We’re often asked where our stories come from and the truest answer is that they come from everywhere.
Unlike traditional publications, we don’t usually decide what our stories will be and then assign them. Instead, we seek out people interested in telling stories about our local food community and then ask them what they want to share. We take day trips and stumble onto curious discoveries that we think our readers would enjoy. We follow Facebook posts and Twitter feeds to see what people are up to. And we meet people at farmers markets, playgrounds, and parties and hear them describe their favorite food memories or tell us about a friend trying something new in the kitchen.
But it takes more than finding a story; we also need to find the storyteller. Over the years, we’ve become familiar with a handful of them who now bring ideas to us like Steve Corso and his experimentation with acorns and Laura Taxel who asked to share the story of Green City Growers.
We also know writers who will coax the best story out of an inkling of an idea, like Kathy Ames Carr who researched the true local history of the potato chip, Laura Watilo Blake who went hunting for hard cider, and Dan Scharf who had the tough assignment of spending a day with Jamie Simpson at the Culinary Vegetable Institute in Huron. Often our only direction to them is, “go find out what the story is and tell it.”
And then there are community members who bring a personal perspective to the publication, like Jackie Bebenroth who wanted to interview her friend to reveal what it is like for the two of them to be new farmers’ wives and Toni Thayer who was willing to upend her holiday traditions last year to capture a first-hand experience of sourcing a local turkey.
This community of contributors, combined with the incredible talent of our photographers, brings singular stories to our pages that are personal and engaging. What they produce every season astounds us.
Our theme for this issue is such a perfect fit for autumn. “Crisp” gives us a chance to celebrate the crunch of an apple picked straight from the orchard, the snap of a freshly- baked cracker or a hot-off-the-line potato chip, and the bright refreshing flavor of a great hard cider. Every day that promises one more dose of sunshine is reason enough for celebration with an outdoor meal. We all know winter is coming, but first, we get to enjoy a glorious fall. So grab a good spot to relax and steal a few moments to enjoy this season’s stories, from our remarkable storytellers to you.