March 2012 Publisher Letter
I have fond childhood memories of helping my grandfather plant and tend what felt to me like a huge backyard garden. My grandparents’ Central Texas home was built on previous orchard land and peach, fig, plum and pear trees graced every part of the yard. A grapevine that covered much of the backyard shaded my own play area. Aunts, uncles and cousins all participated in the annual harvest ritual of picking, cooking, canning and labeling the bounty. As a child, I never gave any thought to healthy eating or sustainability—it was just fun to pick a delightfully good snack whenever I wanted to.
As an adult, I have discovered that the adage is true: “You are what you eat.” Our entire physiology is constructed, repaired, replaced and fueled by what we eat. That is why enlightened health care experts recommend disease-prevention measures based on a commonsense diet of whole, fresh local foods. People are finally getting it—that God created the Earth and all that is in it to be self-sustainable—organisms are designed to live in an optimal healthy state, using the renewable resources at hand.
In this month’s issue, Natural Awakenings addresses America’s current food revolution and how more of us are shifting to eating local, organic farm-fresh foods. We are motivated by the desire for better health derived from flavorful, nutritious foods that are free of toxic pesticides and herbicides, synthetic chemical fertilizers and genetic engineering. We also feel the need to support businesses in our local communities and better understand the vital importance of regional sustainability. Food trends expert Melinda Hemmelgarn explains how together we are “Changing the Way America Eats.”
We are blessed that the Metroplex offers farm-fresh foods every day. From the venerable downtown Dallas Farmers’ Market to markets in White Rock Lake, Coppell, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, McKinney, Frisco and Earth, Texans can find seasonal produce wherever we are, all year long. I think you’ll agree that there is something special, just a little sweeter, that comes with biting into a piece of fruit grown by local farmers, rather than sorting through imports at a chain grocery.
In this month’s Green Living department, “Unconventional Gardens,” you’ll find how widespread interest in backyard, rooftop and community gardens is increasing people’s access to fresh local foods, while affording opportunities to connect with Mother Earth. One local example is Dallas’ own Fairmont Hotel rooftop garden, which supplies fresh ingredients for the hotel’s restaurants, while providing us a dining-in-the-garden experience. Another is the DFW Truck Garden, where a mobile garden bed in the back of a pickup truck delivers edible perennials and seasonal crops, at the same time introducing school children to the rewards of personal gardening.
I hope that you will enjoy and benefit physically, mentally and spiritually from our offerings in this Food & Garden issue. It is more proof that green living is healthy and healthy living is green.
May you be bountifully blessed,
Bernice Butler, Publisher