02-10-2015: New Three-Day event Highlights Vibrant Local Food Economy through Organic Growing and Sustainable Culinary Practices

From February 28 through March 2, the Culinary Institute of the Carolinas at Greenville Technical College, edible Upcountry and the South Carolina Organization for Organic Living (SCOOL) will present Cultivate – three days of classes, workshops and networking opportunities featuring local food producers and buyers, organic and sustainable growing techniques, and sustainably-oriented cooking classes.

“When the Organic Growing Conference landed at Greenville Tech's Culinary Institute of the Carolinas in 2014, Upstate Food Hub’s home for the last three years, the conversation began about how to achieve synergy between the two events – and Cultivate was born,” said Samantha Wallace, publisher of edible Upcountry.

Saturday features a full day of classes and hands-on workshops focused on organic and sustainable growing techniques. Sunday afternoon includes five options of seasonally and sustainably-oriented cooking classes. Monday afternoon offers panel discussions, facilitated networking, a keynote speaker and edible Upcountry’s all-local happy hour.

“We are thrilled to not only serve as the host location, but to also participate in this year’s event by leading five different cooking classes,” said Chef Alan Scheidhauer, department head for the Culinary Institute of the Carolinas. “It is particularly exciting as the Culinary Institute plans to launch our new certificate in Sustainable Agriculture this fall, pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – the college’s accrediting body.”

A full agenda with class descriptions can be found online along with the registration page at www.upstatecultivate.com. Tickets are available for each day individually, or at a discounted rate for multiple days. The event is generously supported by signature sponsor, AgSouth Farm Credit.

“What better way to celebrate and support our regional food system than to offer a farm-to-table event that will help cultivate farmers and gardeners, chefs and cooks, food producers and food buyers,” remarked Rebecca McKinney, executive director of SCOOL.

Saturday’s events mark the Fourth Annual SC Organic Growing Conference. There are nine tracks, each with four classes offered for a total of 36 classes. The tracks are:

  • Gardening/Urban Farming
  • Organic Plant Production
  • Meat and Dairy Production
  • Small Farm Profitability
  • Soil Health
  • Fungi
  • Growing your Farm's Product Line
  • Permaculture
  • Fun with Food

Sunday features two sessions of cooking classes with five classes to choose from. The classes complement the workshops from Saturday and include:

  • Pork – Everything but the Squeal
  • The Non-walking Proteins – Vegetarian Options from the Farm
  • Bugs is Just a Cartoon – Rabbit is Flavorful and Profitable
  • “Moo”ve on Over – Grass-Fed Beef Flavoring and Smoking Techniques
  • Run across that Pasture – Dietary Management for Long-Hour Workers

Monday’s featured panel is a discussion with three area chefs who recently cooked at the famed James Beard House in New York City. Chef Adam Cooke from Restaurant 17, Chef Anthony Gray from Bacon Bros. Public House, and Chef Teryi Youngblood from Passerelle/Table 301 will share stories and photographs of the experience and discuss the broader impact on the growing Upstate restaurant scene. The keynote speaker is Dulanie Ellis, a California-based documentary filmmaker who will screen her award-winning film Ground Operations, which follows the stories of US military combat veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan looking for direction following their service. Some have found solace and opportunity on the farm.