Harvest Tour of Home returns to DI!
Like a best selling book series, the Harvest Tour of Homes on Daniel Island just keeps getting bet-ter. The popular event, now in its 8th year, will once again benefit the Berkeley County Library on Daniel Island. Organizers hope the October 24 program, which will showcase four different properties and four local authors, will continue to bring in rave reviews.
“The beautiful homes are the centerpiece of the tour,” said Pat Richards, of the Daniel Island Friends of the Library. “But this event is about our library and a local author in each house provides a little literary reminder of why we are here.”
Since the tour started in 2008, the event has raised over $100,000 for the Daniel Island Library. Those funds have helped purchase a variety of items for the facility, including additional computer workstations, an outdoor garden reading area, furniture, early literacy and general collection resources, a parking lot book drop, additional shelving, a display case for island artifacts, a reading garden, and multiple book club kits. The event is sponsored by the Daniel Island Friends of the Library.
“They are our major source of outside funding,” said Library Branch Manager Tim Boyle. “This year we were able to get 10 new computer workstations…They also bought us shelving, expanded our CD and DVD racks. They’ve just done so much for us. It’s been a big boon to the library and we really love to support it.”
“Our library just continues to be an outstanding place for the island,” added Mary Ann Solberg, Harvest Tour of Homes Co-Chair. “I can’t tell you the number of people who stop me to say the library is fabulous! We’ve had a lot of comments lately about the gardens. People just love to take their books and sit outside on one of the benches and read.”
Solberg also noted that the book club kits purchased through tour proceeds continue to be a big hit with readers.
“It’s exposing people to things they might not have selected,” she said. “It’s such an innovative idea.”
The focal part of the tour will be the featured properties, two homes in Daniel Island Park and two on the island’s south side in Smythe Park. One three-story residence offers a blend of fine art, grand staircases, multiple kitchens, and a retro-style theater. A spacious town home with several outdoor porches is creatively furnished using local suppliers and artists. In a classically designed stately brick home tour-goers will find an impressive collection of both European and American memorabilia and antiques. The fourth property displays the best in island living comforts featuring colors inspired by nature, open spaces, and views of the Wando River.
Each home featured on the tour will also host a local author, who will sign copies of his or her book. Taking part in this year’s event are Vijaya Bodach, author of the children’s book Ten Easter Eggs, Angela Williams, whose Hush Now, Baby tells the story of race, love and loyalty in the Deep South during the 1960s, Culinary Historian Robert F. Moss, frequent contributor to many publications and author of Barbecue Lover’s the Carolinas: Restaurants, Markets, Recipes & Traditions, and Daniel Island resident Ben Pogue, author of In The Shadow of the Songbird, an antebellum tale steeped in Charleston history.
Bodach said she is an avid user, supporter and lover of the public library system and is thrilled to be able to participate in the Harvest Tour. She added that her writing style varies, depending on the book. But when it comes to her young readers, she strives to capture “the wonder and awe of nature.” “Although I have dozens of books published for the educational market, Ten Easter Eggs is my first trade book that people can see in a brick-and-mortar shop, so I am especially excited to share my book with children and the adults who love children and children’s literature. I’m looking forward to interacting with my neighbors and talking to them about books.”
Pogue’s In the Shadow of the Songbird, which published earlier this year, has been well received thus far. The first time author is looking forward to the opportunity to engage with community members about the story, which takes readers back in time to the tumultuous events leading up to the start of the Civil War in Charleston.
“I’ve been very happy with the reaction to the book,” stated Pogue. “Lots of positive comments and it’s selling well. I’m very happy to be part of the house tour and it’s always nice to meet new folks.”
Moss is looking forward to sharing his love of cooking with guests taking part in the October 24 event. He finds spending time in the kitchen or around an outdoor barbecue pit “very relaxing.”
“I particularly like cooking things long and slow so that they’re transformed by time into something deeply flavorful and delicious,” he said.
Moss added he is hoping to meet and talk with fellow book lovers and food lovers during the Harvest Tour of Homes and spread some of his passion for traditional Carolina-style barbecue, the subject of his latest book.
Williams’ book Hush Now, Baby is a riveting memoir of the author’s childhood growing up in Berkeley County under the watchful eye of her family’s beloved nanny, Eva Aiken.
“We need to honor and preserve the history of the thousands of black women who reared countless white children before and during the Civil Rights period,” said Williams. “This coming-of-age memoir set in the South Carolina Lowcountry tells how a little white girl grew up in an uneasy childhood on the backbone of a black woman who loved her unabashedly.”
Williams is hopeful her story will resonate with readers.
“I appreciate having this opportunity to open readers’ eyes to the things that were/are so often swept under the rug because of Southern protocol—alcoholism, abuse, infidelity, and segregation. I was privileged to be loved by someone who was the ballast through many storms . . . and many already are telling me their own stories, and none of them reflect the relationship reflected in The Help. Harvest Tour of Homes is another occasion to show ‘the other side of the story.’”
This year’s premiere sponsor of the tour is the Daniel Island Community Fund. Solberg is confident the event will once again be well received by the island community and visitors.
“This is such a perfect place,” she said. “This island supports so many causes in such wonderful ways. This island is truly charity personified. They really do come out and support whatever is going on. And we’ve always felt that support.”
The event will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, October 24. Tickets are $20 per person if purchased in advance or $25 on the day of the tour. To inquire about tickets and ticket locations, or for additional information, please visit www.harvesthometours.com. A map to the homes is provided in the ticket package.