It’s time again for that celebration of our wonderful food system that has developed in Athens over the last fifteen years: Taste Your Place. It actually began yesterday with a tomato festival at the farmers market and continued today with a farm work session at 3 Porch Farm and an evening cooking class at Heirloom Cafe, but there is still two weeks of fun. Here’s the remaining schedule of events. I hope to see you at some of them!
JULY 21ST, 10AM-11AM: TASTE YOUR PIE CONTEST AT THE ATHENS FARMERS MARKET
Got a summer sweet tooth? Want to absolve the guilt of indulgence by supporting a good cause? PLACE will be hosting its annual “Taste Your Pie” contest at 10am at the Athens Farmers Market at Bishop Park. Anyone can enter the contest by bringing two pies (of each recipe if entering multiple pies) to the Athens Farmers Market at Bishop Park by 9:30am with $5 and the recipe(s). Contestants also get to taste all the pies. Cash prizes will be awarded for best sweet pie and best savory pie. Don’t feel like baking? Everyone is welcome to taste all the pies for $5/person. After tasting all the selections, each person can vote for their favorite sweet pie and savory pie.
JULY 22ND, 5PM-9PM: SUMMER ‘NO WASTE’ BLOCK PARTY, POTLUCK, AND CASSEROLE CONTEST AT THE WEST BROAD MARKET GARDEN
To celebrate the height of summer and urban agriculture, PLACE is hosting at Summer Block Party and Potluck at the West Broad Market Garden (1573 W Broad St, Athens, GA 30601) with the Athens Land Trust. PLACE will provide the BBQ and dessert and music. You bring your best casserole or side dish AND your own plate and flatware (to reduce waste). Before we dive into the food, we will have the casserole contest with guest judges and cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place casseroles. The evening will include a food preservation demo and a composting demo by ACC Cooperative Extension. This event is FREE and arms wide open for the general public.
JULY 24TH, 7PM-9PM: JANISSE RAY BOOK TOUR FOR THE SEED UNDERGROUND
PLACE (Promoting Local Agriculture and Cultural Experiences) is proud to host Janisse Ray as part of Taste Your Place at Cine (234 West Hancock Ave, Athens, GA 30601) from 7-9pm.
Across the country, a renaissance of local food, farming, and place-based culinary traditions is taking hold. And yet something small, critically important, and profoundly at risk is being overlooked in this local food resurgence: seeds. We are losing our seeds. Of the thousands of seed varieties available at the turn of the 20th century, 94 percent have been lost — forever.
With a signature lyricism that once prompted a New York Times writer to proclaim her the Rachel Carson of the south, Ray (Ecology of a Cracker Childhood) brings us the inspiring stories of ordinary gardeners whose aim is to save time-honored open-pollinated varieties like Old Time Tennessee muskmelon and Long County Longhorn okra—varieties that will be lost if people don’t grow, save, and swap the seeds.
From rural Maine to Oregon’s Palouse, Ray introduces readers to dozens of seed savers like the eccentric sociology professor she dubs “Tomato Man” and Maine farmer Will Bonsall, the “Noah” of seed saving who juggles hundreds of seeds, many grown by him and him alone. And Ray tells her own story—of watching her grandmamma save squash seed; of her own first tiny garden at the edge of a junkyard; of falling in love with heirloom and local varieties as a young woman; and the one seed—Conch cowpea—that got away from her.
With a quiet urgency The Seed Underground reminds us that while our underlying health, food security, and sovereignty may be at stake as seeds disappear, so, too, are the stories, heritage, and history that passes between people as seeds are passed from hand to hand.
Writer, naturalist, and activist Janisse Ray is a seed-saver, seed-exchanger, and seed-banker, and has gardened for twenty-five years. She is the author of several books, including Pinhook and Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, a New York Times Notable Book. Ray is on the faculty of Chatham University’s low-residency MFA program, and is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. She has won a Southern Booksellers Award for Poetry, a Southeastern Booksellers Award for Nonfiction, an American Book Award, the Southern Environmental Law Center Award for Outstanding Writing, and a Southern Book Critics Circle Award. She attempts to live a simple, sustainable life on a farm in southern Georgia with her husband, Raven Waters.
Light and local refreshments will be provided by Heirloom Cafe. Special thanks to Avid Bookshop for helping coordinate this event.
Reservations STRONGLY recommended. Those with reservations will be guaranteed seating. Reservations can be made online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/257381.
This event is FREE and open to the public, but a charitable contribution would help cover the costs of the event. Suggested $5 donation.
JULY 26TH, 6:30PM-8:30PM: TASTE YOUR TAPAS, SILENT AUCTION AND ATHENS LOCAL FOOD AWARDS CEREMONY
Join PLACE for the 5th Annual Taste Your Tapas and Silent Auction and presentation of the Athens Local Food Awards.
Join us for a night that truly embodies the essence of Taste Your Place where we will be enjoying great local foods prepared by many of the local restaurants supporting local farms. We will also have a silent auction, our biggest fundraiser of the year, with over 30 items from local businesses and artists. PLACE will also present the 5th Annual Athens Local Food Awards for excellence on the farm, for educators, for businesses, and for advocates at 8:00.
Tickets are $10/advance, $12/door. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/257394 or in person at the Athens Farmers Market or from a PLACE Board Member.
Thank you for your support of Athens Locally Grown, all of our growers and their hard work, local food, and our rights to eat it. You all are part of what makes Athens such a great area in which to live. We’ll see you on Thursday at Ben’s Bikes at the corner of Pope and Broad Streets from 4:30 to 8pm!