Low Summer 2008

A few words from our editor Brian Halweil and publisher Stephen Munshin.

K.K. Haspel gathers cosmic energy in a biodynamic preparation, Southold.

K.K. Haspel gathers cosmic energy in a biodynamic preparation, Southold.

Eating isn’t traditionally taught in schools. So perhaps it’s fitting that, with kids now out for summer and looking for things to do, this issue tells the stories of a number of people trying to reacquaint children with their food. The stories also offer ample possibilities for the youngster (and chaperone) with time to spare.

Still looking for a summer camp? Consider one of the weeklong programs at the Suffolk County Farm, just off the L.I.E. in Yaphank, where each year 20,000 school kids roam the sprawling grounds, commune with farm animals, and learn how eggs become chickens, when tomatoes are ripe, and how compost happens.

How about catching “Vegetables’ Destiny,” perhaps the world’s first locavore puppet show, which debuts at Goat on a Boat puppet theatre in Sag Harbor on June 26? “You don’t want to humanize the vegetable but you have to tell the story,” says puppeteer Liz Joyce. “It was grown from a seed and it lived a whole season and we should give reverence to that.”

Such educational opportunities aren’t limited to kids.

In an essay that should enlighten parents and children alike, a Ross School senior tells us why her school offers the best lunch in the Hamptons and what it taught her about healthy eating. And Ross isn’t the only East End school raising the bar for lunch ladies.

And, whether he’s teaching students how to construct sushi, dim sum, or local roasted duck, chef Steven Biscari-Amaral of Black Tie Caterers in Mattituck, advises going local because the best ingredients are “available on our doorstep.”

So, attend a wine symposium, get to know your cheesemonger, join a CSA, and learn what crops are in season, if only to mix better Greenmarket cocktails.

“Ask lots of questions and step outside of your comfort zone,” our wondering winemaker advises, noting that it’s the restless, curious winemakers who craft the best wine. “You begin to understand what you like and why and can appreciate what you don’t. This is when you learn.”

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Brian is the editor in chief of Edible East End, Edible Long Island, Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn. He writes from his home in Sag Harbor, New York, where he and his family tend a home garden and oysters. He is also obsessed with ducks, donuts and dumplings.