Edible Bozeman

Letter from the Publisher: Summer 2024

Photo by Courtney Green

I hope this issue finds you eating your vegetables, with many of them having grown in our region. This year, despite some pretty serious snowfall late in the spring, our local growers have been busy offering fresh local products as early as May. With each passing week, local farmers and ranchers will harvest more of their bounty and offer it up to be enjoyed by the community.

It’s truly amazing to me that as winter wends its way through February and March, I forget the difference between food grown elsewhere that is sent to our snow-covered valley and those same types of fruits and vegetables that emerge from our region’s rich soil in the spring and summer. While I certainly feel fortunate that we can get fresh foods year-round, much of the available produce is harvested far too early in order to endure the travel time to reach us. This often results in a lower nutritional density and less vibrant flavor. So, when the local products emerge each spring, I experience a food awakening that harkens to plentiful summer pleasures to come.

This year, joy came when I got some Amaltheia Organic Dairy spinach from Bozeman’s Community Food Co-op. I had forgotten how delicious spinach is when grown in our valley’s soil. I ate a piece raw and decided against cooking any of it so that I could enjoy its unaltered flavor. I’ve been further astonished by the length of time our local bounty lasts in the refrigerator: A recent purchase of mixed lettuces grown by Chance Farm that I purchased at Primal Meat & Fish Market got put behind some other items in the fridge and was forgotten for a few days. Just as the guilt started to set in for having forgotten about the precious lettuces, as I was sure they would be destined for the compost bin, I pulled out the box to find the leaves still firm and ready to become salad for our dinner.

Because all our area’s products ripen later than they would in a region with a long growing season, I eagerly look forward to each new item as it emerges. This year Root Cellar Foods delivered asparagus from Terra Greens Produce, and it was fantastic: large, firm, and full of flavor. I immediately regretted not ordering more.

I hope this summer you’ll join me, gorging on the fresh vegetables coming from our Montana soil. Appreciate the fresh produce that has just been plucked from the ground because its availability is fleeting. Not too long from now, those fruits and veggies will be gone, our soil frozen and regenerating for another growing season next year. So for now, join me this joyful summer season and celebrate the stories of our local food heroes in this, our 21st, issue.

Jackie Page

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