March/April 2014 Publisher Letter

Welcome, March! What a winter we have had this year. I do love a good snow – the beauty, tranquility and fun it can bring. However, I am ready for spring, with its warmth, sunshine and freshness. All around, trees are budding, flowers are blooming, birds are chirping – nature is bursting with life and there is a wonderful sense of new beginnings that is both invigorating and inspiring! Spring also brings with it the promise of more fresh, local food options from area gardens, farms and restaurants. You can savor some of those tasty offerings at the inspiring restaurants highlighted in our Healthy Dining Guide.

The article Gardening with Spirit honors the miracle of nature present in a garden, and examines how a garden gives back to the gardener in many ways physical, emotional and spiritual. This spring, my family and I will try again at growing a backyard garden – a mix of raised beds and containers. We learned some valuable lessons from our noble attempt last year (nutrient-rich top soil is very important!), and we will adapt how and what we plant this time around in the hopes that more will grow. Regardless of the bounty, my goal is to enjoy the process – to slow down and fully engage in preparing the soil, planting the seeds, watering the plants, and pulling the weeds. By becoming more present in the act of gardening, I aspire to learn to be more present in other aspects of my life. Again, the garden gives back.

I invite you to join me in planting a garden this spring so you, too, can begin to enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of your labor. When it comes to growing or eating food, fresh, local, home-grown, organic and unprocessed are best for our bodies and our overall health. Roger Williams says it best, “Health requires healthy food.”

In this season of nourishing and growing, I wish you and yours a happy and healthy spring,

Jessica Coffey Natural Awakenings Richmond

Jessica Coffey, Publisher

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