Publisher’s Letter

Noelle Celeste

When is something no longer young? Is it the day a lamb’s legs steady? The very young among us need our support as they find their footing, but how long does that take?

When you take a look around at the local food economy in Northeast Ohio, so much of what is happening is still so young. New farmers are joining the ranks every year. Small restaurants are popping up in neighborhoods near and far. A growing number of farmers markets, CSAs and food clubs are bringing farm-to-table home to our family meals. With all the attention local food is getting you’d think we were off and running.

Not so fast. Because though we are told the economy is recovering, family farms, artisan food producers and independent restaurants don’t have much to lean on in lean times. All they have is you and me. As people who want to see access to healthy, seasonal food continue to grow in Northeast Ohio, we need to keep looking for ways to support this young movement.

Want some inspiration? This season we look at an amazing collection of people: from Jean Mackenzie telling the story of 16 extraordinary women who lead Ohio’s artisan cheese industry creating tasty young cheeses from cow, sheep and goat’s milk; to the kids at New Creation Farm, whose daily chores help cultivate an incredible bounty that they share with those lucky enough to buy their products. We visit the kitchen of an everyday Mexican American family cooking a delicious traditional meal and Doug Trattner’s backyard as he takes the plunge into raising chickens. And Jen Craun, artist and mom, shares her family’s story of choosing to spend their food dollars locally, including investing in half a cow in their basement freezer.

Our theme this issue is our way of embracing springtime and our own youth (we mark our first anniversary with this issue). As freezing winds slowly thaw, the sun makes more frequent appearances and seedling plants begin to sprout, our hearts turn to the new season and excitement rises for what’s to come.

We’re growing something beautiful, and we’re glad you’re a part of it!

Noelle Celeste