Happy New Year!

Well, it’s that time again. Another year has just swept in, and depending on where you are in the United States, the skies and ground may be pregnant with snow, rain, sunshine, frost, ice, or warmth—or if you’re in Missouri, just plumb underwater or buried in mud. This winter has certainly been an odd one so far, with El Niño exerting its powerful effects across America and the globe, with hints of more unusual weather to come before spring arrives.

But 2016 will be an amazing year as well. More people than ever before are eating locally from CSA farms and farmers markets, reducing food waste, tackling food inequality issues, and promoting urban agriculture in unlikely spaces—to name just a few aspects of the rapidly changing food landscape here in America and beyond. The new year also marks the much-anticipated debut of Bounty from the Box in its first full farm season!

It’s been a wild ride already. Since its mid-October release, Bounty is already reaping acclaim and provoking uncontrolled delight among readers. I’ve had several book signings in California and Washington, and in mid-November, healthful-living extraordinaire Elyse Hughes invited me to be a guest on her live Internet-streaming LifeJam Blab show. We had a terrific conversation about the book, how you can eat better, and the challenges that CSA farmers face in getting food to your table. You can watch it here.

Mi Ae Lipe and Elyse HughesBounty is already available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the usual distribution channels, but this year my sales team and I will be working to make it available through hundreds of CSA farms, food co-ops, garden nurseries, booksellers, libraries, and gift stores across North America. Part of my mission in writing this book is to directly help CSA farms by creating an irresistible, practical resource that inspires their subscribers to use their produce (and thus retain memberships year to year) and that farms can use themselves as a source of high-quality content for their own CSA newsletters. So, we’ll be working hard to spread the word among farms far and wide. Plans are also in the works to make the book available to companies who offer health-and-wellness programs for their employees, or host on-site CSA pickups and employee gardens.

An ultimate dream? To make the book accessible at reduced cost to the people who need it most—those living in socioeconomically challenged circumstances and who use SNAP and other forms of food assistance to shop for fresh produce at farmers markets and grocery stores. I’d also love to make the book available to schools with edible schoolyard programs, community gardens, and farm-to-school efforts. After all, we are what we eat, but what shapes us for a lifetime ultimately comes from our education and upbringing. If we show children how delicious fresh, unprocessed food can be and how little seeds transform into that food, it can sway the tastes and preferences of a whole new generation.

Mi Ae signing books at the Fairmont in San Francisco, September 2015.Later this year I’ll be embarking on 15 weeks of book touring all around the country, starting in April and continuing through September. My travels will take me to CSA farms, food co-ops, garden nurseries, wineries, booksellers, gift stores, and restaurants, where I’ll be giving talks, signing books, handing out food samples, and even hosting restaurant dinners made from recipes in the book! You can find me in the Midwest in April, the Eastern seaboard region in June, the West Coast in July and early August, back to the Midwest in August, and in the Deep South and Southwest in September. I may also do a small tour in January 2017 in Hawaii on the islands of Oahu, Maui, and Kauai. Be sure to check the Bounty from the Box website for the latest information on my events and appearances.

And you can help too! If there is a store, farm, school, or library in your neighborhood that you think might be interested in carrying Bounty from the Box (or should), ask them to order it. Most stores and libraries won’t carry a product unless someone specifically requests it or they feel there is a demand. And if you know of a place that would welcome a book signing, please write to me—I just might be able to arrange one in your area while I’m on tour this year! My email is [email protected] I’d love to hear from you anytime—and I thank you hugely.

Connect with us on social media—we’re on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram, so there are plenty of ways to see what we’re up to. We cover meal ideas, food news and trends, what’s in season, recipes, and farming and gardening issues. We’ll also be doing several fun contests and book giveaways throughout the year, so be watching our Tweets and posts for word on how you can enter to win!

And last but not least, check out our newly updated BFTB website—we’ve freshened up its look, made it more searchable, and added lots more great recipes, farms, and other resources for helping you eat better all year long. We keep adding more entries (and blog posts) every week, so check back often. And it’s interactive too—we’ve made it so you can easily share your own recipes and add your own listings to our resource directory! Come check it out …

It’s going to be quite a year. And thank you so much in advance for helping us make it so.

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Top photo by Ronald Swartz; taken at Jacobsen Farm, Yountville, California. Book signing at the Fairmont Heritage Place Ghiradelli Square, San Francisco.

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