Virtual symposium “Making an Edible South” launches Carolina Garden Trail

Thursday, October 8, 2020
Staff Reports
Mr. Kevin Mitchell, Chef Instructor, Culinary Institute of Charleston

An upcoming virtual symposium in late October called “Making an Edible South” will kick off a year-long celebration of the new Carolina Garden Trail, currently under construction between the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens and the Urban Institute’s new offices in Sycamore Hall.

Dr. David Shields, a distinguished historian of agriculture and food preparation at the University of South Carolina, and Kevin Mitchell, Chef Instructor at the Culinary Institute Dr. David Shieldsof Charleston, will lead participants on a virtual tour of the garden to highlight what it takes to make an “edible South”.  In doing so, they will introduce one of the Carolina Garden Trail’s primary educational themes – the contributions of diverse cultures to the South’s gardening and culinary traditions.

The Trail is a partnership between the university’s Botanical Gardens, its Center for the Study of the New South, and the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, and last year received funding from the NC Humanities Council.  In keeping with the institute’s mission of addressing the economic, environmental and social issues impacting the Charlotte region, the partnership is an opportunity to highlight the relationship between the Carolina Piedmont’s natural environment and the economic and cultural contributions of diverse populations who, by adapting to that environment through the centuries, have shaped the region’s unique character.

The symposium will begin with the video “Making an Edible South” being made available for viewing on October 19, followed by a live panel discussion between Dr. Shields and Chef Mitchell on Friday, October 23 at Noon.  For more information about the symposium and how to register, go to the symposium page on the Botanical Gardens’ website at