Yesterday, Mama Squirrel and I went to Magevney House to work at the Slow Food Memphis table. Manning a table is a simple proposition. You stand behind a table that is draped with an eye-catching banner, and you smile, hand out literature, and answer the occasional question. When the table is for Slow Food Memphis, however, yeah, not so much.
The table was everything you would expect and more. Of course there was the snazzy banner and Slow Food USA publications. There were also copies of Edible Memphis magazine. What was missing was the standing around smiling.
Kjeld Petersen, co-founder of Slow Food Memphis gave us a tour of the garden. Then he put us to work. Mama and some of the other folks got a couple of big buckets of herbs and flowers. They set to work putting together some great arrangements. I got a pair of clippers, a basket and a shopping list. I got to gather sage, rosemary, and thyme. (The parsley had bolted, so we didn’t gather any of it.)
After I collected a good-sized pile of herbs, Mama and I went to work putting together packets of herbs to give away to folks visiting the garden.
And that brings me to my point, visiting the garden. You absolutely have to visit Magevney House. The gardens are a lovely showpiece, but that’s not the point. Volunteers have restored the gardens to the state they would have been in in the 1850s when Eugene Magevney lived in the house. The varieties of plants date to that era. Even better, the volunteers have seeds for sale. You can keep the past alive in your own garden.
Kjeld’s wife, Melissa, the editor and publisher of Edible Memphis and co-founder of Slow Food Memphis, was there, taking pictures for the next issue. You should definitely check out the current issue and the next, but don’t just rely on the pictures and story. See it for yourself. The garden is there anytime, but Slow Food Memphis will be there with the Magevney volunteers next Saturday, June 9, from 9:00 a.m. until noon to share in the wealth of this beautiful piece of Memphis history.