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educating and empowering children to identify real food that is good, clean, and fair 

School Garden Program

Slow Food USA's National School Garden Program (NSGP) aims to reconnect youth with their food by teaching them how to grow, cook, and enjoy real food. Through increased confidence, knowledge gain, and skill building, we want to empower children in our community to become active participants in their food choices. By becoming informed eaters today’s children will help make a positive impact on the larger world of food and farming well into the future.

Members of the 2018 Low Tunnel Program include: 

Indianola Informal Elementary 

Indian Springs Elementary

Parkmoor Elementary

Berwick Elementary

Scottwood Elementary

Valleyview Elementary

Westgate Elementary

Mifflin Middle School 

South Mifflin Elementary

Maize Elementary

Winterset Elementary

Devonshire Elementary

Liberty Elementary

Olde Orchard Elementary

Moler Elementary

Georgian Heights Elementary

Cranbrook Elementary

Como Elementary

Ecole Kenwood Elementary

East Linden Elementary

For more information or questions about our Low Tunnel Program, please contact Cynthia Walters at

Thank you to our partners at Franklin Park Conservatory and Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District



recognizing pioneers in our sustainable food system

The Snailblazer Award recognizes pioneering contributions to the sustainable food system in Central Ohio. The award is designed to draw attention to an individual or organization whose dedication to transforming the food system captures the spirit of Slow Food.

This year's recipients are Caitlin Bergman and Dan McLeod of Copia FarmAlso members of Columbus Monthly's recently announced cohort of 2019 Tastemakers, Caitlin and Dan's work at Copia embodies the "good, clean, and fair" ethos of the Slow Food Movement. From their ongoing support to our local chapter (especially evidenced through their prior participation in Shake the Hand) to the fact that they are a sincere success story when considering their efforts to bring quality products to the masses (as recognized at smaller markets and supermarkets), Copia  stands as an example of how accessibility to good, clean, and fair food is possible. Please join us in celebrating their work!

Speaking of Shake the Hand... Caitlin and Dan will be in attendance at this year's Shake the Hand that Feeds You dinner, and Copia's eggs will also be appearing on the evening's menu! Click here to purchase your ticket(s) for this year's dinner.

Past award recipients of the Slow Food Columbus Snailblazer Award include Warren Taylor (Snowville Creamery), Kevin Caskey (Skillet, Rustic. Urban. Food.), and Brandon Jaeger and Michelle Ajamian (Shagbark Seed & Mill).



a living catalog of delicious and distinctive foods facing extinction

The Ark of Taste is a living catalog of delicious and distinctive foods facing extinction. By identifying and championing these foods we keep them in production and on our plates. (In our backyard, this includes ingredients like pawpaws and spice bush.) 

Here’s a quick look at what it takes to be on the Ark of Taste.


Produced in limited quantities, these foods will not be around in another generation or two without immediate action. Risk factors may be biological, commercial, or cultural.


Whether an animal breed, baked treat, fruit, spice, grain, or beverage these foods are prized by those who eat them for their special taste.


No engineered foods here. These foods are linked to the place and the community that protects them. Everything on the Ark of Taste has the potential to be grown, raised or produced without harm to the environment.


To keep these foods’ traditions alive takes many hands. No commercial or trademarked items are allowed on to the Ark of Taste, only foods that anyone may champion, produce, share or sell.

Ark of Taste


celebrating producers, purveyors, artisans, and restaurants

The Snail of Approval identifies those in our local food system who meet or exceed our standards for good, clean, and fair.

By GOOD we mean that the food that they serve is good-tasting and good for you. Evidence that a restaurant is good includes positive reviews from local media and food bloggers, selection of the chef as a delegate to Terra Madre, or other national or international recognition.

By CLEAN we mean that the food that they serve has a low environmental impact. Proteins should rank high on the Slow Food Guidelines on Animal Welfare and Slow Fish standards. Fruits and vegetables should be certified organic and/or sourced from OEFFA member farms. 

By FAIR we mean that everyone in the chain of production is treated fairly. Fairness extends to the price paid to farmers, the wages paid to employees, and the information provided to consumers about the sourcing of their meals. Ideally, fairness should also extend to consumers in the form of accessibly priced menu options.

Since late summer 2021, the program has gone national!

Please note, though, that Snail of Approval awards are granted at the local level and then nationally recognized by Slow Food USA. For more information on the minimum national standard and to apply, please visit this page. You may also direct any questions you may have to our current Chapter Leader.

Snail of Approval
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