I hope you’re sitting down right now. I’d like to imagine you gliding back and forth on a cozy porch swing. You’re holding this magazine in one hand and an icy Mason jar in the other. Then again, you might be stretched out on a hammock under a canopy of shade trees and blue skies.
A few puffs of rain clouds (we need those!) are in the distance and the aroma of savory smoke is wafting from a nearby grill.
Welcome to summer and the beginning of Edible Dallas & Fort Worth magazine’s sixth year of publication. If you’ve included us in your stack of leisure reading material, we’ll take that as affirmation that we’re doing something right.
Every season, a unique mix of subjects and storytellers come together on our pages, and the time spent getting to know these incredible people is the best part of my job. At a spring symposium sponsored by Foodways Texas in College Station, I shared a weekend with many who are included in this issue.
Along with writer Sarah Junek (“Seed Stories”), I got to know Dallas business consultant Lareatha Clay, the driving force behind the 1st Annual Texas Purple Hull Pea Festival. Lareatha’s ancestors, Jim and Winnie Shankle, founded the freedmen’s community of Shankleville, where the Purple Hull Pea festivities will take place on June 21.
I spent time with Brenham farmer Brad Stufflebeam, who was part of an insightful discussion, moderated by Susie Marshall of GROW North Texas, about the terms “local” and “organic.” Brad told us about his great grandfather Dominic Antonio Defino, who Sarah has included in her story about heirloom seeds.
Also at the conference were Eat the Yard’s Steve Smith and James Jeffers, who spoke passionately about urban farming. These veterans turned farmers have a noble plan for healing other returning soldiers. Frank Johnson’s story details where they’ve been and what they hope to accomplish.
Traveling the back roads home, photographer Kelly Yandell and I stopped to tour the flowering orchards of Lightsey Farms in Mexia, where sisters Mary Lightsey King and Lisa Lightsey Hadden are carrying on their father’s legacy. Learn more about their beautiful family farm in Kim Pierce’s story.
Besides her photography, Kelly has contributed an intriguing profile of Mason Arnold, the founder of Greenling.com, whose eco-minded company offers farm-to-table deliveries. Writer/farmer Marshall Hinsley offers an informative piece on watermelons. Included in the layout is a full-page shot of 84-year-old Kenneth Hopson taken on the Glen Rose square by photographer Richard Adams. Samantha Rebstock of Rhineland Farm is arranging Mr. Hopson’s autograph party at his retirement center.
What could be more fun than canning at historic Luscombe Farm with Robert and Kaci Lyford of Patina Green Home and Market, Leslie Luscombe and photographer Melinda Ortley? Read our story, then gather some friends together and give it a try.
For the little ones, check out Rita Cook’s suggestions on local farm and garden camps. With the kids off having fun, you can stretch out on that hammock and dive into this magazine. We’d like to introduce you to some fascinating folks.