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foodThotWin14It’s a new year, and with that we celebrate our 20th issue. It is a milestone not just for us but for the entire Sarasota, Charlotte, and Bradenton area community. Reflecting on the past 19 issues, quite a bit has happened. The journey of the last four years is your story.

This has all happened thanks to you, the people and organizations who have dug in, cooked, fished, organized, and sown the seeds for a better and more sustainable food future for our community and, in turn, our world. Local food deserves our attention but also offers cultural, environmental, economic, and health benefits—and did I mention that it tastes better? In each issue of Edible Sarasota we hope that you will be inspired to try new recipes, visit local businesses, and become an active, or more active, member of your local food community.

It’s that time of year for the Local Hero Awards. Here’s your opportunity to recognize the hard work your favorite food and farming organizations and businesses have put into championing farm-fresh, locally produced food in your community. Edible Sarasota’s annual Local Hero Awards are “people’s choice” awards, nominated and voted on by you, our readers, which make these awards all the more meaningful to the recipients. Visit our website to learn more and cast your votes. The winners will be profiled in the Spring issue of Edible Sarasota.

This issue is loaded with inspiration to start your new year. One of the most powerful experiences for me was watching the fourth- and fifth-grade students from Southside Elementary School share a meal with their families at Eat Here Restaurant on Siesta Key. As I looked around the room, I watched families gathering around the table to reconnect and to enjoy local alternatives to fast food. Young students learning about where wholesome food comes from, celebrating their harvest, and exploring new flavors. Cultivating a passion and dedication, strengthening local economy through food culture was at the top of the agenda.

We need to teach more children how to grow, prepare, and share fresh food and in turn become active participants in their food choices. Each recipe celebrated the flavor of the delicious varieties of fruits and vegetables all grown at their school garden. A big thank you to Sean Murphy, owner of Eat Here, for hosting these families for such a special evening.

So as we celebrate our 20th issue, we say thank you—to our readers, writers, photographers, friends, advertisers, partners, and others—for joining us at the table.

Here’s to a delicious new year!

Tracy Freeman–Editor

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