Grist for the Mill
Back when thousands of spring magazines arrived to my garage on March 20, I felt disoriented and perplexed.
The magazine seemed a traveler from the way back machine. Stay-at-home orders, shuttered schools, businesses, and restaurants, absent friends and family, contagion and death or the prospect of such—and their accompanying tumult of thoughts and emotions—swirled around me by then. The magazine lived on, silent and oblivious to the new reality. Now it’s summer. And here we are.
Wracked not only by the novel coronavirus but also, now, by the murder of George Perry Floyd, my world has changed. While these reverberate as global and national changes, here in Grist my focus is on a small world, mine as publisher of Edible Shasta-Butte. Now I pretty much stay at home. I do dependably make trips out to pick up vegetables and milk from a local farm and dairy and to pick up bread, fruit, and flowers from the farmers’ market. I also make weekly trips to drop off my household’s compost. These trips, which I once considered good fortune, I now view as extremely essential. This moment requires food security, which means sourcing food close to home, which recommits me to the magazine’s mission: telling the stories of local farmers and producers in order to encourage you to support local food. Edible Shasta-Butte can and will do that more vehemently.
We—read I—have a long way to go so that more, diverse voices present in this magazine, and I pledge to move that way. I ask your help. If you have suggestions or want to write for the magazine, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and/or watch these pages and hold me accountable. Silence is violence.
In this magazine, Niki Brown’s “Sense of Place” about summer on her family’s farm most explicitly discusses Covid-19 stay-at-home orders and mentions George Floyd’s murder. “Plant, Paint, Eat, Repeat” contains the work of artists who used their quarantime to produce the art in its pages. Jeremy Miller’s “How to Train Your Spider” reminds me of the reading I’ve indulged in, bidding goodnight to whatever inhabits my sequestered days and settling in for a peaceful night’s sleep. And, of course, the summer issue’s recipes can embellish your kitchen skills and productions, as these moments, more than usual, seem to call for.
One ask—additional to the one under the fan of magazines above—is to visit your favorite small and local restaurants. I’ve read that, nationally, 40% or more of them will not survive the pandemic. You can improve their chances by ordering takeout and, if you’re comfortable, eating outside at their patios or inside where seating has been halved. Show them some love, if you can.
Candace Byrne, Publisher