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Fresh Future Farm Serves The Community With Benefit Dinner
3/30/2016 4:05:03 PM

Anika Hall, daughter of Fresh Future Farm founder Germaine Jenkins, displays the menu for the community dinner

Dinner guests await their meals at the community dinner

Holy City Hogs Smoked Sausage Gumbo

Braised Collard Greens & Carolina Gold Rice

Chef Benjamin 'BJ' Dennis

Germaine Jenkins

By Damion Smalls

Fresh Future Farm (FFF) enjoyed the assistance of many to play host to a Friday night dinner party that fed community members and FFF supporters with an authentic Gullah-style meal on March 25.
The owners of award-winning food truck Roti Rolls, Alton Ankersen, Cory Burke, and Suzanne Dieter used this event to launch their new non-profit venture. Food Underground will exists as a dinner series that provides locally produced meals in an effort to offset food costs for low-income citizens.

The Food Underground Pay It Forward program allowed for every purchased ticket to pay for dinner that night for members of Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood residents that FFF founder Germaine Jenkins invited. The area is an traditionally underserved, Black, and underemployed region of North Charleston.

The farm, located in the neighborhood at 2008 Success Street, is in a certified “food desert” area. That term refers to the dearth of easily accessible healthy (or sometimes, any) food sources in a low-income or rural area, in this case the non-existence of a grocery store on the north end of Rivers Avenue. Jenkins is combating that reality to both feed and educate the people of the area in an effort to promote healthy lifestyles.

Jenkins has acquired quite the trophy gallery in the past few years, such as being a recent winner of the inaugural Slow Food Charleston ‘SnailBlazer’ Award, Center for Women "Be Brave Award", Commercial Urban Agriculture certification, the 2015 Charleston Magazine Community Catalyst award, and 2015 Small Business Administration Growth Accelerator Competition winner. She has remained humble throughout her many accomplishments and still has the same vision to affect change for the better that she had when she worked as a Kid’s Cafe Cook & Nutrition Coordinator at the Lowcountry Food Bank several years ago.
Chef Benjamin ‘BJ’ Dennis played an integral role in the night’s celebration. As the Lowcountry’s premier personal chef, his background in Gullah-Geechee cuisine captivated dinner-goers with bold flavors that accompanied each course. He was aided in his culinary efforts by fellow chef and Roti Rolls co-owner Cory Burke. Together, they designed a menu showcasing local produce, seafood, and meat that happily stuffed the bellies of anyone who sat down to eat.
The fascinating menu consisted of seasonal salad with carrots, beets, broccoli & kale, oysters, blue crabs (complete with crab butter), smoked potato salad with basil rub, hog gumbo, Carolina gold rice, braised collard greens, sweet corn cakes, fernet milkshake and whipped sorghum ricotta with preserved strawberries.

Contributing farms included Joseph Fields, Blue Pearl, and Holy City Hogs. Beverage offerings from Cathead Vodka and its Hoodoo Chicory Liqueur, Pimm’s Liqueur, Coast Brewing Company, Hayes Valley Meritage Wine, and Biutiful Cava Wine moistened and stimulated palates delightfully.  

The chefs provided a colorful feast for the appreciative and jovial eaters. With food being served on a long wooden table that placed around 50 guests, the community-style dinner brought strangers together and created lasting memories to be remembered fondly. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood. Which led to dancing, obviously.  

Live music for the night was smoothly handled by Get With It, a three man band led by Jeffrey Wilson. A ticket raffle awarded farm points, a five pound sweet potato, and a gift card to Reynolds Avenue fish & chips shop The CODfather. Guests toured the facility, which is kept up by volunteers of all ages. Beds of okra, herbs, and sugar cane were in their beginning stages of growth and on display.
Visit to keep up with the nonprofit and to donate. Their stand-alone grocery store is looking to open later this spring. Food stamps will be accepted for food, seeds and plants. For sale will be canned goods, local fruits & vegetables, condiments, water, organic products, breakfast items, and more. Germaine would like to thank everyone for their support and is very excited to see what’s next for Fresh Future Farm.


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