In Our Spring 2015 Issue
LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER
“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
This issue marks our sixth anniversary. Five years ago in spring of 2010, we started telling stories that we hoped would inspire, educate, and bring a touch of beauty to our readers. When we started people would ask me if I was worried about running out of stories. That is the thing I never worry about. We have an abundance of stories to tell each season. Our community is rich with interesting people, unique businesses, farms that need our support, topics that should be debated and discussed, and issues that need careful consideration.
Over the years readers have asked us what they can do to support the publication. After much thought this spring we are launching our first “Friends of Edible Plant Sale.” The seeds have already been cultivated and the plants are under the care of Folsom & Pine. They have been lovingly cared for in their greenhouses on the Southside of Columbus. We bring you the story of Folsom & Pine on page 36. Their story is one of innovation, serendipity, and two cousins’ hard work to save their family farm.
We worked with Folsom & Pine to create three special flats for our first plant sale—the perfect herb garden, edible flowers, and a flat of cocktail garden plants. These flats will all come with recipes, growing tips, and pick-up times that include special parties and events at our cooking school, The Seasoned Farmhouse. See page 5 for all the details. Flats are available for pre-order on our website at ediblecbus.com/friendofedible. Each plant sale will support Folsom & Pine and Edible Columbus. These plant sales will help us bring more complimentary copies of edible to our community.
At edible we talk a lot about the simple pleasures in life. For me the pleasure of cooking with my own fresh herbs, cutting flowering branches to arrange for my table, and watching my garden take shape are some of the gifts I treasure most in the spring. I hope this issue of Edible Columbus gives you plenty of inspiration and ideas on how to enjoy the season.
I hope to meet you Mother’s Day weekend at our “Antique & Garden Sale,” or at one of our plant sale events.
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
“I have great faith in a seed.”
—Henry David Thoreau
How many times have you had a great seed of an idea and wanted to manifest your great idea, only to, in the next moment, move onto another thought? The great seed dissipates and becomes soil for something else. This is the story of my life.
When I began digging through the dirt of our spring issue and talking to farmers and producers, I was reminded that despite a great idea’s potential and resiliency, unless there is a sound infrastructure to support it, it has nowhere to grow.
Our sixth anniversary spring issue focuses on what it takes to make great food ideas, businesses, and farms grow and thrive. From Red Twig Farms (page 41) and Folsom & Pine (page 36), to Blue Owl Garden Emporium (page 30) and Alchemy Juice Café (page 46), we look at contemporary approaches to establishing farm-based, food-based businesses and making them viable for the long run in sustainable, ethical ways.
We also look back on our past five years to ask the question of some of our favorite farmers and food producers: Where are you now? From Wayward Seed (who graced the pages of our very first issue!) to Al Dolder at Stonefield Naturals (page 48), I spent time this winter having thoughtful conversations about the landscape of local foods in Central Ohio and the challenges and successes each farm and business has faced. What struck me as the most important thread running through all eight of my interviews was how each farm and business has not only grown but created enough of an infrastructure to mentor and model other upstarts in the local food community. It speaks to how scaling up your farm or business doesn’t simply benefit you. It benefits a whole culture of growers, producers, farmers, and entrepreneurs, and a consciousness within that culture to truly turn the dial on the future of food.
We’re thrilled to feature an excerpt from the new book Good Food, Great Business: How to take your artisan food idea from concept to marketplace by Susie Wyshak (page 54) to offer a national view of how other food entrepreneurs are approaching the prospect of starting their own business. And with a nod to the faithful seed, we interview letter from the editor founders of the Cleveland Seed Bank, Marilyn McHugh and Chris Kennedy, who offer a pioneering approach to starting a seed bank from scratch (page 22).
None of what we enjoy in our local food community would be possible without the hard work of those who tend the fields. Food activist Bryn Bird brings to light the persistence of college students in Ohio to create Student Farmworker Alliance chapters to advocate for “farmworker rights, fair food policy, and called-for corporate sustainability.” (page 25) We’re also so happy to have writer and professor Dinty W. Moore share his story of starting Flying Bunny Farm in Athens, Ohio, and how the unexpected placement of his urban garden has led him to “become an accidental ambassador for growing your own food, making my own tiny contribution to saving our planet.”
And if you’re not of the inclination to run your own farm or food business (as am I), but simply enjoy the abundance of flora and fauna this time of year, we feature a story about hunting for Ohio wildflowers (page 26) and fishing for a fresh catch this spring (page 34). With Edward O. Wilson’s theory of biophilia becoming a part of our shared nomenclature, we all have good reason to get out and experience nature. His theory suggests that as human beings we all share a love of living systems. Recent scientific studies are proving him right, demonstrating that our nervous system finds peace of mind and improved health when we hike through the forest, dig our hands into fresh soil, or spend an afternoon by a body of water.
Here’s to loving the living system of local food this spring, and planting some faithful seeds of your own.