Heritage Food Project Overview
Slow Food Asheville started the Heritage Food Project in 2015 in alignment with the Ark of Taste, a living catalog of delicious and distinctive foods facing extinction. By identifying and championing these foods, we keep them in production and on our plates.
The project comes from a desire to celebrate unique local and regional foodways of Southern Appalachia. It seeks to promote and protect these special food sources by providing greater access to them. We want to encourage people to use them in traditional and non-traditional ways, and highlight the joy and learning that comes from engaging in the process of “seed to table.”
This year, our chapter focuses on heirloom tomatoes and features the Cherokee Purple tomato. The Cherokee Purple is one of the darlings of our region, a variety that is locally revered among gardeners and tomato enthusiasts. With its green shoulders and unforgettable flavor, this purple tomato is welcome on sandwiches everywhere. We are working with the Cherokee Purple in particular this year to introduce heirloom tomatoes to people who may have not grown or eaten them before, and to learn more about its cultural and culinary heritage. This opens the conversation to more experienced tomato growers to learn from one another about other interesting heirlooms, and it sets the stage for working with more rare varieties in seasons to come.
GROW – EAT – SAVE
To help folks grow and care for heirloom tomato plants through harvest
To bring people together to eat, celebrate, and share recipes for heirloom tomatoes
To preserve the stories and seeds of heirloom varieties
In 2017, our chapter will be hosting and otherwise supporting events that bring community together around our project goals.
- In spring, we will have tables at local farmers markets to distribute seedlings and information.
- In summer, we will be sharing growing tips and lots of gorgeous tomato photos.
- At harvest time, we will come together for an heirloom tomato tasting event.
- Before the season is over, we will focus on saving seeds.
How To Participate
- Sign up as a participant with the Heritage Food Project online or in person at various events throughout the season. More details coming soon.
- Share your heirloom tomato photos via facebook, twitter, and instagram: tag @SlowFoodAvl #slowfoodavl and it may be reposted!
- Find Slow Food Asheville at our information table and tell us how it’s growing!
- Attend Slow Food events such as tomato tastings, workshops, etc.
- Volunteer with Slow Food Asheville. There are a range of opportunities to suit your skills and interest. Please email [email protected] or sign up for our newsletter to find out more.