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This week, The Heart Beet reports on another Tomato Beet. Mary Kent goes local, venturing to The Tasty Tomato Festival, which is definitely one of the south's funnest festivals of the summer.
Forget those wacky Burning Men and the crowds of Bonnaroo, I'd muuuuch rather be munching on healthy tomatoes from LOCAL farmers! Oh yeah! This weekend, I journeyed to one of the funnest festivals around, The Tasty Tomato Festival, held at one of the coolest, little safe havens called City Roots. City Roots, owned and operated by Père et fils McClam (father and son, Robbie and Eric McClam) is a sustainable farm located in the heart of the capital city of Columbia, South Carolina. With a passion for farming and a call to 'return to thy roots', this special family has blessed the capital with alot more than just veggies and microgreens. City Roots offers workshops in Beekeeping (OMG! I'm definitely signing up for this), Composting, Chicken Keeping, and, of course, Farming 101. Their passion for living close to the land and teaching us all to buy and graze locally is a theme that is becoming more and more important as we continue further into the Millennium. I grew up going to the country to a little town called Bethune in the heart of SC, where my grandfather was a tobacco farmer. So, experiencing City Roots was a great moment for my inner child that used to ride through the farmlands of rural SC. No more driving to the country to get yummy tomatoes and greens. City Roots has provided JUST the fix for that.
The Tasty Tomato Festival, created by Sustainable Midlands & Slow Food of Columbia, an organization committed to supporting good, clean, and fair foodways, is in it's second year and is growing strong! Sponsors included Earthfare, Barefoot Wines, Half and Half, and The Whig, one of the chic-est dive bars EVER! And, patrons who were spotted were the gorgeous Shop Tart, Beautiful Briny Sea Salts, Vanessa Driscoll of the Southern Greenie, and S&S Art Supply (Great place for us artistas). Also, spotted was thy coolness, Lord Maxwell, who blogged my BLING! Thanks to the chic kilted mystery blogger. OK. Mission of the festival: To highlight the taste superiority of the sustainably grown tomato, to celebrate the bio-diversity of foods, and to gather our progressive South Carolinian food community for a relaxed, family-friendly party! I'm going back next year for sure. Bobbing for tomatoes and tomato skee ball were the highlights, not to mention Attack of The Killer Tomatoes that played for the finale. OH! And, how I could forget to mention this I'm not really sure, but the Bone-In BBQ truck guy was there and I ate a Pimento Cheese sammie and drank a Mint Watermelon Lemonade to quench my thirst. Absolutely delicious! WOW!!! Good thing he's parked near me during the week!
Can't sign off without sharing the easiest tomato recipe on the planet! Here's one of my mother's most FAVORITE tomato dishes of the summer. She is definitely a gourmande and I highly recommend trying her recipe.
Faye's Festive Tomato Salade
(Yes that's with an e, since we speak french in our famille!)
Mozzarella di buffala
Garlic Expressions (this is her little secret)
Dice mozzarella in little squares.
Cut up tomatoes.
Place in a bowl and toss up.
Add sea salt and cracked pepper.
And, add the finale, Garlic Expressions. AMAZING!!! Click here to read what's up with this dressing! Happy B-day to my Mom yesterday!! Hope you had a great day yesterday!
If you missed our last Beet on Fat 'N Juicy, here's a recap of why eating tomatoes are SUPER healthy:
- Tomatoes contain large amounts of vitamin C, providing 40 percent of the daily value.
- Tomatoes are filled with Vitamin A, Potassium, and Iron!
- Tomatoes have high levels of lycopene, an antioxidant known to prevent cancer!
- Eating tomatoes helps your heart, heals your cancer, and helps your colon.
Buy locally! Eat lots of tomatoes this summer! Don't miss a Beet. Stay tuned for next week.
PS. The adorable Tomato Design on the left was made by the awesome designer Thomas Jennings of Half and Half.
PSS. MK's Tomato Bling was made by MK herself! Available on her shop at Etsy! Awesome photo by Forrest Clonts! Thank you!! And, thank you to Lord Maxwell for blogging MY BLING!!
PSSS. Special thanks to Tracie Broom of Flock and Rally for telling me about volunteering during the event! You organized an AWESOME Tomato Fest!! YAY!!
PSSSS. Love my ring by Judith Bright. She is based out of Nashville!
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