It was sometime in January that I first heard the Chickadees outside starting to say "Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger." Now you might have a different onomatopoeia for the noises I hear those silly birds making when spring is coming (and here, for that matter), but around my house, that's what we think they're saying.
Of course, you know where this story is headed. Sub-zero weather descended on the Northeast (and many other parts of the U.S.) once again and the birds quieted down. February came and with it a few feet of snow. Where were my harbingers of spring now?
Early this week, they once again raised their voices and chattered away. I couldn't help but wonder whether they know that Taproot ISSUE 9::BREATHE
is in the mail and making its way to subscribers. Do they know that the cover art features one of their feathered brethren in an amazing painting by our 2014 cover artist Geninne Zlatkis? Probably not. In fact, I'm not even sure if birds read magazines, but thankfully people do and this issue is one you won't want to miss.
With our first essay, you'll inhale the fresh air of the Swiss Alps with contributor Schirin Oeding in her elegant remembrance of a summer spent working on a dairy farm in an isolated village where seemingly every kind of outdoor work, moving animals, taking meals, mowing and gathering hay, must be done on an incline so steep that to drop anything round (like a water bottle) is to lose it to the mountain.
Further adventures await you in this issue's Head
section as you learn tips on traveling with children, see how a group of young farmers is engaging children in food production and share the experience of an aid worker in Afghanistan who finds that just focusing on her next breath can make any situation bearable.
Winter hands anxious to be busy with spring activities will welcome the bevy of crafts we've brought together. Learn the basics of creating your own herbal blends for aromatherapy and for warding off and recovering from the inevitable spring cold. Knit up the lovely shawl designed by Carrie Hoge.
With tantalizing photos and amazing recipes, Kirsten Shockey and Rikki Snyder will inspire you to become a "Fermentista," creating enticing beet kraut concoctions to eat by themselves or use in recipes, some where you might not expect it! When the day is done, Ashley English will help you to take a load off with tasty libations mixed using your own herb-infused liquors.
Whew, after all that, you'd think we were done, but there is even more in store for you in the Heart
section. Meredith Winn takes a moment to stop and consider the role of technology in children's lives. Phoebe Wahl and her sister Tobie jointly reminisce about a childhood forest visit, Phoebe in watercolors and collage, Tobie in words. Thorpe Moeckel writes in his unique way of his family's struggles with a house poisoned with mold spores. Julia Shipley brings us home with a poetic consideration of air and, in turn, breath.
With this issue, we are pleased to introduce a new artist, Jess X Chen, whose illustration "Gardening as an Act of Resistance"
(right) is available as a signed print in the Print Shop. It is joined there by Phoebe Wahl's "May Day"
watercolor (left), which was first seen in our 2014 Calendar (sadly, sold out, but watch for a 2015 calendar in the fall!).
I think you're really going to enjoy this issue. I hope that you've subscribed and yours is on the way. If you haven't subscribed
(or your subscription has lapsed), head on over to taprootmag.com
and we'll get a copy sent your way.