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Fall 2021: Atmosphere

Fall 2021: Atmosphere

Amid a sustained swell toward social justice, ongoing fluctuations in a global pandemic, and a late summer horizon marred with long-term drought and wildfire smoke, this issue of edible New Mexico takes a deep breath. It’s a breath of hopeful and measured relief, but also one of renewed commitment to face the challenges ahead. It’s a breath of the stuff that profoundly and inescapably connects us. Air is elemental to our atmosphere, whether the literal layer of sky we inhabit, or the intangible energy and attitude of a place.

“What a mystery is the air, what an enigma to these human senses!” writes cultural ecologist and geophilosopher David Abram in his landmark The Spell of the Sensuous. It is so pervasive and ever present, like the sea to fish, that we easily overlook its utter importance to our lives. We often miss, as Abram eloquently describes, that the air “is the soul of the visible landscape, the secret realm from whence all beings draw their nourishment.”

Amid a sustained swell toward social justice, ongoing fluctuations in a global pandemic, and a late summer horizon marred with long-term drought and wildfire smoke, this issue of edible takes a deep breath. It’s a breath of hopeful and measured relief, but also one of renewed commitment to face the challenges ahead. It’s a breath of the stuff that profoundly and inescapably connects us.

Air is elemental to our atmosphere, whether the literal layer of sky we inhabit, or the intangible energy and attitude of a place. Ellie Duke’s story considers how the atmosphere of restaurants has changed, shifting first to create healthier and safer environments for diners and workers to breathe in and then to adapt to a transformed workforce. Candolin Cook reports on a scene at a recent downtown Albuquerque Artwalk, where, despite a storm and ongoing impacts of the pandemic, a sense of shared enjoyment around food had returned to the streets.

In the more literal sense of the word atmosphere, we also turn our attention to the sky from which we draw nourishment but which, all too often, we take for granted. At Khalsa Family Farms, technology and innovative design are helping curb the carbon footprint of local food production. Carbon dioxide and methane are not the only greenhouse gases that agriculture produces; in these pages we also take a closer look at the often under-examined role of nitrogen in our food systems, both near and far, and report on how to limit nitrogen pollution at all levels of individual and collective action.

Finally, there is an air of excitement at edible because our new sister publication, The Bite, hits stands the first week of September. The Bite provides smart, artful, bite-sized stories that foster a deeper understanding of our region’s diverse culinary cultures; inspire adventurous, informed, community-minded forays into local food; and help build a stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive food community. Pick up The Bite’s monthly issues at the same locations where you find edible.

Montoya Orchard

Montoya Orchard

Best Farm, Greater New Mexico An Interview with Victoria Montoya, Owner/Operator  Photos by Stephanie CameronLeft to right: Victoria Montoya; her daughter, Allison; and her parents, Juanita and Pat Montoya. Victoria Montoya is a fourth-generation farmer on her...

Guide to Patios & Outdoor Dining Around the State

Guide to Patios & Outdoor Dining Around the State

Great food, personalized service, and atmosphere are always part of the experience of dining and drinking out. Even pre-pandemic, outdoor dining has always had an allure. When posed with the question “inside or outside?” we almost always unanimously opt for the open...

Returning to Restaurants

Returning to Restaurants

As Many of Us Rush Back to Dining In, What Does the “New Normal” Look Like for Restaurateurs? By Ellie Duke · Photos by Douglas MerriamRadish & Rye dining room. To say 2020 was a difficult year is an almost laughable understatement. The restaurant industry was one...

The World’s Stratospheric Food Problem

The World’s Stratospheric Food Problem

A Look at Nitrogen, Near and Far By Willy CarletonDriving along I-10, between Las Cruces and the Texas border, you might find yourself holding your breath as you press your foot a little more firmly on the accelerator. The stretch of highway known as Dairy Row, which...

Season of the ’Wich

Season of the ’Wich

After A Tough Year, Tuerta Turns Its Eye To The Future By Candolin CookIn Spanish, the word tuerta/o means a person with one eye (or only having sight in one). The restaurant is named in honor of Liam Kimball’s one-eyed cat, Lydia. Pictured: Ninny Threadgoode Fried...

A Geothermal Greenhouse to Combat Greenhouse Gas

A Geothermal Greenhouse to Combat Greenhouse Gas

Khalsa Family Farms Melds Community and Technology to Reduce Their Carbon Footprint By Susan DeFreitas · Photos by Stephanie CameronTarn Taran Kaur Khalsa, chairwoman of the Khalsa Family Farms board of directors; Mark Ridenour, farm manager; and Sirivishnu Singh...

Adaptable Ambience with Garden Containers

Adaptable Ambience with Garden Containers

Brighten outdoor spaces with potted plants this season By Marisa ThompsonContainer garden. Photo by Maksim Shebeko. Container gardening is nearly as versatile as your imagination. Useful in small spaces, like a balcony or front doorstep, containers can also liven up...

Liz Gaylor and  Tiny Grocer ABQ

Liz Gaylor and Tiny Grocer ABQ

A little corner grocery aims to make local produce more accessible—and less intimidating—for everyone By Robin Babb · Photos by Stephanie Cameron Liz Gaylor, owner of tiny grocer ABQ in the Old Town neighborhood of Albuquerque. Although tiny grocer ABQ is new, the...

Autumn Mushrooms in the Mountains

Autumn Mushrooms in the Mountains

Words and Photos by Ellen ZachosLobster mushrooms (Hypomyces lactifluorum). Mushrooms depend on moisture. In the desert, this means that if there’s no monsoon, there're no mushrooms—or, at least, very few fungi. But in a good year, when the rains come and the...

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