Welcome to the Fall Issue!

It's truly unbelievable, but summer is at an end and it's time to celebrate the harvest. The fall truly is a time to honor our food and those who grow it. It's been another challenging growing year - beginning with lots of rain, followed by record high temperatures and then too little rain in some spots. For the farmer, these are the challenges they face every year - too little, too much rain/sun/heat, but for you the customer all you really see are the tables and baskets filled with fruits and veggies at your local farmers' market. Part of our mission at Local Table is to give you a bit of the story behind your local food community and all the love and intense work that goes into growing your food.

The fall is the traditional time to give thanks for the year's harvest and in the hills, hollows and back roads of Tennessee, the fall is a time to gather and celebrate. In this issue, we speak to farmer Joe Troyner about making the unique Southern sweetener - sorghum.

While out exploring and visiting area fall festivals, writer Stephen Ornes writes about local farms and ranches that open their farms to overnight visitors - a very special farm experience.

This issue we also celebrate local chefs who give of themselves beyond their normal kitchen hours and help to re-invest in our community. Writer Joe Nolan speaks to three area chefs who use their skills to serve others.

Writer Roben Mounger speaks to the Southern Foodways Alliance - a group dedicated to preserving and celebrating our Southern food heritage - just in time for our fall festivals saluting pumpkins, apples, sorghum, goats, banana pudding and more!

In addition to long time Local Table photographer, Jude Ferrera Rush's beautiful cover and shots of Cumberland Lodge, we'd like to welcome photographer Bryson Leach and his charming photos of Chef Kim and Chef Brian.

There's also a great guide to winter squash varieties up on our website, www.localtable.net.

As we head into the holiday season, let's give thanks and Eat & Buy Local! Lisa Shively