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Early Summer 2022: The Good Life

What constitutes the good life is subjective and, as the stories in our new issue suggest, multifaceted. It is deeply personal, yet profoundly rooted in the collective. In the pages of the Early Summer issue, writers investigate ways to reform our relationships with other animals, plants, and the planet itself; to celebrate a sense of community that comes from gathering once again, such as for a matanza; to appreciate all the little things, like making coffee each morning, that make up the day. However the good life is touched on here, a central element is food. Whether harvested from your garden, your neighbor’s yard, public land, or a nearby farm, whether prepared at home or at a local restaurant, whether eaten in community or in solitude, food is not an afterthought. It is fundamental to what is good about life in New Mexico.

“Life as I grew up and as I knew it as a home economist was rich but simple,” writes famed New Mexican author Fabiola Cabeza de Baca in the 1981 preface to her book The Good Life: New Mexico Traditions and Food, first published in 1949. “People drew their sustenance from the soil and from the spirit. Life was good, but not always easy.”

Much has changed since Cabeza de Baca first documented northern New Mexican foodways. Life remains rich, but not always, if it ever was, simple. And as we endeavor on the uneasy path of living and thriving in a drying region, we look to those same wellsprings of strength—soil and spirit—to work toward that same basic goal: a life that is good.

What constitutes the good life is subjective and, as these stories suggest, multifaceted. It is deeply personal, yet profoundly rooted in the collective. In these pages, writers investigate ways to reform our relationships with other animals, plants, and the planet itself; to celebrate a sense of community that comes from gathering once again, such as for a matanza; to appreciate all the little things, like making coffee each morning, that make up the day. However the good life is touched on here, a central element is food. Whether harvested from your garden, your neighbor’s yard, public land, or a nearby farm, whether prepared at home or at a local restaurant, whether eaten in community or in solitude, food is not an afterthought. It is fundamental to what is good about life in New Mexico.

To Love the World We Inhabit

To Love the World We Inhabit

Words and Photos by Wendy TremayneWendy Tremayne's morning coffee starts with roasting green beans in a Poppery II popcorn maker. I heard someone who I think is smart say, “The one whose desire has not been met did not know how to desire.” In my 2013 book, The Good...

Happiness Sprouts in the South Valley

Happiness Sprouts in the South Valley

In “Los Jardines de Moktezuma: Happiness Sprouts in the South Valley,” South Valley farmer Fidel Gonzales talks with Ungelbah Dávila-Shivers about music, gross national happiness, and how Los Jardines de Moktezuma came to be.

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