November 29, 2018
Palmetto Bluff’s Farm Vision
Aspirationally, the plan for Palmetto Bluff always included a farm. We knew that as this place evolved, we would set aside land for farmed agricultural plots to enhance the visual landscape and the community’s sustainability. Now, a guiding principle defined more than a decade ago is bearing fruit (sorry, I couldn’t help it) and vegetables. “Food and foodways are at the core of any culture,” says David O’Donoghue, Palmetto Bluff president. “For Palmetto Bluff to be an ambassador of the foodways of the Lowcountry, it requires that we look not just at presenting food (via our restaurants), but at food production. We want to understand how food is tied to this place, so we must ask what fits the geography, environment, and history of the place.” Given the resonance of the story of food and where it comes from, both in terms of geography and history, we saw an opportunity to recapture farming practices. This does not mean that we are focused on recreating an overly romanticized nostalgic vision of the past. It means we are seeking authenticity, and authenticity means it is something real and viable in today’s world. Authenticity means that when you plant your first crop in the fall and it snows in January, you add your newfound knowledge of potential weather patterns to the story and you pick up where Mother Nature left you. Today, we have a small but productive working farm. In 2019, we will add a full-time farmer who will look to understand and document the traditional means of farming the most viable and best-tasting varieties of food that are indigenous to the Lowcountry environment. Focusing on outreach and education, the farm will work with the Conservancy. This will start with the members and guests of Palmetto Bluff and ultimately reach well beyond our gates. We endeavor to be a thought leader and model that helps promote the long-term sustainability of natural, local food production. This will include finding additional partner organizations to carry our learnings to a broader audience, bringing promising students to our farm, and making it possible for interested novices to learn how to both grow and prepare food in a fashion consistent with our best practices. Additionally, as a promoter of the foodways of the Lowcountry, the Palmetto Bluff farm should be a center for excellence and documentation and celebration of other food producers in the region. We will seek out farmers, hunters, fishermen, and other craftspeople who share our vision and goals and help capture and promote their efforts as a part of our broader cultural mission. We will supply the dining outlets on property to allow people to taste the food that is produced locally and authentically. We will celebrate great local cuisine and promote its visibility and success. But, above all, our mission is simple: the food must taste good. Spring 2018 Planting List Produce: Okra Burgundy Okra Black Crowder Peas Pink-Eye peas Purple Knuckle Peas Sugar Peas Hardee Peas Texas Longhorn Peas Louisiana Purple Pod Beans Reverend Taylor Butterbeans Loudermilk Butter Beans Silver Queen Corn ZucchIni Charleston Gray Watermelon Crimson Sweet Watermelon Yellow Watermelon Ichiban Eggplant Purple Eggplant Bradshaw Sweet Potatoes Beauregard Sweet Potatoes Cantaloupe Cucumber Blue Hubbard Squash Straightneck Squash Tomatoes: San Marzano Juliet Roma Parks Whopper Cherokee Carving Yellow Pear Cherry Bradley Indigo Rose Purple Dog Creek Tennessee Britches Depp’s Pink Firefly Big Zebra Lucky Cross Isis Candy Gold Medal Big Rainbow Matt’s Wild Cherry Blue Ridge Mountain indigo Blueberry Black Icicle Red Tommy Toe Indian Stripe Green Zebra Sweet 100 Yellow Pear Adelaide Festival Wild Barred Boar Peppers: Friarielio di Napoli FataliI Yum Yum Orange Yum Yum Red Candy Cane Red Cajun Beli Poblano Thai Hot Sweet Hot Ghost Scotch Bonnet Carolina Reaper Odessa Market Chinese Five Color Shishito Purple Jalapeno Mexibell Yellow Bell Gypsey Sweet Purple Beli Garden Salsa Combahee Red Devil Orange Carrot Written by Courtney Hampson
Food & Wine