Quite a lot has happened since we brought you the first ever Edible East Bay in October, not the least of which is that the seasons have turned from sunny and warm to moist and cool to downright wet and chilly. It seems only a few weeks ago that we were still slicing sumptuous heritage tomatoes into huge steaks for our sandwiches, and finding inventive ways to use the colorful little gypsy peppers that made a stand all the way into November. Bounteous leafy greens, citrus, apples, and honey-sweet winter squashes have taken their places on our tables, while homemade fruitcakes and jams have emerged from their gift-wrappings to satisfy our Winter cravings for sweets.
While the great wheel of the year was making this gradual and expected turn, an event unique to history occurred here in the Bay Area. We received a royal visitation from His Royal Highness Prince Charles Prince of Wales. This would not be significant were it not for what the Prince chose to do while he was here. On Monday, November 7, 2005, Prince Charles and his bride Camilla visited the San Francisco Ferry Building Market, where they acquainted themselves with two farmers whom we have interviewed in this Winter edition of Edible East Bay, Farmer Al Courchesne of Frog Hollow Farm and Rancher Douglas Stonebreaker of Prather Ranch. At the Ferry Building, Charles gave a speech before an audience of 300 business and civic leaders in which he set forth to the world the challenge of supporting sustainable development, while urging the United States to use its influence toward an agenda of environmental stewardship. The next day, Prince Charles and Camilla visited the Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, another project that we have featured in this issue. The royal couple could have visited any number of other places in the Bay Area that might have pleased them, but these are the things they chose to do.
Before I turn your attention to the stories we have gathered into these pages, I want to thank you for your enthusiastic response to our premier issue. When I put that first copy into the hands of friends and acquaintances, most remarked, “This is so beautiful. Is this really free?” I had the pleasure of saying, “Yes,” while adding that I feel honored to be participating in this very appealing contribution to our local dialogue about food. But I might also have pointed out that Edible East Bay, like all the Edible Communities publications across the country, is free because it is supported by advertising. Please join us in thanking our advertisers for helping make Edible East Bay possible, and then consider the convenience of setting up a yearly subscription. And last but not least, continue in your unflagging efforts to support the farmers, fishermen, herdsmen, artisans, and merchants who make the East Bay so deliciously edible.
Editor, Edible East Bay