Four years ago, I began writing for a new, local publication called Edible Phoenix.
Although the magazine is locally owned and published, Edible Phoenix belongs to a network of other edible publications across the country, started by Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian.
It started with one magazine in 2002, Edible Ojai, dedicated to celebrating the local bounty of the central California farm valley.
Tracey and Carole realized they had something special — and portable — on their hands, and soon developed a strategy to expand the Edible brand.
Today, there are more than 63 Edible magazines, from Seattle to South Florida.
More than 15 million people read these vibrant, Edible publications.
Now, Tracey and Carole have compiled a brand new book called Edible: A Celebration of Local Foods.
The book is divided into two parts. Part one is a collection of essays, honoring local heroes in the Edible communities. Part two is a collection of recipes, organized by season, reflecting the regional diversity of the Edible communities.
I’m so honored to be included in this very special book.
I have two essays in the book, one featuring Janos Wilder, chef owner of Janos and J Bar, and an early pioneer of the local foods movement in Tucson, Arizona, and another essay on Native Seeds/SEARCH, a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to the preservation of the plants and seeds of the American Southwest.
I also have a recipe in the book, a pineapple gazpacho, that does indeed, taste as good as it sounds.
No matter where you live in the U.S., there is probably a story in the book about local heroes near you.
Maybe it’s the story about the blueberry farmer in Tennessee, or the story about Allandale Farm, Boston’s last working farm.
Or maybe it’s the story about Sprouting Healthy Kids, a program developed by the Sustainable Food Center in Austin that’s introducing locally grown, seasonal produce to the middle-school curriculum.
This book is a love story for people who believe that eating local is vital to the sustainability of their communities.
It’s for people who want to cook with seasonal produce.
It’s for people who want to celebrate the successes and understand the challenges that all communities face as they work toward building better local food systems.
It’s a celebration of local foods and local heroes.
I hope you get a chance to read it.