Gaining New Ground — Places to Rejuvenate

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Themes of renewal aren’t really new when springtime rolls around. But when you’re personally experiencing a real sense of rejuvenation — big or small — it does infuse a fresh new outlook and incentive to achieve even more.

Flower in pot
Photography courtesy Thinkstock

The last few months of winter, Michigan BLUE Magazine’s Production Designers Kelly Nugent and Melissa Brooks have been diligently working behind the scenes to refresh the pages and overall presentation of our publication. Aided by the resplendent photography of our talented, skilled contributors throughout the state and expressive illustrations of BLUE’s regular contributing artists, Gary W. Odmark and Glenn Wolff, their thoughtful reworking of design elements including a new signature text font begins in this SPRING’s edition.

As editor, I really do feel renewed through their efforts, am inspired by their creative vision and truly appreciate the difference their dedication to BLUE has made in every issue since we launched our first in the spring of 2006. I’d also like to welcome two new columnists aboard: Christine Byron and Tom Wilson — whose colorful collection of old Michigan tourism ephemera sparked BLUE’s “Vintage Views” (page 32) — and note the addition of two new departments, “At the Helm” and “The Sporting Life.”

(We have also rechristened our “Lake Stories” department “State of Mine,” fyi, to better reflect the content of our creative non-fiction essays.)

We hope you enjoy BLUE’s rejuvenation!

While the start of the year may be the standard time we plant our best intentions for personal renewal, spring is the season they often really take root. After months of frigid days that darken too soon, the sight of walking paths free of ice, blue skies over snowless beaches and plots of green with room to grow refuels our self-promises and grit.

Spring inspires starting over and stepping up, getting grounded and branching out. But “what goes in” is a compelling place to begin.

“While ‘farm-to-fork’ promotes the delightful freshness of buying produce from local farmers when flavor is at its best, there’s no reason why the morsel your fork spears can’t come from your ‘farm,’” expresses Ilene Wolff, who geared this edition’s “Garden-to-Table” feature (page 46) for novice home vegetable growers. Beyond the unparalleled taste and pride that comes from picking produce you planted, she shares, gardening just over two hours a week can also help control weight and reduce risk of notable diseases, among other benefits to health.

From Kalamazoo to the Upper Peninsula, food truck operators in-the-know are taking fresh, sustainable local ingredients to go and melding wholesome, organic goodness into inventive, seasonally-inspired menu items (page 86), as guests dining out on the farm savor the creative, flavorful offerings of area chefs and culinary students (page 82).

Improved health and an enhanced personal wellness, too, can be found through comprehensive services at regional spas (page 18) and vast nature havens preserved by Michigan Land Conservancies (page 61). Though dynamic photographers in the Great Lakes State have captured a sense of these protected places’ diverse unhindered beauty, the full essence of what makes each special is best gained by exploring them in person.

This new spring season, take some real time out to enjoy personal renewal, as well as those budding fresh beginnings all around us. (Pssst….Winter’s finally over!)

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