Summer Solstice 2022
This Summer Solstice marks the two-year anniversary of this journal. We have grown so much. I have learned so much. This is our 9th issue. We made it to Volume 3, and on this beautiful, first day of Summer, I am filled with gratitude to all of you who support us, who read what we share, and who have believed in us from the beginning.
This issue is full of beautiful, powerful, moving content made available to the public for free in the hope it will educate, entertain, and inspire others to think about the importance of nature and the value of having a connectedness to the food we eat.
We have had struggles, but our successes seem to have far outweighed them. Right now, the second volume of our print annual, due out this September, is underway. And for the first time, we will have a presence at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. We now have a global reach, and this year, our online journal’s stats have nearly tripled. Like my good friend, the Maple tree next to our house, I feel our growth is slow but steady, and hopefully, we are building a foundation that will help us last for years to come. I am so grateful to all of you who support this journal through Patreon, our Etsy shop, or by sharing with others the essays, stories, or poems that speak to you.
In the two years since this journal launched, I have learned so much about what I hope for with it. I have learned to be brave. I have learned what I want to give a voice to. I have learned that I feel a responsibility to address both the good things and the tough things, and I am especially grateful to the writers who are willing to share their voices, to put themselves out there, in order to educate both hearts and minds.
This issue features a short poem by a Ukrainian author that says everything and will break your heart. This issue features a short essay and poem by my husband about farming, guns, death, and gun control. It’s a poem that he wrote 20 years ago. It was just about 10 years ago that I asked a poetry professor to look at it because it was a poem that haunted me and seemed brilliant. “It’s the kind of poem that should win the Pulitzer,” he said. “But it will never get published,” he continued. He told me my best bet would be to start a journal and publish it myself. When I started this journal two years ago, I told my husband, “well, sadly, it’s not the kind of journal that will be able to publish your poem.” He just laughed about it, never expecting his poem to go anywhere anyway. But when Uvalde happened, he was out in the garden one evening and said to me “I have an idea I want to pitch to you, dear editor.”
I don’t know how to change the world to be the way I think it should be, but I sure have it in me to try. With this issue, I envision a world where we talk about the tough issues and face them head on. I envision a world where we come together to do better for our planet and for ourselves. I envision a future where we learn from the generations that came before us, instead of brushing them aside, about what it takes to be self sufficient and to get through hard times.
This issue features writers from the U.S., Scotland, India, and the Philippines; it features writers from across generations. It struck me as I was putting this issue together that we have so much in common, so much to come together for. Our food, our families, our hopes give us common ground.
Happy Summer Solstice, everyone!
In This Issue
“Message in a Bottle (War Diary)” (poetry) by Lana M. Rochel
“The Song Quilt” by Katharyn Privett-Duren
“Sestina: The Bullet Sons” (poetry) by James Sands
“Canning Safety: The Science of Safe ‘Putting By'” by Jj Starwalker
“Hyphae” poetry by Rahana K. Ismail
“Early Morning” (poetry) by Linda Bridges
“Death by Potato or All Hail the Chip (plus recipes)” by Lauren Kessler
“Honoring the Hands that Bring Our Food to the Table” by Michelle Goering
“Potato Planting” (poetry) by Erica M. Breen
“Caring for Your Flock in the Summer Heat” by Crystal Sands
“Smoke” (poetry) by James Fajarito
“Life Lessons from Lepidopterans” by Susan Cheatham
“Preserving Memories” by Alma Barkman