We are proud to announce the January/February 2020 Issue is here! We will be adding new articles to the website over the next month but be sure to pick up the print version at a nearby FLX business. Or you can read the PDF version online now. Here’s a letter from our managing editor:
In the middle of my sixth-grade year, to my horror, my dad moved our family out to the countryside of Hector to start a fruit and vegetable farm. I had just received the freedom of walking to school by myself and then I got shipped out to the boonies—with what felt like the longest bus ride to school every day.
For the first few years my sister and I were the only farm employees—and we loathed our jobs. Planting, weeding, harvesting and selling produce was hard and boring, and none of the other kids we knew were farm kids. It didn’t seem like our family was getting rich, so I couldn’t understand why my dad chose such a stressful, labor-intensive line of work. As soon as I could, I moved out, relieved to be free of my duties.
I’m older now and I haven’t done a farm chore in many years, but—in a big surprise to me—my hatred for my dad’s career has simmered into something more like fascination, and my teenage rage of being part of a family farm has morphed into appreciation. Now much of my work life includes promoting local farm, food and artisan businesses and telling the stories of people on the front lines of our local food movement. And it is work that I love.
I still don’t fully understand why a person chooses to become a farmer—with the backbreaking labor, dirt, cold, heat, bugs and uncertainty of ever turning a profit—but I do know that I want to celebrate those people. I’m proud to introduce you to our January/February issue, where we dive into how these farmers and producers help us eat local all year round. We’re here to squelch the false narrative that farm-fresh food is only available in the warmer months. This issue is testament that we’ve got it good all four seasons: Just look at our squash recipes, Lemberger wine list, potato farmer profile (I got to interview my dad!) and our feature on a farm-to-table meal kit delivery service to see just how exciting, delicious and local winter can be.
So cheers and thank you to all those farmers out there in the “slow season” (I know your work never really ends). To the rest of you: Settle into winter in upstate New York, and enjoy these stories.
This article originally appeared in the Jan/Feb 2020 edition of the magazine.