Around 10 a.m. on a 90-degree, cloudless day last summer, farmer Val Jorgensen sat at a patio table shaded by a trellis covered in hops. She'd already been up for hours. Talking to me was a short break during what would be no less than a 14-hour day.

Around 10 a.m. on a 90-degree, cloudless day last summer, farmer Val Jorgensen sat at a patio table shaded by a trellis covered in hops. She'd already been up for hours. Talking to me was a short break during what would be no less than a 14-hour day.

For the next hour, the owner of Jorgensen Organic Farms in Westerville would talk of the values of good farming practices, her plans to grow as much produce as she can year-round and her thriving relationships with chefs and restaurants in Central Ohio, like Northstar Cafe.

She spoke so feverishly of her farm, in fact, she didn't seem to notice the stifling heat until I asked for a glass of water. What Val gave me, to this day, remains one of the most refreshing drinks I've ever sipped-water infused with peppermint grown on her 60-acre farm. It's a treat she makes for all the workers on her farm on days like that.

Maybe it was the heat, or perhaps I was high on the passion effusing from this local farmer, but I just couldn't get enough of that water. Now every time I order a scoop of Jeni's Backyard Mint, I think back to this moment. To the story of the farmer who showed up at Jeni Britton Bauer's North Market stand, arms full of produce, eager to inspire new flavors and willing to plant a dozen kinds of mint before finding the perfect varietal. And then to the culinary mind who made working with a local farm a priority.

It's moments like these-ones that bring you closer to what you eat-that we hope to inspire in this Farm to Plate issue of Crave. In our cover story, "Seeds of Change," we explore the relationship between one farm and the local chefs who rely on it for produce, and how the crops at this farm influence the way we eat each season. Wayward Seed Farm, like many others in Central Ohio, wants to bring real meaning back to the oft-overused word "local." I applaud their efforts and the chefs who have made it a priority to support them.

Help show your support for these restaurants and farms during Crave's second annual Farm to Plate dining celebration. The 10-day event offers special menus at more than 30 Central Ohio restaurants, featuring dishes made with at least 70 percent locally sourced ingredients.

I'm also thrilled to be writing to you for the first time as editor of Crave. I look forward to sharing, both in the magazine and at ColumbusCrave.com, great stories of food, drinks and the creative minds that make Columbus such a great place to dine. I'd love to know where you're eating out this season. Tell me your stories at bstallings@columbus crave.com.

Let's eat!

Beth Stallings, Editor

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