LT Welcome letter spring 2011

Spring!

It's hard to imagine a season that could be more welcome than spring this year! After a winter of ice, snow, and record-breaking cold temperatures, those first daffodils, budding trees, and shirt-sleeve afternoons are more precious than ever.

Here in Middle Tennessee spring also highlights the gifts from our farmers, markets, chefs, artisans, and advocates who are truly changing the way we shop, eat, and live-locally, regionally, sustainably-supporting and nurturing our selves, our families, our communities, and our Earth. It seems that there has been a paradigm shift this past year, putting us beyond the tipping point. Interest in local healthy food and farms has grown exponentially from being concentrated in a devoted, but relatively small following, to widespread enthusiasm that touches nearly everyone, as evidenced in the media, and the many opportunities you will find in this issue to shop at farmers' markets, visit farms, find great local and regional products at restaurants and stores, and become part of a community supported agriculture group, known as a CSA.

You can even find fabulous concoctions featuring local flavors right on some Nashville street corners, as Joe Nolan reports in his article on mobile food trucks. There is also something else very innovative being cooked up around here-read on to learn what Stephen Ornes discovered at a unique preschool where the chefs are getting younger every day. And if you are looking for a friendly place in downtown Nashville to stock up on all of your natural provisions, Anne Ross has the scoop on The Turnip Truck Urban Fare, specializing in local, regional, and sustainably produced food, household, and health products, all in an enticingly green environment.

Which reminds me-Earth Day is on the way, with great opportunities to celebrate and learn, including some big doin's downtown at the annual Centennial Park festival, and the Living Well Sustainable Marketplace, featuring the Green Business Summit, at the Nashville Convention Center. Learn more about these, and a slew of other local happenings, in our News Briefs, and the Events listings. And don't forget to visit localtable.net for updates and additions.

Whether you are just discovering the joys and benefits of eating local, growing your own, and supporting our local farmers, businesses, and economy, or have been on this wonderful path for years, welcome to this fresh spring issue of Local Table! Enjoy, and spread the word!

Karen Adler
Editor