Letter from Publisher - MARCH 2020
When I was a young boy, each spring my brothers and I would turn over the soil in our vegetable garden with a pitchfork. We lived about 100 yards from Rovinski’s Farm, a small local farm where we worked for 25 cents an hour planting and picking a variety of vegetables, including corn, cucumbers, squash, potatoes, peppers and onions – which were sold from the farm stand on the corner of our street. It was our first real ‘job’, when we were no more than 10 years old.
There was no mass production farming at Rovinski’s; no spraying, no chemicals. I suppose it was all organically grown, although there were no signs or certifications promoting that fact. The field was tilled with a small tractor and a crew of dozens of mostly young kids would choose a row and plant the seeds or seedlings by hand. I remember the long rows, the bugs and hard work – both planting and picking.
We would gather in the plastic-encased greenhouse on payday and get paid cash for the week’s work. My memory is less about child labor in the 1960s and more about the prevalent availability of fresh, local produce in the community where I grew up.
This was all just five short decades ago, when fresh, local organic produce was obtained from our back yard or the farm stand on the corner. If we wanted corn for dinner, we’d walk into our garden or 50 yards down the block and pick up a fresh bushel from Rovinski’s and bring it home in a paper bag or bushel basket. Times have changed and continue to evolve as we move back toward self-grown or locally sourced, organic agriculture.
Many of us strive for a healthy balance in our diets, and are considering more plant-based options. This issue will empower you to develop local, plant-based nutrition alternatives, and it kicks off our new Plant-Based Health & Wellness section, where we also discuss the re-emergence of industrial hemp in Pennsylvania and the burgeoning CBD industry.
In the spirit of balance and inclusion within the midst of this intensely focused plant-based issue you’ll also find quality options for incorporating healthy, locally sourced meats into your diet, including Palmyra Real Food Emporium and our newest advertiser, Carwood Farm.
As hints of spring and sunshine bring hope for what lies ahead, remember to feel good, live simply and laugh more.