This week, Sierra Pfeifer and Guillermo Molero are joined by Sarah Choi, Coleman Rambo and Kshitiz Adhikari to discuss Kids’ Seedling Day at the Carrboro Farmers' Market, the recent listing of Mama Dip’s Kitchen and the land around the restaurant for sale and last Saturday's 16th Annual Tar Heel 10 Miler. Listen now to find out more.
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GUILLERMO MOLERO, HOST: From the daily Tar Heel, I'm Guillermo Molero.
SIERRA PFEIFER, HOST: And I'm Sierra Pfeifer.
MOLERO: Welcome to Heel Talk—a weekly podcast covering the latest news around UNC and the Chapel Hill area.
PFEIFER: Earth Day was this past Saturday, and the Carrboro Farmers Market, celebrated with Kids’ Seedling Day. Children could take home their own free seedlings with options including sungolds, cherry tomatoes and more. Reporter Sarah Choi has the story.
SARAH CHOI, REPORTER: It was pouring buckets on Saturday … but the torrential downpour didn’t put a damper on Kids’ Seeding Day.
ANNA DOMINKOVICS: About, like 50, 60 people have come by today.
CHOI: That was Anna Dominkovics, a volunteer with Fifth Season Gardening Company in Carrboro. Fifth Season supplied the potting soil for the seedlings. Dominkovics said that it’s important to foster an interest in gardening in kids.
DOMINKOVICS: It's important for kids to kind of learn to appreciate the plants and the earth and kind of give them, like, the tools to learn how to garden.
CHOI: Kyle Heflinger volunteers with the farmers’ market. He said that events like Kids’ Seedling Day provide a sense of community, while giving farmers an opportunity to donate their excess seeds.
KYLE HEFLINGER: They have thank you cards that they fill out to give to the farmers…and it's really cool. I've never seen anything quite like this, and it really ties everyone together in Carrboro.
CHOI: In addition to planting their own seedling, kids could also participate in a community poem activity with the Carrboro Poet Laureate Council. Carrboro Poet Laureate Liza Wolff-Francis said that kids who stopped by to get a seedling could choose from a number of different prompts.
LIZA WOLFF-FRANCIS: We’re asking about seeds, so that they can say ‘the seeds are…’ or ‘the seeds something … I love the Carrboro Farmers Market because … one thing I can do for the Earth is …’ and ‘I love the Earth because …’
CHOI: Wolff-Francis said that the responses will be compiled to make cohesive poems. When I asked the Poet Laureate Council if they had any favorite responses, council member Davis Lensch rose to the challenge.
DAVID LENSCH: We've gotten a lot of donuts. A lot of people have said they loved the Farmers Market because of the donuts. A lot of kids have said that they love the earth because it's why we're here, and that it’s the reason we're not dead. So that was a good response. Very, like, straightforward.
CHOI: I also got good responses from the kids. I asked sisters Layla and Kayla why it was important to plant seeds.
LAYLA: I know! Because then you can have more plants in the Earth, and then you can eat more food.
KAYLA: We can also help the Earth by planting more plants.
CHOI: Heflinger said he loves working with kids like Layla and Kayla.
HEFLINGER BITE: It's very satisfying to come out to something like this and have a tangible effect. Have kids come out, pick up seeds, and be actively excited to kind of get their hands dirty a little bit.
CHOI: Carrboro Farmers Market will have similar events in the future, including the Strawberry Jamboree, June in Bloom and Tomato Day. For a full list of upcoming events, go to www.carrborofarmersmarket.com/upcoming-events. In Carrboro, I’m Sarah Choi, reporting.
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MOLERO, HOST: Earlier this month, Mama Dips Kitchen and the land around the restaurant were listed for sale. Coleman Rambo has more.
COLEMAN RAMBO, REPORTER: Mama Dip’s Kitchen is still fully operational, and it will remain that way, according to its owners, until the property is sold. The property was listed for sale after Anita “Spring” Council and her two sisters decided it was time for the restaurant to relocate.
Spring, one of the current owners of Mama Dip’s and daughter of founder Mildred Council, explains her vision of the restaurant’s future and the reasoning behind the plan to relocate.
ANITA “SPRING” COUNCIL: We need to make it so folks can be trained in one particular area. Folks in their lifetime of restaurants you go to now, somebody doing salads, they’re doing salads. If they’re doing desserts, they’re doing desserts. But here at Dip’s you gotta do desserts, fries, salads, everything. So we gotta sorta narrow that focus down.
RAMBO: Spring is focused on maintaining brand reputation and plans to make their restaurant model easily replicable.
COUNCIL: After deciding to sell the property, the next thing went off, we kind of continued to get the brand and everybody agreed to it. And so, with that, so what do we do? So, the best thing is to create a restaurant model that can be easily duplicated.
RAMBO: Betty York, a UNC alumnus, has been a loyal customer at Mama Dip’s since it first opened in 1976. She says she plans to visit their new location when it opens.
