Caring and connection might seem to be in short supply these days, but the folks featured in this summer issue convince us otherwise.
On Saturday mornings, in community gardens throughout North Texas, volunteer gardeners pick chard, radishes and other seasonal veggies that will go not into their own pantries, but into bins at local food banks. Writer Karel Holloway and photographer Teresa Ra di went to Coppell Community Gardens to meet some of these green-thumbed givers and to Metrocrest Social Services, where grateful recipients select from the harvest.
Family recipes are the ties that bind during Decoration Day at College Mound United Methodist Church in rural East Texas. is annual homecoming originated 133 years ago for the purpose of tidying the graveyard. Today, congregation members and their far- ung families gather around tables draped with checkered cloths to swap stories about departed loved ones while dishing out fresh-baked casseroles and sweets, favorites of Great Grandma and Grandpa. Writer Dotty Gri th’s story includes delicious photos by Andrew Vracin and heirloom recipes. (Also in this issue: new seasonal recipes by Meredith Steele and Ellise Pierce for creating your own summer gathering.)
A trip to N&P Farm and Dairy feels like a homecoming of sorts, thanks to Nana and Pop (aka Lyn and Steve Horton). Photographer Melinda Ortley and I have made several visits, and I’m starting to believe these good-natured dairy owners are my kin. (It would be just like the Taylor family to name twin goats the Skank Sisters.) Whatever your opinion of raw milk, ours is based on the Hortons’ dedication to the well-being of their animals and to their customers. Get to know your farmer and make informed choices— that’s our mantra.
As we connect with local farmers and dig our own backyard gardens, our commitment to the Earth deepens. Let’s be mindful of wastefulness, says Texas A&M Agrilife horticulturist Daniel Cunningham. One step toward achieving a zero-waste relationship with our food is to recycle discarded cooking scraps. In his story “Back to the Garden,” Daniel breaks down the composting process. (For visual inspiration, check out the illustration by local artist Krystal Read.)
Protecting the planet, honoring those who came before, caring for neighbors, strangers and creatures, large and small. In a world tilted by in ated egos, these sel ess acts seem revolutionary—and right.