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ChathamArts launches "Potluck in a Pasture" suppers

By Forrest C. Greenslade
Posted Wednesday, May 10, 2006

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Pittsboro, NC - You can share home-grown food, visit North Carolina s first certified organic farm and meet well-known local artists all in the same evening, at the kick-off for ChathamArts new "Potluck in a Pasture" series of Sunday evening picnic suppers. The series celebrating local farmers and artists begins Sunday May 21, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Bill Dow s Ayrshire Farm in Hickory Mountain with several artists, including potter Mark Hewitt and bluegrass musician Tommy Edwards.

Visitors are asked to bring a pot-luck dish for eight that includes at least one locally grown ingredient (and the recipe to share), as well as a beverage, a lawn chair or blanket, and a $10 donation to ChathamArts, the non-profit county arts council that supports diverse arts and cultural programs throughout the year. Proceeds for each supper will benefit a different ChathamArts program May 21 will benefit the Arts in Education program. Dow will offer a tour of his farm and Hewitt and Edwards will discuss and display their work.

"Chatham County is home to hundreds of artists and farmers who make this a special place to live," said Daryl Walker, the ChathamArts board member who came up with the idea for the series. We hope these suppers will encourage more people to buy locally produced art and food, and to become more aware of the farmers and artists in the community who contribute to our economy.

Bill Dow has been on the forefront of organic farming and marketing of locally grown food for more than 20 years. His organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and edible flowers embellish the menus of some of the best restaurants in the wider Triangle area. Ayrshire Farm is located on Friendly Pooch Lane off the Jay Shambley Road in Hickory Mountain, south of U.S. 64 midway between Pittsboro and Siler City. Directions are available on-line at or by calling 967-3716.

Mark Hewitt, an internationally recognized potter living near Pittsboro, is best known for his large functional pots using local clays and a wood-fired kiln. His work has been featured in Smithsonian and American Craft magazines and he recently curated a major exhibit on North Carolina pottery at the N. C. Museum of Art.

Tommy Edwards was twice named World Champion Bluegrass Guitarist. Known for exceptional picking, singing and storytelling, he specializes in bluegrass as well as country and old-timey tunes. He has played with The Bluegrass Experience for more than 30 years, and more recently with Tommy Edwards and Friends and another group called Hot Tub of Grits. He appears on several CDs including his latest, Good Company.

Local food ingredients for your pot-luck contribution to the supper may come from your own backyard or neighboring farms; from local farmers markets at the Chatham County Fairgrounds (Thursdays), Fearrington Village (Tuesdays), Southern Village (Thursdays) and Carrboro (Saturdays), from Weaver Street Market in Southern Village and Carrboro, or, soon, from the new Chatham Marketplace in Pittsboro.

The series will continue with other featured artists on June 25 at Perry-Winkle Farm owned by Cathy Jones and Michael Perry, and July 30 at Celebrity Dairy owned by Britt and Fleming Pfann. The July 30 supper will take place rain or shine, the others will be cancelled if the weather is bad (call ChathamArts at 542-0394 to check after 1 p.m. on the day of the event).

Artists and farmers interested in participating in the series should contact Daryl Walker at If you are unable to attend but would like to support the Arts in Education Program, please send a check to ChathamArts, Box 418, Pittsboro NC 2731

Related info:
Mark Hewitt
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Related info:
Mark Hewitt
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