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Feelings of Fall [publisher's letter]

Publisher Tracy Patterson with her dog sitting in the desert resting up from a hike

Tracy Patterson

Fall is such a beautiful time of year, and I’ve been noticing the different feelings it conjures up since I moved to Arizona from the snowy North country. I’ve always loved the crisp fresh air, cool breeze, and colorful foliage of the autumn season and how it provokes a calm and somewhat melancholy mood.

As a child, fall was a time when we could still run around barefoot on some days and play in the leaves, but mostly I looked forward to the first snowfall and all the fun that came with winter activities. As I grew older, winter became more about scraping windshields, driving on icy roads and in blizzards, and always having achy muscles from the cold; so despite my love of fall, there was a part of me that also felt the less desirable emotion of dread as the season progressed into winter. Of course, there are many climates in Arizona, some of which have snow, but usually not six to seven months of it, and usually not unbearably cold.

The feelings of fall since I’ve moved to Arizona have taken some getting used to. Here, I still smell fall in the air, feel the cool breeze, and enjoy the many colors of the season. What I don’t seem to feel is the calm and melancholy but rather the emotion of excited anticipation—here we’ve been inside in air conditioning all summer, and venture out in the early morning and late evening to dog walk, cycle or take a hike. Then one day we can stay out a little later in the morning, or go out a little earlier in the evening and we aren’t hit with a wall of heat. What a feeling—it must be fall! And fall leads to winter, which is full of outdoor activities, farmers’ markets, festivals, and the list goes on. For me, it’s such a feeling of freedom to cruise through a beautiful fall and know there’s so much more to come.

Speaking of farmers’ markets, Arizona is also interesting because our markets are revving up in October, whereas the cold, snowy northern parts of the country are hunkering down for the winter. It’s so exciting to know that we have farmers’ markets with great produce right through the winter season, with some that carry on into the spring and summer as well.

On that note, you’ll find a list of farmers’ markets on page 44. We’ve tried to make it as comprehensive as possible, and show all of the markets with their winter and summer dates and hours so that readers can get an idea of just how bountiful this state is throughout the year. Healthy living is about good food and lots of exercise, and Arizona provides us with a fantastic array of options.

I also want to let you know that Arizona has three chapters that support the global Slow Food movement—Phoenix (, Prescott ( and Southern Arizona ( Make sure to check out the article on page 34 to learn all about this great movement.