I know that each year when September rolls around many people are sorry to see summer draw to an end.

I’m just not one of them. I start pining for Labor Day long before the Fourth of July. My feet miss socks. My arms miss sleeves.

And I want nothing more than to sleep in a chilly room under a billowing down comforter. But more than anything else, it’s the food and drink of fall that I anticipate with the most ardor: hot mugs of tea, dark beers, and root vegetable soups are welcomed back into my life like a long-lost loved one the minute temperatures cool. With the harvest coming to its peak in early autumn, it’s the best time of year for farmers’ markets, too.

I think this issue will give you plenty of ways to celebrate local food this fall even if you aren’t as happy to start the season as I am. If you aren’t already planning your Thanksgiving dinner, you might want to preorder a local turkey in the next few weeks. Emily Teel’s story on page 22 about one hard-working turkey farm may inspire you to do just that.

As the growing season winds down in the coming months, you may face the familiar dilemma of choosing the best produce—if you can’t find a locally grown ingredient, is it OK to buy conventional? Robert DiGiacomo helps us sort it all out in his story on page 26.

And check out our Fall Checklist on page 8 for a rundown of seasonal treats you shouldn’t miss. They just might take the sting out of summer’s end for those who hate to see it go.

Joy Manning

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