Summer 2020 Issue

By Teresa Politano / Photography By | Last Updated July 04, 2020
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Planting beets at Cherry Grove Organic Farm, Lawrence Township.


When lockdown began, I dreamt of Thanksgiving. My children were coming home. In my dream, the sun was bright and my neighbors carried canoes to the river for a pleasant excursion.

Later in the pandemic, I dreamt of death. The people and creatures in my care were suddenly gone and I could do nothing to save them.

Now I do not dream.

I do know that it requires courage to be optimistic. And I also know that the the people we feature in Edible Jersey are stewards. They care for the earth, the sea, the ingredients. They feed us. What could be more essential? In this special issue, we mark this year’s unprecedented change, which is captured so well in our poignant cover photo. We share a story of heartbreak and hope by chef and author Maricel E. Presilla, on page 14. We share the voices of farmers working to pivot in a new economic reality, on page 18. And ecologist Carolle Huber urges us to create a better earth, one backyard at a time, on page 16. Our Farmers’ Market Guide, always a necessary resource but even more so now, is on page 25.

For all that we share, death—and pain—remain private. I tried to capture my thoughts in this micro essay, “Tests.”


Every morning I touch my head because I might have a fever.

Yesterday I couldn’t find my purse. Who needs a purse?

My daughter threw us out of the kitchen to bake banana bread. She couldn’t find a bread pan, so she used a pie tin. We didn’t have oil, so she used butter.

My husband wore a mask to buy the bananas. Did someone sneeze on the bananas?

Butter is good.

My mother in Pennsylvania delivers produce from the food bank to her neighbors. She is 82.

Now the food bank is closed.

“What will happen?”

“Do you have a fever?”

My brother in Louisiana ran out of milk. He bought some cows.

My sister in Wisconsin doesn’t answer her phone.

I don’t keep a journal because I will remember too much already.

  SUPPORT OUR MISSION: A Message from Edible Jersey  

For 14 years, Edible Jersey has celebrated the Garden State’s food community. We believe locally sourced, sustainable food matters to our health, to our lives, to our communities, and to the future of the world around us. Never has it been more apparent that a local food system is critical to our environment and food security.

For all these years, our advertisers have made it possible for us to bring you the magazine you hold in your hands, free of charge. We ask that you return the favor, now more than ever, by supporting their businesses.

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Jamie Bartolacci is a freelance art director and illustrator. A Jersey Shore girl at heart, she lives in Jersey City with her smushed face...

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