Letter from the Editor
I’m always struck by two things when I plant a garden: how satisfying it is to gather ingredients for a meal a few quick steps from my kitchen where it will be prepared and eaten, and how grateful I am that I don’t have to rely on my own ability to produce food! They are both equally magnified during those years when pests and weather conspire to seek and destroy, making the harvest small and the labor great.
I firmly believe that we should each participate in our own food system. Whether it’s as simple as growing a few herbs in the kitchen window or a tomato in a pot on the patio; or as complicated as attempting to be as self-sufficient as possible. When we become producers, however small, instead of simply consumers; we gain a greater connection to our food, the soil, the natural world around us and the farmers we rely on.
In this issue, we take a quick look into several ways you can become more actively involved in providing your own food. These articles are meant to whet the appetite and encourage further investigation more so than serving as complete how-to guides.
Whether it’s foraging for mushrooms in the wild, finding uses for plants already growing in our own backyards (we usually call them weeds), keeping bees for honey and chickens for eggs, or adding edible landscapes and gardens to our yards; we explore some ways to actively participate in our own food production.
And in honor of National Farmer Appreciation Day (October 12), the photo essay in this issue is a tribute to farmers and includes the text of Paul Harvey’s speech “So God Made a Farmer”. You’ll see some familiar faces there that we’ve met along our journey so far.
But you’ll also read the story of a young man who grew up wanting nothing more than to be a farmer. It was his life’s ambition and at the young age of 25, he was working incredibly hard and living his dream when, tragically, his life was cut short. It’s my hope that his legacy of hard work, dedication and perseverance will be an inspiration to you today.
To all of the farmers who work tirelessly and sometimes thanklessly to ensure the rest of us have food on our tables to enjoy - thank you! With every successful garden harvest and every heartbreaking loss, I appreciate you all the more!
LeeAnna Tatum, Editor