Ark of Taste Plant Sale 2013

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in partnership with Grow Team ONE


I am an avid gardener and farmer for many reasons, but mostly because of the promise of the delicious treats that you are rewarded with as the season moves on from spinach and peas to radishes and new potatoes to the champions of the summer – the tomatoes & peppers! After all, eating delicious food you have grown yourself is one of the divine experiences of living, in my humble opinion; but participating in preserving a piece of our gastronomic history in your own home garden – well, that’s downright heroic!

When I discovered that the Slow Food organization had an entire catalog of endangered and rare breeds and seeds that they were working hard to preserve for future generations to be able to enjoy, I jumped in with both feet. This year, Half Pint Farm will be donating the Ark of Taste plants to our Annual Plant Sale!  Many of the over 200 varieties on the Ark of Taste will be familiar to you – Cherokee Trail of Tears beans, Brandywine Tomatoes, Green Mountain Potato. It is the varieties that you haven’t heard of that I wanted to introduce you to and give you a chance to buy for your own garden this year!

The Ark of Taste travels the world collecting small-scale quality productions that belong to the cultures, history and traditions of the entire planet: an extraordinary heritage of fruits, vegetables, animal breeds, cheeses, breads, sweets and cured meats.

The Ark was created to point out the existence of these products, draw attention to the risk of their extinction within a few generations, invite everyone to take action to help protect them. In some cases this might be by buying and consuming them, in some by telling their story and supporting their producers, and in others, such as the case of endangered wild species, this might mean eating less or none of them in order to preserve them and favor their reproduction.

In this year’s packs you will be pleased to find the following rare and endangered varieties that grow well in Vermont and were chosen for their deliciousness, unique qualities and beauty in your garden:

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I encourage you to take some time to click through and learn about each delicious item in our packs this year!  Helping to tell the food’s story is one of the things Slow Food does best – join us this season in helping us tell the story of these 6 endangered crops of significance!

Every pack purchased will help our chapter sponsor one of the 1000 Gardens in Africa project created by the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity.  Adopting a garden means that we will be providing the resources to launch one garden project that will provide a community with a vital source of healthy food and an example of local, sustainable agriculture for farmers and householders to learn from. We will be providing training for young people and farmers and recovering traditional knowledge; the purchase of necessary materials; and opportunities for exchanges between the communities. Adopting a garden will also give us a unique chance to start a relationship with an African community, following their progress and getting to know their situation, challenges and successes.
All donors also receive the monthly Thousand Gardens in Africa newsletter, which we will share with our members!

A good garden guarantees fresh and genuine products, promotes local products , safeguards traditional recipes, produces quality food products.

A clean garden respects the environment, uses soil and water sustainably, protects biodiversity.

A fair garden is a community experience, bringing together different generations and social groups; promotes the knowledge and skills of farmers, improving their autonomy and self- esteem; and encourages food sovereignty, giving the community the possibility to choose what to grow and eat.

See you at HO Wheeler on Saturday, May 11th from 10am-3pm! Come get your beautiful heirloom plants to jump-start your garden season and support your local Slow Food chapter.

Mara WeltonComment