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The Amazing Pittsboro Pepper Festival

Monday, September 27, 2010

by Tami Schwerin

The Abundance Foundation

 

Chatham County is full of unique and different experiences.  It is truly a special place that draws people in from all over. I’m not sure what it is; the woods filled with artists, the beautiful rural landscape, the mix of conservative and liberal folks all in community together, the growing amount of sustainable farming, the deep concern for environmental matters, or all of this wrapped up together? 

One thing I have found in my 19 years here is that Chatham County is like wet clay. You can take it and mold it the way you want. Briar Chapel is doing just that with their artistic and beautiful development as well as including conservation and sustainability in their thinking. Their commitment to the community is apparent with the support of The Abundance Foundation. The Abundance Foundation is a five year old non-profit that focuses on sustainability “root” solutions:  local food, renewable energy and community. With the assistance of Briar Chapel, we are holding the 3rd Annual Amazing Pittsboro Pepper Festival on October 3rd – held on Lorax Lane in Pittsboro.

What is a Pepper Festival? Mainly it’s a way of educating folks on local food and sustainable agriculture while having a lot of fun. Specifically, our own Farmer Doug Jones of Piedmont Biofarm’s research and plant breeding of the sweet bell pepper.  Why do you care?  As it becomes more expensive to ship in produce from afar, we need crops that do well in the North Carolina climate. Easier said than done – as the climate keeps changing. Farmer Doug Jones (CFSA’s Farmer of the Year 2009) has been researching and seed saving for over eight years to develop stable pepper crops. Most seeds are developed in the Midwest which has a different climate, different diseases and different bugs. Doug has named one of these red peppers The Abundance Pepper  after our partnership. He grows over 100 varieties of mostly sweet peppers and some hot. The other reason this is important is that the Sweet Pepper is a superfood. It contains a high amount of vitamins A and C. Packing in nutrition and making the sweet pepper a staple in our North Carolina diets as well as giving the local farmers another crop to grow is the goal.

So, come on out October 3rd for a pepper tasting and talk by Doug Jones. Sample pepper dishes from 12 local Chefs using Farmer Doug’s peppers, habańero pepper beer, local wines, music from the high energy band Holy Ghost Tent Revival, a tour of the Eco-Industrial Park in which the event is held and of course, and top it off with a coronation of the Pepper King and Queen. Lots of fun, food and community. 

We share the love of local food with these fine Local Restaurants:  18 Seaboard, Angelina’s Kitchen, Carolina Inn, Chatham Marketplace, Chipotle, Crook’s Corner, General Store Café, Lucky 32, Market Restaurant, Mez, The Natural Chef Program @ CCCC, & Zely and Ritz.

For tickets, you can buy online or just stop by the Briar Chapel information center - See you this Sunday!

 

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