Of all the oversimplifications of farming, the most memorable is a song that played in my elementary school cafeteria called, “Dirt Made My Lunch.” The tune, penned by the Banana Slug String Band, an ’80s childrens folk group, went:

Dirt made my lunch.
Thank you dirt, thanks a bunch,
For my salad, my sandwich
My milk and my munch ’cause
Dirt, you made my lunch.

Pretty simple stuff. The second verse did give farmers a brief nod for harvesting wheat into sandwich bread, but ultimately the particulars of their toil was minimized for maximum kindergarten understanding. But you know what? We did understand. To a room of rowdy children eating their midday meal, the sounds of that song in the background was the first inkling, albeit a subliminal one, that food didn’t just magically appear, that instead food had something to do with nature. Silly? Sure. Important? Absolutely. Some could argue it laid the groundwork for future educators to teach kids about the environment and healthy eating (and hopefully made a few bucks for those Banana Sluggers, who, incidentally, still tour).

Luckily, Earth science education has come a long way since late 1980s lunchroom sing-a-longs. In today’s Charleston, organizations like Bee Cause make a difference. The nonprofit bee initiative has placed more than 20 observational hives in schools across the Lowcountry and with each little student mesmerized by the tiny world within those honeycombs, the seeds of a future environmentalist, Eat Local activist, or, maybe even a farmer, are sowed. Learn more about what’s buzzing in local classrooms, in this brand new issue of Dirt. —Kinsey Gidick

Apprentice program weaves a fabric of community among graduates
Apprentice program weaves a fabric of community among graduates Crop Circles

On a cold day in March, I stand bundled up outside the birthing pen at Jeremiah Farm and Goat Dairy on Johns Island while goats of all sizes nuzzle and play in fresh shavings. Farmer Casey Price has invited me to take part in the kidding process that marks the beginning of milking season on her farm. — Nikki Seibert


The Bee Cause Project pollinates an important message
The Bee Cause Project pollinates an important message Hives of Learning

The faint smell of honey permeates the air around the buzzing beehive. A little girl sits at the small table in the library of Sullivan's Island Elementary School, her face inches from thousands of bees as she watches them in their six specific roles... — Courtney Davis O'Leary


The highs and lows of South Carolina peach farming
The highs and lows of South Carolina peach farming Peach Pits

"You're sweet as a peach and twice as juicy." Growing up, that's what my grandmother would say to me whenever she scooped me into her Chloé-fragranced hug. — Kinsey Gidick


Young farmers grow out of a Slow Food youth club
Young farmers grow out of a Slow Food youth club Diggin' the Dream

As I was sitting on my knees, carefully digging out weeds at the Dirt Works Incubator Farm, I almost forgot where I was. It's funny how that happens sometimes. I was so focused on what I was doing that I blanked and forgot about reality. — Mina Rismani


Classified Listings
  • Bambu
    This was the worst restaurant I have ever eaten at. I have never had a… -JamesHayterCook
  • Edmund's Oast
    We ordered both charcuterie plates, and they were both solid. The beer selection is solid… -Native Ink
  • Edmund's Oast
    I've been there several times. Speaking focused on the food, beverage, decor and service while… -Dr. Giggles
  • Peninsula Grill
    Considered one of the best in town and still going strong. Would put in the… -JDChas
  • Edmund's Oast
    Went here for the first time last week after hearing about it and was pleased… -JDChas

Powered by Foundation   © Copyright 2014, Charleston City Paper   RSS