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Monday, June 29, 2009

Bucolic Paradise

It couldn't have been a more perfect setting. Thackeray Farms on scenic Wadmalaw Island set the lush stage for Slow Food Charleston's first ever Farm-to-Plate picnic. Even moody Mother Nature cooperated with ebbing temperatures, a light breeze and thunder-free skies.

Approximately 60 people (both members and non-members) gathered to sup and sip from their picnic baskets, learn more about the farm (co-farmed by local farmers Rita Bachmann and Shawn Thackeray), and engage in supporting the cause through a live auction and pie sale yesterday afternoon.

Rita and Shawn led an extensive tour of the grounds, which include an expansive field of flowers and produce bordered by a skyline of leafy green trees and assorted outbuildings. The group gathered under a large shed where small spring onions were drying in preparation for fall storage while a stack of mushroom logs stood prepped and ready to eventually sprout fall's harvest.

The mood was light as local event planner and auctioneer extraordinaire Mitchell Crosby took to the microphone to begin the auction of five pies - blueberry with ginger snap crust and a beauty of a cherry pie (that eventually fetched $55!) among them - for the Slow Food Charleston "cause." Competition was fierce enough that a trio of dogs began their loud barking bids for a piece of the proverbial pie! Local businesses from McCrady's restaurant to Charleston Cooks! cooking school generously donated gift certificates to be included in the auction.

The final numbers on total dollars earned are not yet in, but what is certain is that all proceeds will go to the Sanders-Clyde Elementary School/Yo Art Project/Children's Garden Project in downtown Charleston.

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