The Taking Root Issue
"I feel it is an obligation to help people understand the relation of food to agriculture and the relationship of food to culture."
Welcome to the inaugural issue of Edible Northeast Florida. Six months ago, seeds were planted to create a community-driven publication dedicated to presenting the story of food in our region, and shortly after began a collaboration between writers, farmers, artisans, photographers, food advocates, chefs and so many others engaged in conversations about what we eat, how it’s produced and where it’s sourced. What you’ll find in this magazine is a curation of extraordinary local talent and creativity, mixed with an unyielding passion for great food: the stories that are defining our local food culture.
In upcoming issues, you’ll also see the magazine’s coverage continually extend its reach into various cities and towns throughout the region. We believe bringing good food to our plates requires a network of community interactions, each connected regionally to one another and each with a story that’s worthy of exploration.
If there’s one thing we heard over and over again as our inaugural issue took shape, it’s that our local food community is alive, energized, active and diverse. Efforts to create a sustainable local food system are taking root and growing. Together with our region’s family farms, chefs, artisans and purveyors, our goal is to engage more and more readers in thinking about the food they eat and celebrating everything it has come to represent.
And because this is our first issue, we are starting at the beginning. We ask what do we mean by “local” and why does it matter? We explore the role bees play in launching food production and what we can do to help them thrive. We discuss kids and how to get them involved with food at an early age. Then finally, we look at new farming methods in our region and how they could change our growing seasons and access to fresh food at home, in restaurants and at local markets.
But enough of the appe-teasers. It’s time for the main entrée. We invite you to join us at the table, to get to know your food and to support the local family farms and businesses that produce it. Let us hear from you – online, via mail, through social media, in the markets, on the streets, or in the fields – about topics that are of interest. At Edible Northeast Florida, we are setting forth to discover the real food heroes in our region and provide a resource for ongoing discussions about food. Let’s work together to foster a healthy, regional food system that nourishes our community, our economy and, of course, our bodies.