Chew On This has a lot of theories and edicts about a lot of things, and here’s one: You should never pass up any opportunity in life to hang out with baby farm animals. Especially in the spring. The fact that you might someday be munching on those lambs and piglets — well, that’s all part of the package, you see. It’s important to think about where your food comes from.
Not all the farms on the Midlands Farm Tour feature baby animals, of course. Some are more vegetable-focused. But that’s important, too.
The goal of the tour, which runs this Saturday and Sunday and is organized by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, is to educate people about where their food comes from and how small, sustainable farms operate. It’s a self-guided affair: You buy tickets online, then visit any or all of the participating farms in any order you wish.
Three of the farms are right here in the city: City Roots, a working urban farm in Rosewood that features vegetables, berries, flowers, chickens and tilapia; the University of South Carolina’s community garden at the Green Quad; and the city-sponsored NOMA Community Garden off River Drive.
A bit farther out are a number of lovely farms: Humble Farm in Gilbert, a new addition to the tour; Terra Kotta Farms in Leesville, which grows grapes, veggies and chickens; meat-tastic little Doko Farm in Blythewood; Crooked Cedar Farms in Blythewood; Paradise Acres Farm in Elgin; Wil-Moore Farms in Lugoff, whose eggs and meats you’ve likely encountered at some farmers market or another; and Carolina Bay Farms in Hopkins.
All these farms are open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Advance tickets are $25 per car, which gets you into all the farms on both days. Visit carolinafarmstewards.org/mft to buy tickets and check out an interactive map of the farms.
And don’t forget to bring a cooler: Many of these farms offer meats, eggs, dairy products and produce for sale.
Speaking of farms, state Superintendent of Agriculture Hugh Weathers will face a ballot challenge this year from Soda City Market founder and former pig farmer Emile DeFelice. Déjà vu, right? DeFelice ran against Weathers in 2006 as a Democrat, winning 40 percent of the vote to Weathers’ 60 percent. This time, DeFelice is running on the American Party ticket. That’s the party formed by former Superintendent of Education Jim Rex and former gubernatorial candidate Oscar Lovelace.
Vista Marketplace at Whaley, the farmers market at 711 Whaley, announced last week via Facebook that it would be “Temporarily Closed for reevaluation of the need for yet another market in the Columbia area.” We were unable to reach the market organizer by press time. See the Facebook page for further details.
Sample International Food at the Fairgrounds
Head to the Columbia International Festival this Saturday and Sunday for what amounts to an international food court. This year’s festival theme is Brazil, and Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse will be representing that country’s cuisine; also available will be food from France, Korea, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines and Trinidad and Tobago. Tickets are $5 at the gate and $4 in advance; visit cifonline.org for more information.
New Downtown Dessert and Coffee Bar!
Tony’s Italian Eatery has teamed up with Southern Charm Sweets to bring you the highest quality dessert selection in the downtown area. 1120 Washington St., Suite 2. Find us on Facebook!
Tax-Free Weekend at Best Mattress
With big savings from July 31st-August 2nd, you can afford handcrafted quality. Free bed frame and pillows on any Full, Queen, or King set $599 and above! Click for locations and hours.
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage is offering 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
A Healthy Happy Hour
4-7 p.m at Good Life Cafe on Main St. Try our $4 local draft beers, $4 organic wine, 1/2 off select bottles of house wine and $5 handcrafted house cocktails with juices cold pressed and made daily. Click here for more info.
Happy Hour and Sushi Specials All Week
Red Bowl in Lexington now has great early bird and late night sushi specials 7 days a week, as well as 99-cent kids meals on Saturdays! Click here for special information and hours.
Columbia’s Largest Sidewalk Sale
Shop local this tax free weekend! Devine Street and Five Points are teaming up for a massive sidewalk sale featuring great in-store specials from all your favorite retailers and a Saturday art stroll. Read more hereand here!
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Local restaurants serving locally grown food during Palmetto Tasty Tomato Restaurant Feast, July 11-18:
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Real Estate Spotlight
Concord Park From the $150’s. Off 12th St. Extension. 803.419.2227. mungo.com
Click here for more real estate.
GABLE HILL APARTMENTS 1, 2 & 3 BR’s available with many amenities. Surround yourself with Southern comforts at Gable Hill Apartments! Bring in our ad in Free Times for $50 off your application fee. 310 Ross Rd, Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
WATERFORD APARTMENTS 1 & 2 BR’s available with many amenities. Prime location, and plenty of space. Live large at Waterford Apartments. Bring in our ad in Free Times for $50 off your application fee. 1340 Longcreek Dr., Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
ST. ANDREWS COMMONS APARTMENTS 1 & 2 BR’s available with many amenities. Close to everywhere YOU WANT TO BE! 1200 St. Andrews Rd., Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
Donate Plasma Today & Be Somebody’s Hero For Life. You could earn up to $400 a month! Program and fees vary per location. Contact your local center today. 803-736-5888. Click here for more info