In Our Spring 2017 Issue

Last Updated May 25, 2017
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spring 2017 issue


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.

The Air Out There

Air out there spring 2017
Lakeland’s foodie evolution is on display with cloud-like beignets and a similarly uplifting vibe People come to 801 E. Main St. in...


From a Single Seed spring 2017
Something remarkable is growing on an acre of land in Pinellas County. At first blush, one might assume it’s a typical urban farm. There are raised beds with thriving tomatoes, kale and carrots....


Brook St. Farms
While you are sleeping, an array of lettuce, kale and fresh herbs is growing in portable climate- controlled pods with the aid of nutrient-...

The Urban Homesteader: Coconut Delight

“I like coconuts. You can break them open. They smell like ladies lying in the sun.” – Widespread Panic Years ago, while on our honeymoon...

Quick Bites: Blueberry Season

BY MORGAN BURNETT Florida may claim the title of the country’s top producer of oranges, but the Sunshine State’s blueberries dominate the...

Q&A with Celina Mancurti: A Passion for Textiles

Celina Mancurti
Tampa textile designer Celina Mancurti grew up in Argentina in a crafty home where her mother made all the clothes for her and her four...


Toni Haynes Cajun Queen
New dinner ideas are always welcome, and they become even more valuable when they are accompanied by an explanation of the recipes and...
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