Edible Berkshires

Letter from the Publisher Winter 2012

It’s that time of year again when we prepare for what we hope won’t be a harsh or too long a winter.

The farmers have completed their fall cleanup, putting the fields to bed for the winter, stripping and preparing the greenhouses—if they are lucky enough to have those—for the limited winter growing. They gather up grazing animals from borrowed or rented fields and prepare to hunker down until spring. For Edible Berkshires, this is our first winter issue.

Deciding what to serve up in this issue presented us with a new opportunity: a chance to hopefully catch your attention and some of your down time as you go through the holidays and into the New Year.

You know the wonderful farmers’ markets that supply us with an abundance of fresh food—literally the fruits of our farmers’ labors. Some know those farmers, and maybe a few know their stories.

We thought this would be a good opportunity to offer our readers a little more insight into what the farmers do to keep their farms running and sustainable.

In “Plowing the Way to a New Crop of Farmers” (page 26) and “Bread and Butter” (page 20), we tried to shine a light on the reality of their businesses, as they are in fact businesses.

In “Growing Farmers” (page 24) and “Growing Interest in Agriculture” (page 28), an interview with Massachusetts Commissioner of Agriculture Greg Watson, we touch upon what the private and government sectors are trying to do to give those interested in agriculture a leg up to get started.

Of course we would be remiss if we didn’t address that all-important winter pastime, eating! In “Comfort Food” (page 10) and “Now That’s Italian” (page 16) we whet your appetite.

Although no one likes to make a mistake, we all know that it sometimes happens; I’m heartened to know that many of you are trying our recipes, reading our stories and looking at the photos.

So a few corrections are in order, from our Summer 2012 issue: In the zucchini brownies recipe on page 25, that ¼ stick of butter should have been ½ stick (2 ounces) and the 4 tablespoons of apple sauce should be added to the wet ingredients. Thanks to Arlene Tolopko of Otis for calling that to our attention.

Also in the Fall issue, thanks to Russ Cohen (www.users.rcn.com/eatwild) for pointing out that the mushroom pictured on page 13“…is called a bolete, but not a porcini. Porcinis have an olive-yellow spongy layer on the bottom of the cap; the one shown has orange-red color.”

I offer a special thanks to all who I meet while traveling these beautiful Berkshire Hills who take a moment to tell me how much you enjoy Edible Berkshires. I sincerely wish our readers a happy, stimulating, productive, sustainable and, most of all, a healthy New Year!