July in North Texas gloriously expresses God’s natural provision: 14 hours of daylight, air that speaks peace and bountiful crops. We can plunge into outdoor and water-related activities that refresh and remind us of childhood delights. It’s easy to take advantage of getaways to surrounding farms to score juicy peaches and watermelons and celebrate summer’s goodness.
This month, we focus on wholesome nutrition, highlighting farmers rooted in health plus anti-inflammatory diets filled with good-for-us foods. As an official foodie destination, North Texas aficionados are concerned about where the food they prepare and eat comes from and how it’s grown; they seek out healthy additions to their diet. As a newly minted vegan, I revel in access to a growing repertoire of foods I can enjoy. I also pay attention to how much energy and healing foods promise to provide. Such criteria guide my choices.
Like me, many Americans suffer from inflammation, which over time can lead to illness and disease. A growing awareness of such issues is being increasingly addressed by communities of concerned and conscientious people. Individual entrepreneurs, small farm operations and scientific research are coming together to offer us better choices and nutritional value.
Melinda Hemmelgarn’s feature article “Organic Farmers: Growing America’s Health – Restoring the Nutritional Value of Crops,” shows enlightened farmers as active field health research scientists. The way farmers operate impacts our health and safety through what we eat, as well as through exposure to our shared environment of soil, air and water.
We are seeing a growing number of farmers pursuing sustainable practices, raising organic and heirloom produce and searching for seeds that can survive climate change. Metroplex residents and visitors are blessed to have access to a broad range of healthy foods through farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, visits to working farms and farm to table restaurants.
In this issue, we present our fourth annual Farmers’ Market Pull-Out Guide on pages 19 through 34. This 16-page feast lists North Texas farmers’ markets by county, plus area farms and CSAs, noting their market hours and contact information. New this year, we added local farm to table restaurants. This way, you have it all at your fingertips, ready to access throughout the year. The pull-out section is also available online year-round at NADallas.com.
Our country still has a way to go before everyone has access to nutrient-dense food, especially in populations facing food insecurity, institutional food services and a culture of processed fast food. Yet we are pleased to have discovered that every section of the Metroplex has proximity to reasonably priced farmers’ markets, with farms not far away.
All of this just might inspire you to help cultivate a community garden or build a backyard raised bed garden and experience a more direct connection to the land. There’s little better than taking that first fresh bite of summer.
Bernice Butler, Publisher