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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Healthy Soil Really Does Matter

I love to cook, and nothing says summer to me more than an epicurean explosion of flavor. I feel fortunate to be able to curate meals from Hudson Valley farms—offering everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to wholesome meats, dairy and eggs—as well as use my homegrown herbs for seasoning and just the right finishing touch. I enjoy shopping at roadside stands, local farm stores and weekly farmers markets. It’s satisfying to personally connect and learn about those who produce the foods I prepare, then share that connection with friends and family. That being said, on hectic days or weekends, dining out is always a welcome pleasure. Whether I’m in the mood for a refreshing afternoon smoothie, buffalo burger, vegetarian platter or gluten-free treat, there are a plethora of choices in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties. Be sure to turn to pages 31-44 for this month’s special Local Food and Farms section!

Summer is also a good time to tend to the garden. Did you know there is a direct connection between soil health and gut health? Learn more in our feature article, “The Microbiome Connection, How Soil and Human Health are Related” on page 28. Organic, healthy soil really does matter. And, of course, summer is also the perfect season to enjoy the great outdoors and connect with nature. There is a growing fitness trend called green exercise that speaks to me. Learn more about it in our Fit Body article on page 24. If you like the idea of combining exercise with nature, then maybe goat yoga might interest you. Find out where to take a class on page 39.

My team and I had so much fun discovering and interviewing local eateries and farms for this issue! We hope you will try your hand at a new recipe, find unique ways to shop locally and dine at a new-to-you eatery. We also found a bunch of upcoming happenings like the The Putnam County Country Fest and 4-H Showcase, Hug a Horse fundraiser and a restorative retreat for women in Mexico coming up this fall (good idea to reserve your spot now!). As always, don’t forget to visit our website,, for even more articles, events and recipes.

Happy Fourth!



Dana Boulanger, Publisher