Duvall Loves Local

Last week Duvall came out to support Lowcountry Local First’s Femivore event. What is a femivore you might ask? The Lowcountry Local First brochure defined a femivore as a “woman who has a deep passion for the local food community”. A recent article in the New York Times Magazine described the femivore movement in saying “the omnivore’s dilemma has provided an unexpected out from the feminist predicament, a way for women to embrace homemaking without becoming Betty Draper.”

 The event featured four inspiring and inspired women with ideas on how to improve our local food systems and inequalities. Each woman presented her case based on four categories: Nourish, Grow, Inspire, and Give. The attendees voted for their favorite business plan of the night. The winner received 2000 dollars to jump-start their activism.

-Meet the Femivores-

NOURISH: Germaine Jenkins- Urban Veggucation (Winner)

A for-profit edible landscaping and chicken coop service in North Charleston. Ms. Jenkins spent the last four years volunteering in a school garden and she hopes to increase awareness and interest in green business in minority and low income neighborhoods. The project will “improve access to locally grown fresh produce by growing food where [it] will be consumed. Our mission is to transform underutilized spaces using sustainable urban agriculture, turn local food and landscape waste into soil and transform an inner city food desert into a sustainable hub of green economy.”

GROW: Meg Moore- CSA, James Island Farmer’s Market

Ms. Moore is the owner and grower at Dirthugger Farm on James Island. She grows heirloom varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs. She hopes to build an eco-friendly cooler for her produce, a small greenhouse and jump start the construction of an eco-friendly Tumbleweed home.

INSPIRE: Rebecca Preston Burke- Locavore Lawyer

Ms. Burke is the founding attorney of the Locavore Lawyer in Charleston. She would like to “provide local food entrepreneurs and small farmers with the legal and business advice they need to be successful in the Lowcountry at an affordable rate” by providing one-on-one counseling as well as relevant workshops dealing with legislation and how to be a socially responsible and successful business.

GIVE: Darlena Goodwin- Children’s Garden Project- Mini-Farmer’s Markets

Ms. Goodwin works in the Charleston community to prevent childhood obesity and health issues by teaching children in poor communities how to grow and cook their own food. In order to “bridge the disconnect that exists between the health and nutrition education that [is fostered] in schools and the lack of nutrition received [at home]” Ms. Goodwin proposed mini-farmers markets in Title One school gardens (schools with economically disadvantaged children). The school gardens would allow students to bring a grocery list to school, purchase fresh produce and bring it home along with recipes. She hopes that the project would bring “nutrition to the families where lack of transportation and neighborhood supermarkets is an inhibitor” to fresh and healthy food.

Duvall has been a longtime ally of Lowcountry Local First because we believe supporting our local food economy yields higher quality food and supports small businesses in the Lowcountry area. When asked why Duvall is a supporter of movements like this, Steve Wenger (CEO of Duvall) replied, “Because it’s the right thing to do.”

Tell us your story of how you support your local food economy and stay tuned for future Lowcountry Local First events.


Composting and You.

Duvall has a new green effort: composting. What, you may ask, does that mean? Well it is NOT dumping food scraps, floral stems, leaves and so forth in a pile outside. Composting is a process that yes, involves food scraps and leaves, but is a lot more scientific than you may realize. It requires equal parts of green and brown, a balance between nitrogen and carbon, and some effort on your part.

Here are some quick tips for composting:

  • A 3’x3’x3’ container for your compost is a good and managable size
  • Leaves, vegetables and grass clippings are good compostables to start with
  • Stay away from pet droppings and animal products- they will attract pesky pests
  • Shredded paper and coffee grounds are a great addition!
  • Your compost should have both carbon and nitrogen- carbon being cardboard, leaves and newspaper; nitrogen being coffee grounds, food waste and garden waste
  • Your carbon-to-nitrogen ratio should be about 25-30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen
  • Brown = carbon, green = nitrogen
  • Worms you find in your garden or yard can be placed in your compost for an extra helping hand

The Duvall team has been composting for about 2 months and are still working out the kinks, but are very fortunate to have some educated chefs to help us learn the process. Hopefully these tips will work for you and we can all work together to reuse those food and garden scraps rather than just throwing them away .

Continuing our efforts to be eco-friendly and adhere to sustainable practices, Duvall has switched all of our disposable plates, cups and flatware to high quality compostable/biodegradable line made from sugar cane fiber. Request our high quality compostable items at your next event!

PS That’s our lovely compost pile above in the post. And this image of the garden plots – stay tuned for what we’re growing!

For more tips on composting visit: Composting 101


Farm fresh veggies

As of April 27th, Duvall will be a CSA drop-site for Hudson Family Farms. Located in Rowesville, SC, Hudson Family Farms has been around for over 20 years and is launching its  first CSA program. Duvall, located at 1030 Jenkins Road in West Ashley, will act as one of two pick-up locations for those locals who participate in the farm’s CSA.

If you are unfamiliar with a CSA program, as described on the Hudson Family Farm website: A CSA (community supported agriculture), is based on a prepaid seasonal commitment between our farm and your family. When signing up for the seasonal membership, you will receive fresh, local produce picked at the peak of ripeness and delivered to a convenient location near you.

Duvall is not just acting as a drop-off location, but is also supporting the local farm by sourcing seasonal vegetables for its own kitchen and catering events.  The Duvall team is excited about this partnership as well and many have signed up for their own personal CSA memberships. From the CEO to the assistants, everyone wants to receive seasonal vegetables from the local farm. Hudson Family Farms offers about 30 different styles of vegetables that they are growing this season.

Each CSA lasts only about 12 weeks, so sign-up today for this season. Support local South Carolina farms and eat your veggies.


