When I was a child I remember summer days seeming to last forever without the structure of the school day to mark the time. During the longer, hotter daylight hours, I cherished the time with my siblings and friends playing childhood games, swimming in the backyard pool and exploring the nearby woods.

Now, as an adult chasing around two vibrant and active children, slowing down and savoring the season becomes more difficult, but certainly not impossible. In this issue, we hope you find some reasons to explore the outdoors, gather with friends and family and enjoy the bounty that summer brings.

Summer is an exciting time for food lovers. Every week farmers markets put on a colorful show with tables overflowing with freshly picked produce, farm-fresh eggs, locally raised meats and other delicacies exploding with flavor. As our gardens mature, we experience firsthand the farm–to–table—or, in many cases, farm–to–mouth—movement. The abundance of produce picked at the peak of freshness makes it easy to create and savor simple dishes that accentuate the flavors of summer.

One of the highlights of summer for me has always been picnics and barbecues with family and friends. In this issue, Virginia Willis shares with us some delicious recipes and tips to make outdoor meals more enjoyable and worry free, while Alisa Barry encourages us to entertain family and friends with some top suggestions for the perfect summer party. If you are looking for refreshing summer cocktails, three of Atlanta’s top mixologists share recipes to help you cool off when the summer heats up.

Summer is also a great time to explore the outdoors. What better way to get outside than to forage for salad greens while on a hike in a local park, along the riverbank or in some nearby woods? We cover the reemerging interest in foraging that can open up a whole new culinary world. Fresh herbs, greens and vegetables are all around us, if you know where to look.

If you prefer your salad already prepared, an afternoon or evening out to explore Atlanta’s Eastside BeltLine is a perfect way to spend a beautiful summer day. There are numerous dining options and markets along the path to discover while you are riding your bike, walking the dog or taking the kids to the skate park.

My hope for this issue is that you find some inspiration to explore a farmers market, introduce yourself to a farmer and create a lasting summer memory. Enjoy the flavors of the season!

Terri Tubbs
Publisher & Editor

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