Grist for the Mill: July 2014

“There are certain things you must learn on your own. The desert is unpredictable, enigmatic. One minute you will be smelling dust. The next, the desert can smell just like rain.”

—Gary Paul Nabhan

July 1, 2014

Coyote TalkingIssue 7: July/August 2014
The first issue of Edible Baja Arizona

The first issue of Edible Baja Arizona

As we go to press with this seventh issue, we’re expectant about more than just the start of our second year of publishing. By the time the magazine hits the streets in early July, we’re hopeful the unrelenting heat will begin to give way with the coming of the summer rains, bringing the desert to life.

And we are excited indeed about starting our second year. The humbling success of Edible Baja Arizona during our first year is—we firmly believe—a reflection of the amazing vibrancy of what’s going on here in the local food movement, in many ways. Although we know we have a long way to go toward our goal of “re-localizing our foodshed,” we see hopeful and exciting signs of change everywhere. I offer our never-ending gratitude to our nearly 250 advertisers, whose patronage of Edible Baja Arizona makes this magazine a reality. Please make it a point to patronize them and thank them for their support.

And special thanks to our core staff, all of whom work like dogs to bring you the magazine: Jared McKinley, associate publisher, pedals around town with a tenacious passion, connecting local businesses with the magazine as advertising partners, helping plan editorial content, doing distribution, and taking care of many details that make the business work. Megan Kimble, managing editor, has been a rock solid foundation of organization, exceptional reporting and writing talent, and is a deft hand at editing our stories, working with our writers and photographers, and handling the many logistical challenges of putting out a magazine. Steve McMackin, art director, has brought a level of enthusiasm, mastery, and creativity to our design and production that is truly awesome in its breadth. His work builds on the great foundation laid by Serena Tang, who was instrumental in making the magazine a joy to read during our first several issues. And, as always, Gary Nabhan has been a constant source of ideas, connections, critique, humor, and an invaluable perspective that helps to inform everything we do here. My sincere thanks to all—and to the many, many collaborators who help us create this celebration of Baja Arizona every eight weeks. There’s much more to come!

Summer is synonymous with a lot of things, perhaps, but getting outside for a picnic—and out of the heat—is a must. Amy Valdés Schwemm and friends take a movable feast to the cool heights of Mount Lemmon, documented by Steven Meckler’s wonderful photographs.

Ken Lamberton, who wrote the book Dry River: Stories of Life, Death, and Redemption on the Santa Cruz, goes up in a plane with photographer Jeff Smith to trace the route of the Santa Cruz River from its headwaters north to the Gila River. The trip, he says, provided the perspective of continuity—free of the distractions of going overland—and of the connection we all have with water in the desert. The Santa Cruz has sustained people for 13,000 years and enabled agriculture in this valley for more than 4,000 years.

Foodie Fleet is an innovative food truck owned by Kylie Rogers and Adam Dick, who are fiercely committed to locally sourcing everything they possibly can—a huge task for any food operation, but especially precarious for a food truck given the unpredictability of sales. Moses Thompson goes across the border to capture the elusive spirit of Ambos Nogales at La Roca el Balcon, a restaurant nestled into cliffs in downtown Nogales, Sonora.

And as always, there’s much, much more to discover. We’ll see you around the table. Thank you for being a reader. Onward into Year 2!

Doug Biggers

—Douglas Biggers, editor and publisher

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Issue 7 Release Party at Hotel Congress this Saturday, 7-9pm

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