Earth Day in Augusta
It’s not every day you can come eye-to-eye with an alligator, thrill to falcon flight demonstrations and pick up a myriad of ways to preserve our environment. Earth Day Augusta will be held April 22 at Phinizy Swamp from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This free event features food, family activities, entertainment and a vendor fair.
Potlikker Papers: A Food History of The Modern South
Potlikker is the broth left behind after boiling greens. Pre-Civil War Southerners used to serve it to slaves, unaware that it was the most nutritious part of the dish. Renowned food writer John T. Edge uses potlikker and other salvage fare as a metaphor for the evolution of Southern identity since the Civil Rights movement. In his book Potlikker Papers: A Food History of The Modern South, he makes the case that Southerners, in the struggle to adapt to a changing world, have transformed America, and that our traditions of potlikker, pone and pork have become a shared culinary language for the nation. An engrossing read for foodies as well as history buffs.
Penguin, $28. Where books are sold.
For a town that covers only a 3.1 square-mile area, Blowing Rock, North Carolina is packed with more attractions and activities than most places ten times its size. Whether you’re into hiking, horseback riding, wine-tasting, white water rafting or sperlunking, this mountain village offers all that and far more, earning it the nickname “Crown of the Blue Ridge.”
What to do: Begin with an excursion to the town’s namesake attraction, Blowing Rock, the only place in the world where snow falls upside down. In spring, you won’t experience flurries, but you will see spectacular views of Grandfather Mountain, Table Rock, and Hawksbill. A visit to Moses Cone Memorial Park features Flat Top Manor, a 13,000 square foot mansion built in 1901 in the grand Colonial Revival style. Local artists demonstrate crafts on the front porch and twenty-five miles of winding trails can be explored on foot, horseback or in a horse-drawn carriage. Kids will love the Tweetsie Railroad, a Wild West family theme park featuring a three-mile, steam-powered train ride through the North Carolina mountains.
What to Eat: From woodfire pizzas to pub grub to fine dining, Blowing Rock’s diverse selection of restaurants will please everyone’s palate. Dine al-fresco on the terrace of the Restaurant at Gideon Ridge Inn, while you take in mountain views and treat yourself to an eclectic menu sourced from local farms . Bistro Roca Antlers Bar serves inventive fare like eggplant frites, roasted figs and squid ink steam buns. Not that adventurous? Hoist a rack of ribs, and enjoy nightly live music at Woodlands Barbecue and Pickin’ Parlor.
Where to Stay: Whether you want a cozy cabin, a quaint bed-and-breakfast or a night’s sleep under the stars, Blowing Rock is abundant with lodging options. Visit www.blowingrock.com for a full list. Chetola Resort offers three different choices in one place: a lodge with lakeside views, a bed-and-breakfast experience at the manor house on the grounds or condominiums ideal for families. Resort amenities include a restaurant, spa and on-site recreation activities such as fishing, tennis and paddle-boating. Visit www.chetola.com.
Driving time to Blowing Rock from Augusta is 4 hours and 186 miles
New Culinary Event Celebrates Masters of Food
On April 7 ten chefs, ten athletes and a host of celebrities will come together at Westlake Country Club for the inaugural Taste of the Masters Chefs. This one-of-a-kind evening will feature acclaimed musical artists, company of athletes and celebrities, and cuisine prepared by renowned chefs All proceeds go to support Feeding America and Golden Harvest Food Bank of Augusta.
Sacred Heart Garden Festival
No matter the color of your thumb, your gardening skills are bound to flourish during the annual Sacred Heart Garden Festival. The event, which features vendors and exhibitors of all things green, begins with the festival preview party on April 20 at 7 p.m. and runs through April 23. A speakers series features Vera Stewart, Master Gardener Mary Louise Hagler and other horticultural experts. The weekend also includes a Friday night party, a tour of area gardens and a Sunday tea.
Area Farmers Markets
It’s farmer market season! Time to fill your basket with a bounty of fresh produce from one of these markets.
1. The Augusta Market is open every Saturday from 8AM to 2PM on the 8th Street Plaza.
2. Augusta State Farmers Market is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9AM to
4PM at 1150 5th Street.
3. Augusta Locally Grown is an online produce market. Place orders for the week at any time between Friday 12PM and Sunday at 8pm. Pick up on Tuesdays. Visit www.augusta.locallygrown.net
4. Brick Pond Market is open first and third Sundays of the month from noon to 3PM at 200 Georgia Avenue in North Augusta.
This article appears in the April 2017 issue of Augusta Magazine.