Hello all, and welcome to my inaugural editor’s notes. I imagine many of you were surprised to discover in the last issue that Bob Montgomery would be passing the editorial torch to me after so many years at the helm. Change can certainly be unsettling, but I think you’ll find this transition is nothing to worry about. Bob has built up a great magazine, and I say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

That’s not to say I won’t throw some new things at you here and there, but overall, I plan on continuing to bring you the information you need every month to succeed in the industry.

My direct experience with agriculture is essentially limited to picking potato bugs in my parents’ garden when I was little (and whining about it). But I’ve been working on Growing for several years now, albeit behind the scenes, and I’ve learned a lot from these pages.

When I go to the grocery store (or better yet, the local farmers’ market) and buy tomatoes or strawberries, I can’t help but marvel at all the time and energy that go into making these products available to us as consumers. I don’t marvel about onions and peppers. I can do without those.

Regardless of my personal feelings about certain sorts of produce, I want to make sure we’re covering a wide range of fruits, veggies and nuts. There’s a lot of diversity out there, not only between geographic regions, but also within individual operations. My goal is to make Growing as interesting and informative as possible.

That’s where you come in. Of course, every month, we take a look at different growers and see how they’re taking care of pest problems, staying profitable in a tough economy, adding agritainment to their operations, dealing with new regulations, and more. In this issue, you’ll read about the advantages of moveable high tunnels, as well as about different ways growers are reaching out to make direct connections with consumers.

Beyond examining what you do every day and how you do it, I’d like to hear from you – you need to connect with your customers, and I need to connect with my readers. This magazine is not only about you, it’s for you. What topics do you want to see covered? What will help you grow your business (along with apples and cucumbers)? Feel free to drop me a line anytime and share your thoughts, comments, questions and concerns. I’m all ears. As Bob said in his farewell editor’s notes, we couldn’t do this without you.

Stephanie Peake