A North Texas midsummer showcases the natural abundance of the farm-rich countryside surrounding us. It brings full-circle the Creator’s grandly designed cycle of provision for man and the environment: the light and darkness that help define the growing seasons, the water that nourishes the land, the resulting crops, and the dairy and meats that come from animals fed by the land and its bounty. It sounds so simple, and it seems so simple as we walk the grocery store aisles, making our hurried selections. Yet there are countless issues, challenges and opportunities in the space preceding our grocery aisle walk, not the least of which is the “overwatering” North Texas has experienced over the past couple of months.
In addition to interfering with our weekend activities and inflicting wind and tornado damage on some of our neighbors’ homes, all the stormy weather is wreaking havoc on local farms. It’s a great reminder of the delicate, yet resilient balance upon which our natural environment depends, and the seemingly endless threats to it. We can now add our spring and summer storms and floods to the winter freezes and summer droughts in other parts of the country as reasons to be concerned about sustainability and to be innovative and aggressive in our attention to agricultural issues.
This month we celebrate agriculture with our fifth annual Farmers’ Market Pull-Out Guide on pages 19 through 34. In addition to our listings of farmers’ markets by county and category (working farms and CSAs, organic nurseries and garden stores, and farm to table restaurants), this year we’ve added farm-fresh, organic and healthy prepared meals, and chefs that specialize in natural, nutritious fare. Many thanks to our sponsors—Frisco Fresh Market, Marshall Grains and the North Texas Municipal Water District—for making this year’s guide possible. We found around 35 working farms that sell to the public. (Many more grow commercially or for their family’s or restaurant’s use.)
Peruse this guide and you’ll find that North Texas is any foodie’s dream, with innumerable choices for green and healthy deliciousness. I recently experienced this dream at a chefs’ and farmers’ potluck out at Waterboy Farm. There were cocktails that looked and tasted like healthy juices, with edible flowers; pimento and spinach dips made with goat milk and goat milk ice cream; and so many other amazing dishes reflecting the abundance of local farms and the creativity of local chefs.
In further celebration of our North Texas farming community, writer Sheila Julson profiles some nearby trailblazers taking sustainable farming to a commercial scale, giving us the kind of access to farm-fresh produce, dairy, poultry and meats not enjoyed by residents of many other major urban areas. Read her article on page 21 to learn how these enterprising entrepreneurs have found their niche while bettering the environment, communities, diets and health.
Not to miss the unassailable connection between health and food, we delve into the subject of gut health in Marlaina Donato’s article, “Toning the Vagus Nerve,” which highlights the “superhighway” between gut and brain and the importance of what we feed it. We add to the discussion of the proper feeding of the body-machine with our spotlight on holistic dentistry and the whole-body approach of Dr. Minaxi Mirkal, of Prime Integrative Dentistry, in Flower Mound.
As always, we hope you will find something in this month’s issue that encourages you and becomes the catalyst for your journey to a greener, healthier, more sustainable lifestyle .
Until next month. Blessings,