Summer is solidly upon us and local food is suddenly everywhere. I don’t know about you, but I have an absolutely irrational response to it. Or, maybe, it’s completely natural. Instinctive, even. In the garden, I find myself standing beneath the cherry tree, popping fruit into my mouth in the middle of a meeting. At the farmers market, I stuff bags full of produce and try to incorporate veggies into every meal. This season, long-anticipated in the dead of Wisconsin winters, seems so short when we’re in the midst of it. With an eye toward fall, we can eat our fill now, while learning how to prolong and preserve summer’s bounty (for starters, check out “In a Pickle!” to learn what to do with all those cukes).
In the city of Milwaukee and the surrounding areas, food is emerging as a uniter and a catalyst for conversations, among people of all ages, creeds, and cultures.
The Edible Milwaukee team spent June and July in pursuit of local food and observed similar behaviors from folks coming from every walk of life. There’s something about having our hands in the dirt, or talking with a farmer, or gathering around a table, that helps bring us back to basics like how to grow plants and cook. Somehow, during this time of year, it’s just easier to recognize and embrace that tangible connection between us and our food. Whether you’re a gardener, a cook, a foodie, an urban homesteader… even if you haven’t adopted a label yet, there is something happening out there that makes us all appreciate our native food traditions – wherever we come from.
In this issue, you’ll be introduced to a green that unites two cultures in our city. You’ll learn about a very special Wisconsin heirloom fruit, which has become the symbol of a greater initiative encouraging a return to biodiversity. You’ll learn why, in the words of Venice Williams, one of our advisory panelists, a cultural reinvention of agriculture is needed, to heal old wounds and to empower our community.
In the city of Milwaukee and the surrounding areas, food is emerging as a uniter and a catalyst for conversations, among people of all ages, creeds, and cultures. The commitment to locally grown produce is coming from where you’d least expect it, in vacant city properties and ethnic groceries. New voices are cropping up all over; it’s been our pleasure to talk with them and give them a forum.