In Our Spring 2017 Issue
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
I absolutely love this issue’s cover image. Those dirty hands (and arms!), the spark of mischief in his eyes, the confident chomp on that curly kale leaf. The photo quickly transports me to my childhood, flooding my mind with images of my grandparents’ garden, bringing back the fresh flavor of the snap beans I’d pop into my mouth straight from the vine, the rich scent of the loamy earth baking in the hot sun, my grandmother’s soft drawl reminding me to put at least a few beans in the basket.
I hope you have memories like that. Even more, I want as many children as possible to have the opportunity to create those kinds of memories. To understand how food grows, to have a hand in growing it, to taste – literally – the fruits of their labors and to feel empowered by what they can make happen.
Luckily, we have people in our community accomplishing that. Ashley Rhodes-Courter, who has taken her personal experience and applied it to her Foundation for Sustainable Families, an organization focused on helping families remain self-sufficient, is one of them. Grow Together and the Sustainable Family Farm, which we highlight in this issue (From a Singe Seed, page 18) are offshoots (pun intended) of that mission.
Also in this issue, you will meet Shannon O’Malley and Bradley Doyle, owners of Brick Street Farms in St. Petersburg. The couple is working hard to grow hyper-fresh produce 24/7 in a portable, controlled environment (Growing Up at Brick Street Farms, page 22). And join us in downtown Lakeland at 801 E. Main St., where you will be served beignets, coffee and an eclectic spirit, on full view weekends, when live music joins the party (The Air Out There, page 14).
Circling back to that idea of creating memorable experiences for the next generation, I’ll be doing my part in the coming weeks, taking the kids on a little adventure to pick blueberries at one of the area farms listed in our Quick Bites section (page 6). I fully expect there will be more blueberries in my three-year-old’s belly than in his bucket, though – like my grandmother – I’ll try to gently remind him that we’d like to take some home, too.