Slow Food International reports that for Terra Madre Day, December 10th, nearly 200,000 people in 130 countries participated in events to celebrate local food, and Athens was among them. On the 9th, Slow Food Greater Athens and Hugh Acheson-well-known Athens chef, restaurateur, and author – teamed up to provide a celebration of the “pleasure of the table,” a founding principal of Slow Food, as well as for a higher goal: to sponsor a garden in Africa.
In 2010, the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity announced its plan to cultivate 1,000 food gardens in schools, villages and towns in 25 African countries. Whether school or community gardens, local project coordinators in the community work with Slow Food International personnel to identify the best practices for the different environments, both agricultural and cultural, in each country and area.
So far, 887 gardens have been adopted. Slow Food Greater Athens raised enough money on December 9th night to adopt a garden as well.
Speaking before the dinner at his signature restaurant, 5 & 10, Acheson spoke to the group about the importance of fresh food to everyone and to the environment as well. Slow Food Greater Athens President Susan Youngerman said how pleased she was at meeting the goal of raising $1,300 to sponsor a garden.
“We hope that Slow Food International will let us name our garden after Nelson Mandela, whether it is in South Africa or not,” Susan said.