The Taking Root Issue

By Lauren Titus / Photography By Amy Robb | Last Updated August 31, 2016
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Sprouts taking root
Taking Root was our inaugural issue, focused on some of the most important trends facing our region in food.

"I feel it is an obligation to help people understand the relation of food to agriculture and the relationship of food to culture."

Alice Waters

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.

Lauren Titus, Editor

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STORIES & RECIPES FROM THE TAKING ROOT ISSUE

Tidal Craft Ice

From shrubs to tinctures, muddled basil to egg white foam, the nation’s cocktail revolution is in full swing -- and we’ll drink to that. A...

Mayhaw Cider

Buckets of Mayhaws
Ask any Southerner with deep roots in the region if they've ever heard of mayhaws – and there's a good chance you'll get a story. Aunt...

What It Means to Eat Local

Picking Kale at Down to Earth Organic Farm in Jacksonville Florida
When it comes to what we put on our plates, “local” is all the rage. But what, exactly, does “eating local” mean?

What's in Season

Beets with greens on gray background
Here's a list of local food you'll find in season throughout the year in Northeast Florida.

Cajun Okra Gumbo

Vegan Okra Gumbo by Fresh Jax
Serve this flavorful stew with brown rice and a tossed salad for a hearty, veggie-packed dinner.

Eggplant Stacks

Eggplant Stacks from Juniper Market in St. Augustine Florida
Eggplant stacks are a lighter, fresher take on eggplant parmesan. This dish lets the texture and flavor of the eggplant shine through without getting lost in a sea of breading and oil.

Bee Here Now

Beekeeper tending hives in florida
Did you know one third of the food we eat comes from insect-pollinated plants, and honey bees pollinate 80% of all the fruit, vegetable and seed crops produced in the U.S.? Get the buzz on local...

Bee a Hero: Tips for Helping Bees

Bo Sterk and bees in St. Augustine Florida
​If managing honey bee hives isn't your thing, there are still plenty of ways you can encourage the health and well-being of the bee...

Home Cooking for the Homeless

Kurt D'Aurizio at Sulzbacher Center
Sulzbacher Center chef turns donations into dinner

Teaching Kids to Love Real Food

Farm fresh figs for kids on floridas first coast
How do we get our young eaters to welcome wholesome fruits and vegetables on their plates? Give them an experience they won't forget.

A Toast to Seasonal Sipping

Medures Bartender Gabby Saul mixes cocktails with tinctures in North Florida
Ponte Vedra's Medure Restaurant is home to one of the most tenacious craft cocktail makers in all of Northeast Florida. From experiments in her own kitchen to trial and error behind the bar, Gabby...

What's a Shrub?

vinegar shrubs at medure in ponte vedra florida
Shrubs, also known as drinking vinegars, originated several centuries ago in England as a method to preserve fruit and berries. Typical...

What's a Tincture?

Cocktail tinctures at medure in ponte vedra florida
In the context of cocktails, a tincture is another type of flavorful extract made by preserving spices, herbs and even some produce...

Make Your Own Sourdough Starter

Adding Flour to Sourdough starter at community loaves in jacksonville florida
Sourdough starter brings flavor and nutrition to otherwise lifeless baked goods. It also carries on a tradition of baking which is so central to many cuisines throughout history: fermenting grains...

Dirt-Free Farming

Trays of microgreens sit on tables in the greenhouse at Gyo Greens Farm in ponte vedra
When we think of the food we put on our plates each day, most of us imagine verdant fields where our salads sprout from the ground and orchards where our fruit dangles freely from the trees, but new...

Gardening for Beginners

Garden tips for beginners illustration edible northeast florida
Some tips and tricks to get started on an edible garden in Northeast Florida.

Ginger Apple Pear Pie

ginger pear apple pie at knead bakeshop in jacksonville florida murray hill
This delicious pie works with either a lattice or solid top crust. Either way, you won’t have leftovers for long!

Peanut Butter Spice Cookies

peanut butter spice cookies from knead bakeshop in jacksonville murray hill
Try this twist on a classic lunchbox favorite. Added bonus? Your kitchen smells great while baking them.
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