compostpartySometimes I wonder if I’m having too much fun at work. It’s like the efforts of these earthworms: They happily burrow through the murky rubble, digesting it for three months. Then they come up to the surface and announce that they’re done, looking around to see who is ready to appreciate what they’ve made and hoping it might be … well … especially useful!

And indeed, that’s one of the things we learned from the responses of the thoughtful readers who participated in our Edible East Bay year-end reader survey. Every time we look for such feedback, we hear that you really do appreciate all the useful information we pull together. You like the recipes and other DIY ideas, the advice on where to go to shop, to learn, and to eat. And you love, love, love the artwork from our talented local artists.

One gratifying piece of information we get again and again is that, in spite of all the hype about the death of print publishing, you still love to have this paper magazine in hand. Most survey takers said they do not use our website a whole lot­, but these same print-loving folk troubled themselves to go online to tell us that!

We’re actually looking forward to lots more of our readers spending time here online this spring interacting with our handy new guide to community-supported agriculture (CSA), which is intended to help you learn about the many fantastic CSA options available to East Bay consumers. View the guide here and enjoy the graphics by artist Lila Volkas, who drew the vermicompost pile above and illustrated our article on compost.

Quite a few survey takers said they did not know about our 20-month-old e-newsletter, so bear with me as I repeat the information that’s also here on this page in large letters: East Bay Appetizer comes to your email in-box twice a month and is always filled with late-breaking news and events, recipes from our community, cookbook reviews, and other tidbits. Please sign up!

***
As the finishing touches were being put on this issue, I was struck by how the subject of food waste wove its way quietly through several parts of our reporting. I know I’m not alone in the struggle to remain optimistic despite the hovering threat of climate change and the worsening drought, and while scientists studying the environment don’t necessarily see the two as directly linked, the drought is certainly requiring immediate adaptations in our local lifestyle. Contributing editor Rachel Trachten’s article on food waste this issue got my antenna up about how much more successful we could be in addressing the local and the planetary crises mentioned above if we could more effectively deal with our trash. Her article points to solutions that make sense for the health of people and the environment we live in. I hope you will make a special point of reading it.

Happy spring,
Cheryl Angelina Koehler
Editor and publisher