Summer hangs in the air like a heady magnolia, and we’re ready to break for cold beer, lazy river runs, and long porch nights. We offer ways to explore and unwind via the peaks, trails, and scenic drives of our premier location, but this issue brings another bent to our outdoor bounty.

Our June edition is an ode to the land, and hands, that feeds us, highlighting Upstate farmers and their relationships with the chefs who support them. The chefs, in turn, deliver unadulterated flavor and creative dishes. We reap the benefit of this farmer/chef symbiosis in more ways than just gustatory pleasure. By eating locally, we foster economic prosperity at home; we help the environment by buying products that require less land, resources, and transportation; and, perhaps most importantly, we know what’s going into our bodies.

For decades, technology has directed our food consumption, much of it delivered by the lab or factory farm rather than from our own soil. We’ve been too obsessed with achieving “inbox zero” than attending to our health, and more concerned about what we’re putting into our cars than our mouths.

Much of this has to do with accessibility. Now, with the rise of farmer’s markets and access to local food, it’s become much easier to know the origin of our meals (and, honestly, a fine reason to wake early on Saturday morning). We are more attuned to where our food comes from, how it’s handled, and ultimately the experience of how we dine.

As the saying goes, we are what we eat. Thankfully, we live in abundance here, especially with the help of our farmers and the chefs who support them.

Cheers to summer and its many delicious promises. The livin’ is easy.

—Blair Knobel