Duvall at the Potluck

Over the weekend Duvall participated in Lowcoutry Local First‘s 4th Annual Chef’s Potluck at Middleton Plantation.  The event was a celebration in which top chefs from the  area prepared dishes using local produce, meats and seafood provided by Lowcountry growers and producers.  Chefs Chip and Matt led the Duvall team, with all produce provided by Sweetbay Produce & Nursery.


Cornmilk Panna cotta with shrimp ceviche and local micro greens.

Fresh baguette with Greek olive tapanade served with local greens salad tossed in lemon juice and Greek olive oil.


Get on the Bus

On Thursday, January 27th, the U.S. Transportation Secretary toured Proterra Inc., a Greenville, SC company  that manufactures battery-powered, fast-charging transit buses – and Duvall was there.

In line with Duvall’s efforts to be green and produce sustainable events, Duvall provided the catering for the Transportation Secretary’s visit. Duvall is proud to be a part of Greenville”s efforts to to make the city a more sustainable place to live and work


The Green Team

Check out the Duvall Green Team’s latest efforts featured in this month’s Green Connection newsletter:

GBC Business Spotlight: Duvall Catering & Event Design

Here is an update from event designer Megan Click on Duvall’s participation in the Green Business Challenge.

“Duvall’s GBC is going very well…Our staff is constantly being educated about what they can do to be green, I send out the green facts and tips that are in the GBC newsletter, and we have signs posted to remind everyone to recycle. I think our biggest success stories have to be our recycling efforts and our double-sided printing. While Duvall has always been good at recycling, we have gotten even better during the GBC. We make a conscious effort to not only recycle what we have purchased, but buy items that are able to be recycled over those that cannot; even looking at what type of packaging items come in and assessing if it can be recycled or not. Our other major achievement has been to recruit our staff to print double-sided. In an office where change is shunned, contracts are printed daily, and recycle bins are full of paper this has been quite a success. In an effort to reduce our waste we are trying to be more conscious of what we are printing. While it cannot be completely eliminated we feel as if we have come a long way in the 2 months we have been participating in the challenge.”

Go Green Team! Keep up the good efforts.

Interested in learning more about the Charleston Green Business Challenge? For more information, take a look at the website.


Green Fair Success!: Ginger Mint Limeade Recipe

Yesterday the Duvall Green Team attended the 3rd annual Charleston Green Fair in Marion Square. They provided thirsty guests with a ginger mint limeade concocted by Green Team member Whit Jackson. Other exhibitors included KinderSoles, the Green Business Challenge, Lowcountry Local First and many other green businesses. For more information about this event check out the Green Fair’s website.

You’ve asked for it and we’ve listened. The long awaited recipe to the Ginger Mint Limeade:

Ginger Mint Limeade

1 cup boiling water

1 cup chopped local mint

1 cup organic honey

1 cup chopped ginger

2 cups cold water

1 cup organic lime juice


Steep mint, ginger, honey in boiling water for 1 hour

Add cold water and lime juice

Chill & Enjoy!

(Makes 1 quart)

Chef Chip and Megan Click serving the "ginger mint limeade" at the Green Fair


More Green Tips

Duvall Catering & Event Design fully supports sustainable and green practices in the workplace.  Here are a few simple ways to make your event environmentally friendly:

  • Arrange for proper transportation for out-of-town guests to reduce carbon footprint.  Green Taxi of Charleston is leading the way in green navigation.
  • Always monitor final guest count to minimize waste.
  • Try to use candlelight as much as possible for energy efficiency.
  • Always use real china, glassware, flatware and linens instead of disposable items.  If venues do not allow glass, use compostable or recycled items.
  • Have your wedding and reception in one location so the guests do not travel from one location to another.
  • Use biodegradable stationary or recycled paper products for invitations and thank you cards. A well known company is Twisted Limb Paper.
  • Try forgoing flower decorations all together because most florals are doused with chemicals. Instead try using non-floral arrangements such as pillar candles, faux crystals or even paper flowers for those do-it-yourselfers. has easy kits to get you started.


Duvall Décor & Event Design – Goes Green!

Bar Shot BlogGoing green is a lot easier than people think. In partnership with the Charleston CVB, Duvall produced one of the first all green Charleston events for Jamie and Erik Huffman’s rehearsal dinner at Middleton Place. With the support of many local vendors, plants, lighting, paper materials and furniture were all repurposed, recycled or reused.


Duvall and Kiawah Conservancy Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

On Thursday night April 23, Duvall catered the Kiawah Conservancy’s Bobcat Ball for the third year in a row! This year there were several new twists! This included partnering with the Sustainability Institute, offering a family style dinner for their 320 attendees, making the event as green and sustainable as possible, and having it all take place surrounded by nature in the parking lot of the property owner’s building, The Sandcastle.

Our green efforts started with our local and organic menu. Menu items included our Free Range Ashley Farms Chicken, McClellanville Crab, locally caught Mahi Mahi, and fresh Johns Island vegetables and fruits. We also offered locally brewed organic COAST Beer. For the event we use all biodegradable cups and containers to take home, used FSC green paper products, offered carpooling for all 30+ Duvall staff members and, of course, recycled.

Going green at the Bobcat Ball

Going green at the Bobcat Ball

The Kiawah Conservancy raised about $50,000 for the preservation of the natural balance of the flora and fauna on Kiawah Island. A new table competition was introduced this year called the “Hip to be Square” Challenge. Guests raised money for the conservancy one square foot at a time ($25/sq ft). Everyone exceeded expectations and the winning table was invited to a dinner hosted by the Conservancy’s Chairman and his wife at their home. The funds raised during this challenge go towards the Conservancy’s efforts of educating residents and visitors on how to best preserve and maintain the natural habitat of the island.

Congratulations on a successful event!