's about being the power."
Carey & Grace Selfie with 800 CFSA Friends

Emotionally charged keynote speaker, Micheal Twitty, is a food writer, culinary historian and justice activist. He gave an equally charged sermon and captivated a room of foodies and farmers with the reminder that "Culinary justice is about giving recognition to those who started before us, from the 1600's to the freed men". His inherent love for the land and sentiments were shared by all there as he espoused eloquently, "The land is our health. The land is our wealth...Change the composition of our brains by changing the compositions of our soil."

The next few days followed suit with delicious organic local foods, fellowship and networking, along with workshop intensives and a healthy crop of how to's.  I adjourn home with a wealth of new knowledge and insight to marinate in, on how to farm better, feed more and an arsenal of seeds for next years garden. The inspiration to continue to strive to make healthy local foods and farms for our Midlands future is ever positively charged after such a worthwhile weekend at this year's Sustainable Agriculture Conference.    

Grateful for the opportunity to attend on behalf of Slow Food Columbia,

Ariel McClain
  Slow Food Columbia
  Midlands Food Alliance
  Humble Farm