BETTY YORK: I mean, it's just old-fashioned country cooking. And that's what it always has been. And I haven't been recently because that husband has been ill. I mean, been here to, to come in and sit at a table. But as far as I know, it's always been the same. They just have fried chicken and chicken and dumplings, biscuits. Apple pie. Just southern country food.
RAMBO: York says the restaurant and its founder have made an impact on the Chapel Hill community.
YORK: It's been a family of Mama Dip was just an institution in Chapel Hill. Everybody loved her. She did just have a wonderful restaurant. She was a wonderful person. And she had a big presence. She had a big presence in Chapel Hill, one in Chapel Hill would not be what it is today without.
RAMBO: Pranav Medikonduru, a current UNC student, speaks to what Mama Dip’s Kitchen has gained from being in Chapel Hill.
PRANAV MEDIKONDURU: I mean, Chapel Hill is one of those, one of those towns that you know, people from all over the world come to, it's got a history, it's got a name, and everyone knows of it. It's a great starting spot to build kind of like a solid fan base, I suppose. And so, I think, like, they got what they got out of it. They've got a name, they've got a loyal customer base, and they always will have that tie to Carolina.
RAMBO: Spring says that she and the other restaurant owners will practice the same perseverance in the upcoming relocation that was exemplified by her mother when she ran the business in the 1980s.
COUNCIL: Mama never complain about the struggle. Right? Or the challenges. Yeah. And so what had happened, we didn't think about, you know, who was going to fail, we just thought about, we have to keep going. And if we made the necessary changes that you need to make along the way, you don't keep running down the steps and back up to the cash register. So, let's call out here system point of sale system people and get the handle to make adjustments.
RAMBO: With changes still being completely ironed out, Mama Dip’s will continue to serve customers on West Rosemary Street until the property is sold. In Chapel Hill, I’m Coleman Rambo.
MOLERO, HOST: The 16th annual Tar Heel 10 Miler, a race that runs across Chapel Hill, was held on Saturday, April 22. Kshitiz Adhikari has more.
KSHITIZ ADHIKARI, REPORTER: Capstone Event Group, a race-organizing company, organized the Tar Heel 10 Miler last Saturday. I talked to Charlie Mercer, the CEO, about the origin of the race.
CHARLIE MERCER: It was created 16 years ago by a local Chapel Hill resident, who just thought there should be a great running event in the Town of Chapel Hill, and run through the University.
ADHIKARI: The Tar Heel 10 started in 2006, making this the 16th annual race. Mercer also said the event has grown in popularity in recent years.
MERCER: We had about 75,000 registrations this year’s event, which is higher than it has been in the past.
ADHIKARI: Part of the Capstone Event Group’s belief is that every runner has their own story. I talked with Adele Williams, a freshman at UNC, about why she ran the race.
ADELE WILLIAMS: It was like a club activity. So, we have certain races that we do as a club each semester, and this was one of them. And also, I've heard a lot about it, like everyone says it was really fun, so I really wanted to do it.
ADHIKARI: She said she’s a part of the Carolina Marathon Team because it gives her the chance to be a part of a community while having fun.
WILLIAMS: It’s brought me a real sense of community at UNC, and it’s something that gets your body moving in a fun way that you can do with other people. And when we all do a race as a team, it’s like a sense of togetherness we all feel and it’s really fun.
ADHIKARI: Irvin Carreon, a fellow member of the marathon club, echoed a similar sentiment as Williams.
IRVIN CARREON: My motivation for running the Tar Heel 10 Miler was having already run a marathon and a half marathon in the past year with the UNC Marathon Team. I thought this would be a great way to go and have some fun with my teammates.
ADHIKARI: Williams said the people cheering her on and the signs made the race feel special.
WILLIAMS: One of them said ‘there’s a reason they don’t call it Chapel Flat, because there’s so many hills on the route.’ At the end of the race, there's this really big hill that everyone dreads. There’s a bunch of people on the sidelines cheering you on up the hill and when you get to the top, you’re almost done with the race. It’s just that everyone cares so much and wants to support people that are running is really cool.
ADHIKARI: Mercer said the stories are what makes organizing this event rewarding.
MERCER: It’s fun stories, it’s remarkable stories of resiliency. It’s stories to honor loved ones. And everybody comes together and has this common experience, even though everybody’s story is unique. We have several people running this year that have overcome breast cancer and are trying to prove to themselves they can accomplish something like this. We have people running with best friends that have been best friends for life, and one person goes to NC State, and another goes to UNC.
ADHIKARI: While the next race isn’t for another year, students, locals and visitors alike can find joy in their individual stories and experiences with the Tar Heel 10. In Chapel Hill, I’m Kshitiz Adhikari.
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MOLERO, HOST: That’s all for today’s show. Stay tuned to The Daily Tar Heel’s Twitter and Instagram feeds for new episodes of all of our shows. You can also find all of our shows at dailytarheel.com, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. Heel Talk is a production of The Daily Tar Heel Audio Desk. This week’s episode was written and produced by Sierra Pfeifer, Reagan Allen and me, Guillermo Molero. Contributors to this episode are Sarah Choi, Coleman Rambo, Evin Sahin and Kshitiz Adhikari. Our theme song is by Adrian Tillman.