As we looked up at the cloudy sky and sniffed the air, my husband commented, “It must be raining somewhere.”
Rain is part of the hydrologic cycle of energy that we call "weather." As water evaporates from the surface of our earth, it must just as assuredly fall, somewhere.
And there are pauses in the cycle. There are dry cycles and wet cycles. But timing is everything when your livelihood depends on water falling back to earth to grow the crops that feed your family and nourish your business when your business is farming. May marked the seventh month of the driest seven-month period on record for Central Texas over the past 150 years. As frustrating as it is to watch the home garden wither and the ants crawling out of the woodwork in search of moisture, nothing can compare to what a farmer goes through in periods of drought. It makes the hard work of farming harder.
What can we do to help our local food producers weather these periods of uncertainty? Buy your food directly from the farms and farmers markets. They need your support and your food dollars more than ever. The berries may be smaller (but no less sweet!) and the peaches may not be as plentiful, but there will be food to buy and it will be delicious.
Remember that when you buy directly from farmers, 100 percent of your money goes to them. And there are more farmers markets and farm stands than ever before throughout Central Texas making it more convenient to shop on multiple days during the week and close to home. Find up-to-date listings on our website resources pages. And Kristi Willis gives us farmers market shopping tips (page 26) to help you make the most of your experience.
Also find great summer-season recipes in this issue and online to inspire your market shopping. Slow smoke a pork shoulder from local, pastured pigs (recipe by Edible Piedmont publisher Fred Thompson on page 62) to make your own mouth-watering pulled pork sandwiches. Follow Elif Sevili’s lead using seasonal vegetables like eggplant and tomatoes to make a simple—and mostly vegan—summer party menu (page 52). Buy local melons for that picnic in the park.
Think of other ways to celebrate summer! Join us for a honey-themed five-course supper at Springdale Farm on Sunday, June 5, featuring Chef Will Packwood and Rohan Meadery (page 49) and help us raise money for bee research. Find more fun and educational food events on our online calendar.
In these dry times, perhaps we can take comfort in realizing that we are inescapably part of this larger circle of cycles we call life. Rains will come again, likely in new patterns we have yet to recognize but to which we will learn to adapt.