Have you ever wondered how certain people have the courage to jump out of their comfort zone, start a new life, and actually thrive? Have you ever wanted to be that person? Or maybe you already are. All around us, dedicated individuals, couples, and families are living on the fringe of what society would consider the “norm.” They’re chasing—and, many times, attaining—a dream for a better life, a better community, and a better planet, all by the actions and convictions they choose to embrace.

Life “on the fringe” used to conjure up images of criminal notoriety and social outcasts. These days, however, it seems to relate more to an ideal of living a fully sustainable existence, living local and off the land, and living on the fringe economically. The commonality is that people in this edition who live on the fringe do so to live their truth in a responsible and mindful manner. Wow! That’s refreshing!

In this issue, you’ll meet the unique and extraordinary among us who strive for a better quality of food, a more meaningful life, and a sustainable environment in creative and different ways. Through their stories, we learn the ins and outs of how yesterday’s dreams became today’s reality.

From an alpaca breeder and goat cheese maker to learning how to be a self-reliant gardener and how true love sparked the birth of Skinny Dip Farm, the individuals and businesses will inspire you to move a little closer to the edge and embrace your dreams. We also dig into how the high cost of land affects local farmers and learn how two brewers, one coffee and one beer, shed their office jobs to strike out on their own. Cranberries—the crop, the history of 19th century workers, and new bog-to-table dining options—take a bow in this issue as well.

All of these people and more are squarely centered in the belief that being true to oneself ultimately benefits our planet and, subsequently, its inhabitants. We know there are more of you out there, and that there are some of you who want to live more “on the fringe.” These stories will give you plenty of fodder, information, and inspiration to push the envelope and get out of your comfort zone.

If we learn anything from this group of “fringers,” it is to dream big, think anything is possible, and embrace your True North. It may not be an easier life in some respects, but it will be wildly fulfilling, and you’ll never have to say “what if.”

Terry Vandewater, Assistant Editor

Eat thoughtfully,

Laurie Hepworth & Michael Hart