‘I Love u Lunch’ with local food in Pittsboro Feb. 14

February 6, 2010 at 4:35 pm 1 comment

By Carol Peppe Hewitt

Slow Food Triangle, The Abundance Foundation, and Loom (advocates of bringing culture and business to Chatham Mills) have teamed up with a plethora of sustainable farms, caterers, and a coop in Chatham County to host an I Love u Lunch, on February 14th, Valentine’s Day, from 1- 4 pm in the historic Chatham Mills in Pittsboro, NC. The gourmet three-course lunch will feature Greek chicken soup (with a vegetarian option), Sweet Potato Muffins, Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese tarts, Winter Baby Salad Mix, Beet Chiffon Pie, and more! Tickets to the event are only $10 in advance and $15 at the door (children under 12 are $8) and can be purchased online. BYOB or purchase a $3 drink ticket for Benjamin Vineyards wine or Carolina Brewery beer.

For people who are passionate about sustainable grub, who like delicious food and good times, this is another chance to be in each others’ company, to be inspired by one another’s stories, and be nourished by not only the winter offerings of our local farms, but by the hope we hold out for a better world for ourselves and all those children I saw running about on New Year’s Day.

I had driven up to Golden Belt in Durham, NC, curious to see the renovation of this space that I had heard so much about, and to eat black-eyed peas and collards with the Slow Food Triangle folks at their annual New Year’s Day event. I knew they had sold out but was otherwise unsure what to expect. What I found was a massive room with long lines of tables strung together with table cloths and people of all ages, including an abundance of young families. I sat down across from a young woman doing a research project on an ambitious mill renovation in Star, North Carolina, then met Margaret who had just redone the CFSA website,then Josh who is pulling together a network/support group for artists and scientists. I saw old friends, and made new ones. What fun. There are over 1.5 million people in the Triangle area now, and when I am in a room like that I can forget that the sustainability crowd I hang with is actually fringe. Industrially farmed, genetically modified, flown in from other continents, tasteless food is what fills the local supermarkets, not these wonderful local collards. It was an uplifting afternoon, and an excellent article followed in the local press.

But it was the seed it germinated that matters here. We too, have a Mill in Chatham County that is undergoing adaptive reuse, and I wondered how to get these delightful people together with my Pittsboro locavore friends to enjoy a local food feast at our mill.

I was told to speak with Phoebe Lawless, queen of Slow Food Triangle and of pies. She was most encouraging and on the way home to Pittsboro I Love u Lunch took shape. A delicious lunch, midway through the doldrums of February, on February 14th, Valentine’s Day, which falls conveniently on a Sunday – why not? Find what grows in February, cook it up and invite a crowd. The first call was to Tom Roberts, owner of Chatham Mills. He was enthusiastic and eager to help host the event. More phone calls, meetings with Phoebe, Mary of Chatham Marketplace, Tami at the Abundance Foundation, and Sandi at Eastern Carolina Organics and we had a team. Several local farmers (Duck Run, Piedmont BioFarm, Screech’s Greenhouse, Celebrity Dairy, Edible Earthscapes, Scratch Baking) local caterers and chefs (Angelina’s Kitchen, General Store Café,) Scurlock’s Catering, Benjamin Vineyards Winery, and Carolina Brewery have all joined up as well.

Along with a growing cast of enthusiastic volunteers, we are well underway to a wonderful time! If we have half as much fun at the luncheon as we are having putting it together, it will be a blast!

The luncheon is also a fundraiser for Chatham Marketplace, the local coop also located at Chatham Mills, that offers a wide selection of local foods. Specifically the proceeds will help pay to solarize the new Chatham Marketplace sign being installed this spring.

Chatham Mills produced silk and woven labels from 1925 to 1996. Having produced a livelihood for so many for decades, the mill buildings and grounds are being renovated for adaptive reuse. Plays, concerts, conferences and events like this luncheon spur Chatham Mills’ evolution as an inviting, socially vibrant, community centerpiece. Attendees can join a 3:30-4pm a tour of the Mill if they wish. For more information about the event email me at iloveulunch@gmail.com, or call The Abundance Foundation at 533-5181.

There will be work involved as we re-engineer our foodshed, but it can also be good fun. On February 14th come take time to relax, sit back, and enjoy a delightful afternoon in Pittsboro with fellow like-minded local food, slow food, sustainability types, eating some of that fine sustainable grub!

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Entry filed under: Carol Peppe Hewitt, Events, Sustainable Food, Whole Food/ Locavore Eateries. Tags: , .

Time to sign up with CSA farmers Prosperity

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