We live in a big, beautiful country. In fact, it could be said that our one country is really 50 individual countries under the USA flag. In the past month, I have traveled through 14 states, each possessing different personalities, topographies, agriculture uses, and food preferences, and all of them with farms and ranches. For example, a stop in Kanab, UT, between the Grand and Bryce Canyons, offered us an exquisite chicken curry at a restaurant that doubled as a local art gallery.

My latest excursion started in Plymouth County, winding its way through Bristol County and then through 10 states before landing in Illinois—I took the long way, visiting friends outside of Philadelphia, in the center of Cincinnati, and in the suburbs of Chicagoland. MA, RI, CT, NY, NY, PA, WV, OH, IN, AND IL, all in four days. Two weeks prior I tooled around southern CA, AZ, UT and NV. It’s safe to say that my excursions have led me down interesting highways and byways—from thriving city centers to desolate, remote canyons and everything in between. All totaled, I traveled 8,000 miles: 2,764 by car and 5,236 by air. And each excursion broadened my horizon about the history of the land, its cultures, its people, and its food.

What does that have to do with you the eSS&SC reader, you ask? Well, we live in our own little microcosm, with both the South Shore and the South Coast having a multitude of nooks and crannies to explore; it is this exploration that comprises the bulk of the Summer 2017 eSS&SC issue, with some out-of-county and country excursions shared as well.

Living in what once was the Massachusetts Bay Colony, we have a plethora of day trips, weekend getaways, week-long vacations, and fortnight journeys that all can be enjoyed in the historic place we call southeastern Massachusetts. The stories in this issue highlight some of these said excursions. Whether it be Bristol Country or Plymouth County, or you go OTB to the Cape, southeastern Mass is an agri-and aquacultural wonder. Farmers’ markets, clam shacks, oyster beds, orchards, and vineyards dot the coastal landscape, with the interior lands covered with cranberry bogs, historical farms raising grass-fed beef, free-range poultry and pork, organic produce, and family-owned dairies. We have it all in both our back and front yards!!

We encourage you to travel to and take in all that southeastern Mass has to offer. It is our hope that the information on these pages will help spur your wanderlust in and around Bristol and Plymouth Counties. You’ll be amazed at what and who you’ll be introduced to along the way. The local food and drink will only heighten your praise for the area, and your support of local businesses surely helps us all.

Terry Vandewater, Assistant Editor

Eat thoughtfully,

Laurie Hepworth & Michael Hart