Writing my letter last season stirred up a lot of wonderful memories about the role cooking and food played in my upbringing. In many ways, food was the center of our lives. We planned trips around food. Meals were not planned ahead of time; instead over one meal we conferred and determined what would be served at the next. Not surprisingly, I heard from many of our readers that, while the memories were not exactly the same, the theme of family and food reverberated. While I know it led to much thought about your past, I also hope that the letter inspired you to think about how you might create such memories for your children and all the children you are connected to. As the fall begins, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the increasing demands of work and the start of the school year. We hope this issue offers ideas and inspiration for menus that can involve all of your family members. During the fall, visits to local farm stands and farmers markets help us take advantage of the variety of seasonal local foods that are still in abundance.

Working together as a community, we are truly making an impact on ensuring that schools offer children healthy lunch alternatives and that breakfast is provided for children who otherwise would be starting the day at a disadvantage. Bring your children along to your local farmers market. Encourage them to speak to the vendors and ask questions of about what they do. We are offering our children role models for the next generation of farmers, chefs and food producers.

To further help our children, Edible Boston has also teamed up with the New England Dairy Promotion Board to increase access to fresh milk through our areas Food Banks. I encourage you to contribute to this wonderful campaign. To learn more go to MustBeTheMilk.com/milkdrive. Your contribution will make a difference!

Fall is indeed my favorite season, especially the month of September. Fresh produce is still plentiful. Apple picking is a great family and friends outing and can be topped with cider donuts and cider-soft or hard! Cutting up the season’s squashes and utilizing every part of the squash offers lessons in New England frugality and environmental consciousness. Not to mention the joy in creating some seasonal family traditions that taste wonderful.

Enjoy!

Ilene Bezahler