[image-1]If you are not yet a Slow Food Charleston member, well, this weekend ought to convince you.

Slow Food is an international organization with a mission of ensuring that all food is Good, Clean, and Fair. That means fighting agains the homogenization of fast food, promoting gastronomic culture, and conserving agricultural biodiversity.

The Charleston chapter specifically focuses its energies on “defending and advocating policies that promote holistic alternatives to the industrial system,” raising awareness of culturally significant heritage foods (think Carolina Gold Rice), connecting people to the land, and recognizing and promoting the local food producers, artisans, purveyors, and chefs who are at the center of our city’s food industry.

This Friday, Sept. 15, Monarch Wine Merchants holds a Slow Sips happy hour at their upper King Street shop from 5 to 7 p.m. For $15, enjoy  cheese from Counter Cheese Caves and five different wines. Slow Food board members will be onsite to discuss the organization and to facilitate membership sign up. On this day only, join or renew a membership for any dollar amount. And what does membership (usually $60/individuals, $30/youth network, $30/limited resources level, and $100/family) get you?

A print magazine plus: “convivial” meals and tastings; visits with local producers and farms; educational workshops and classes; discussions, conferences, and film screenings; volunteer opportunities on a local and national level; member discounts for all Slow Food events; early sign-up and purchase options for Slow Food happenings; and exclusive access to members only events.

Sat. Sept. 16, you’ll get the chance to see what Slow Food community events are all about: from 10 a.m. to noon at MUSC’s Urban Farm, help plant the newly dedicated Ark of Taste garden bed. The Ark of Taste list is a living catalogue of distinctive foods facing extinction. This bed will grow these locally endangered plants, helping to further the discussion about how historically significant crops fit in our Lowcountry food system today.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. First Name Basis Wood Fired Pizza will be serving ‘za topped with herbs and greens from the garden. There will also be a seed bomb station where volunteers can take wildflower seeds home, and Slow Food members will be onsite to discuss the Ark of Taste, and what a Slow Food membership entails.

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