Editor’s Letter Fall 2017

Fall has arrived, and we’re so ready!

We’ve been ready for a while now. With every new Edible Dallas & Fort Worth, we spend months thinking about what’s coming—to farmers markets, to our gardens and our plates. Like farmers, we watch the seeds of our story ideas grow from interview to page and into the hands of our readers.

Sowing seeds is a common theme here, and we especially appreciate those who sow seeds of change—the innovators who seek solutions. Like the State Fair of Texas’ Creative Director Jason Hays and Greenhouse Manager Drew Demler. When challenged by State Fair President Mitchell Glieber to strengthen community ties, the duo devised an ingenious mobile farm to grow vegetables for their Fair Park neighbors. To learn why it’s a gift that keeps giving, read Rick Baraff ’s story (p. 35), and then check out the Big Tex Urban Farms’ display planters when visiting the fair September 29-October 22.

Brighter Bites (p. 18), a nonprofit that distributes fresh food to underserved families, was nurtured into existence by Houston mom Lisa Helfman, whose family’s eating habits changed after joining a food co-op. Brighter Bites, celebrating its fifth anniversary, is now in 70-plus schools in Austin, Dallas and Houston. Photographer Teresa Rafidi and I visited L.O. Donald Elementary to watch parent volunteers and Brighter Bites staff in action as they distributed 430 bags of fresh produce, donated by the North Texas Food Bank. It was a sight to behold!

Writer Kim Pierce and photographer Teresa Rafidi’s “Hooked on Aquaponics” (p. 40) tells of local innovators growing food without soil (hydroponics) using the added element of fish farming. (Fish waste enhances the water.) Featured are Profound Microfarms’ Jeff Bednar and family with mentor Jay Lamb, and DFW Aquaponics Farms’ David Cohen and Loretta Messinger. Once used by the Aztecs, aquaponics is touted as being the most eco-efficient way to farm with limited resources.

Also in this issue: Kim and photographer Desiree Espada visited C&J Farms (p. 29) where the Gibson and Tyler families create spice blends from organic herbs. For Notable Edibles, Kim chatted with farmers market priestess Amanda Vanhoozier, whose new blog Just Picked TX, is a must-read for fresh food lovers, and with the family of 85-year-old Ina Mae Richards, who has turned her barbecue sauce recipe into a Grapevine Farmers Market hit.

Emily Loving interviewed and photographed one of our favorite subjects, 88-year-old Fort Worth chef Walter Kaufmann, who recently retired as Chef Consultant and Ambassador for FreshPoint. In Notables, learn why “Everybody Loves Walter.” Also notable, The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden’s stunning new 3.5 acre vegetable garden, A Tasteful Place, opening October 3 with lots of classes and events in the works. Finally, don’t miss Ellise Pierce’s ode to sweet potatoes, and a slew of fantastic recipes by both Ellise and James Beard Cookbook Award finalist Terry Thompson-Anderson.

Whether bringing food to a food desert, finding solutions for a resource-challenged environment, or simply bringing a recipe, website or magnificent garden into existence, this issue’s subjects inspire us to seize opportunities, create goodwill and dream ideas that move the world forward!

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Edible Dallas & Fort Worth is a quarterly local foods magazine that promotes the abundance of local foods in Dallas, Fort Worth and 34 North Texas counties. We celebrate the family farmers, wine makers, food artisans, chefs and other food-related businesses for their dedication to using the highest quality, fresh, seasonal foods and ingredients.