Do you garden? With our growing community of edible food enthusiasts, we figure there are many gardeners among us. Admittedly, our springtime enthusiasm rarely results in the autumn garden we envisioned. At the start of every season, we pull weeds and till with gusto. We plant and nurture our favorites—as much for the experience as for the actual harvest. Ahh, but the weeds that thrive in summer’s heat always seem to get the best of us, and by the season’s end we’ve all but given up, dreaming of next year’s possibilities. Thankfully our local farmers have more resolve than we do and are equipped to fight the good fight against weeds, providing all of us with beautiful, tasty, and nutritious produce.
In this issue our writers explore very different local growing scenarios: a school garden, a volunteer-supported food pantry farm, an established family farm providing inspiration for a young family, a seed saving initiative, and a few market vendors growing to larger scale production. Different growers with different purposes, all striving to provide healthy, delicious, and nutritious food for all.
Join Lee Manahan as he visits with Marshfield school children tending their own school gardens and learning what it takes to “make food.” Using potatoes as the tool, children discover the seed origins of their much-loved French fries and mashed potatoes. Karen Covey gardens with volunteers at Sharing the Harvest Community Farm, a Dartmouth YMCA initiative. Imagine the volunteer hours it takes to tend to 35,000 seedlings from planting to harvest! Since the Farm’s inception in 2006 they’ve managed to harvest over 207,000 pounds of fresh produce, providing almost a million servings to those in need.
Mike Gioscia interviews straight-talker Janisse Ray, a Connecting For Change featured speaker, about her passion for seed saving and clean food. He also shares how her passion for seed saving has inspired a young local grower.
Our newest writer, Jessica Bradley, experiences a priceless afternoon harvesting tomatoes along side her enthusiastic young son. With guidance from the family of growers at Elliot Farm, they just may have sprouted an aspiring farmer!
Another edible favorite, Julia Powers, provides a behind-the-scene glimpse into the experience of three popular market vendors as they scale up production to reach more customers. Whether you farm, garden, or live vicariously through others who do, we hope you draw inspiration from the articles and photos in this issue.
Laurie Hepworth & Michael Hart