Farmer Jim Martin, of Compost in My Shoe, is hard at work on an heirloom pepper project which will test the viability of various varietals. Now he’s getting a little help in his research. Slow Food Charleston announced today that it will award Martin with a $1,000 SnailBlazer Micro-Grant made possible by the The Addlestone Foundation.

Martin’s the first of many recipients who will benefit from Slow Food’s new grant program. According to a press release, the grants “will be awarded throughout the year to help underwrite the costs of new or promising projects aimed at advancing Slow Food’s mission of Good, Clean and Fair food for all.”

And to get the ball rolling, Slow Food is currently calling for nominations for two grant opportunities:

1) A $1000 SnailBlazer prize.

2) A $1000 scholarship to Lowcountry Local Works Growing New Farmers program for one participant

Interested applicants may apply here.

Slow Food Charleston says additional grants will be awarded on a rolling basis throughout the year, made possible by community funding. Slow Food is also looking for sponsors to help continue the SnailBlazer Micro-Grants.

For more information, visit slowfoodcharleston.org.