Letter From the Publishers, July 2014
Roots are the anchors of life that define origin and give rise to the lush landscapes and rich ecosystems of our world. Unseen networks of growth pioneer the drive to push deeper and reach wider, securing a foundation for longevity. The expansive fertility in this niche of the world is easy to celebrate as generations of fields and families have cultivated a harmonious existence with the land, contributing legacies of abundance.
Living closest to the earth and the changing seasons, farmers are naturally in tune with growth, caring instinctually for their herds, plants and properties. They continue to persevere amidst ongoing food-crisis transitions, weathering challenges to their precious acres and evolving with opportunities for change. A conversation with someone who has tasted the sweetness of this raw and grounded lifestyle yields a beautiful and complex perspective on these labors of love.
A visit to my very green and luscious Midwest hometown last month allowed me some time with my father, who has decades of firsthand experience in farming. Within an industry full of concern for present adversities and hope for the future, his keen understanding and realistic outlook on the scope of the predicament is always refreshing. Though he may seem weary, the light in his eye and his unending sense of humor is a reflection of the energy gleaned from long hours in the great outdoors.
Our July issue exposes the mix of challenges and enthusiasm that arise in this intense time, as innovative approaches for sustainable food supplies cross paths with tradition. “Stewards of Earth’s Bounty,” by Hemmelgarn, describes the empowering force of homegrown activism, which often turns up fresh, heartfelt strategies for new growth. “Backyard Medicine,” by local contributor Jen Frey, sheds light on the healing elements easily found close to home.
Wildly encouraging are the widespread efforts and enhanced interest that emerge as, one by one, most everyone becomes a part of informed choice in nutrition and saving our natural spaces. Whether you are digging in, settling down or speaking up wherever you are, simply showing up every day is fully enough.
In due honor, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has chosen 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming. We are grateful for the opportunity to join others around the world in acknowledging those that feed the world and care for the Earth.
~Jacqueline, Kendra & Lois