Autumn in New England—undeniably the best in the land. With leaves bursting in varied hues, cool evenings and warm apple cider, and brisk sunny days with cerulean blue skies, Southeastern Massachusetts welcomes the fall with harvest festivals, apple picking, corn mazes and everything pumpkin. It is a great time of year in our little piece of New England; for many, this is a time for our farms to shine. And as luck would have it October 12 is National Farmers’ Day helping to showcase all the bounty that our local farms have to offer. We’ve decided to extend the celebration at both ends to highlight our agricultural community throughout the fall season in this September-October-November issue of edibleSEMA.

Whether it’s “wicked old” farms that have been operational for over one hundred years or the mighty folks who harvest the local (and national) perennial favorite, cranberries, we explore the many kinds of farming taking place in our area. From a private-public partnership that was formed to put dormant farmland back into agricultural use, to a farming and restaurant retrospective about the abundance of the South Coast, we are celebrating farms and farmers, and even more farms in this issue. Also on tap are our autumn Local Provisions selections and the latest eSEMA-land “goings on” in The Buzz. We round things out with a tutorial and a delicious Leek Tart recipe, capped off with The Last Bite, featuring a seasonal favorite—Pumpkin Bread.

So plan to visit a harvest festival, take a cranberry tour, stop by a roadside farm stand, or become a patron of a Hundred Year Farm. Autumn is the season of Thanksgiving, and with the abundance of nature’s bounty thanks to our local farmers, we give thanks to the people, young and old, that have farming in their bones. It is this community that has allowed us to reap the deliciousness and nutrition that come from locally grown and nurtured foods. By supporting our farmers, we support sustainability and everything local. While October may be National Farmers’ Month, in Southeastern Massachusetts we celebrate our farmers every day of each year, year after year, for their hard work, herculean efforts, and vital importance to our many and varied communities.

A happy harvest indeed.

Eat thoughtfully,
Terry Vandewater, Editor