Picture South Carolina and you may see a long tradition of weighty oaks dripping in Spanish moss beside lazy rivers dotted with clapboard houses, strewn with rocking chairs on long wooden front porches, slow moving characters with a mint julep or iced tea in hand while watching the cows graze on the growing grass or the paint peel from the wood on the fence.
"Summertime" by George Gershwin floats through your mind, and yes, (Thank God!)
This is us.
Many confuse us with North Carolina, or the Carolinas somewhere, and thinking back, they may have made a pilgrimage to our rich sandy beaches at Charleston or Hilton Head, but most have foggy perceptions about the slow moving south or rely on word of mouth reputations. Get to know us, and you will make no mistake about South Carolinians, "lazy" is not in our job description. We do things with exacting purpose much like nature and her seasons, each one with its own work, in its own time, growing and changing in an excellent artful manner.
This is, after all, how the earth moves, how animals live, how vegetables grow and food is made, and what an Earth Market is all about.
The Slow Food Upstate board has moved with purpose towards researching our creation of an Earth Market, a network of farmer's markets based on Slow Food's philosophy, of "Good, Clean and Fair". We hope to join the ranks this spring with Milan, Bologna, Alba and many smaller towns in Italy, and in other countries cities like Tel Aviv, Bucharest, and Tripoli, who all have Earth Markets. Another chapter in Redlands, CA, has begun the process as well, and someone will be first as a certified Earth Market in the USA. For the Upstate of South Carolina, being first is not our top priority, rather insuring proper ground work to create a fabulous market primarily run by the farmers, that salutes the earth in all her glory, celebrates the people who tend to her properly, and brings to the community fresh and flavorful products at fair prices for both the consumer and the producer is our goal.
But wouldn't it be fun to beat California to the finish line? Fire up the cannons!
Would you support such a market in Greenville?
Let us know.
Copyright by Janette Wesley, from the Slow Food Upstate blog
Paintings in homepage and in this page are by artist Mark Mulfinger.