Elspeth Hay

An avid locavore, Elspeth lives in Wellfleet and writes a blog about food. Elspeth is constantly exploring the Cape, Islands, and South Coast and all our farmer's markets to find out what's good, what's growing and what to do with it. Her Local Food Report airs Thursdays at 8:30 on Morning Edition and 5:45pm on All Things Considered, as well as Saturday mornings at 9:30.

Elspeth Hay

On the Local Food Report we’re still thinking a lot about why we make this show every week. It turns out a big part of it is love—a love of food and tradition. Today Elspeth Hay and Ali Berlow talk about putting up the harvest, and how their passions for this work have nurtured all kinds of different relationships and ways for honoring the bounty.

Sky Freyss-Cole

My husband’s grandmother kept a big garden for years—roughly 15 by 30 feet, and always filled with beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peas. She passed away a few years ago and the land is still in the family, but over the past few seasons it’s been neglected, and now it’s overgrown.

Helen Miranda Wilson

Kefir is the Russian word for a sour-tasting drink made with cow's milk. It's often confused with yogurt. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with a woman in Wellfleet making her own kefir and learns how the beverage is different from other fermented dairy products.

Elspeth Hay

Peter Burgess is as interested in the history of farming as he is in the practice itself. His farm in Truro is called Sixpence Farm, after a silver coin he found in the soil that dates back to 1689. Burgess focuses almost entirely on fruits and vegetables that would have been found here over a hundred years ago. On the day I visited, he told me about the apple varieties he planted, and why he chose them.

Elspeth Hay

Shrub is a colonial soda made with fresh fruit, vinegar, and sugar. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with a Wellfleet cook using local beach plums to make this old-fashioned soda.

Elspeth Hay

For decades, small vegetable farms on the Outer Cape have been struggling. Real estate prices are sky high, making it difficult to keep small farms economically viable. But over the past ten years, the local food movement has created new demand. And now that Massachusetts has legalized cannabis, some small farmers want to use this cash crop to help their vegetable farms thrive, and even expand.   

Elspeth Hay

You've probably heard of chervil, lemon basil, and lemon verbena. But have you ever cooked with them? This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with several local growers about these unusual summer herbs—what the plants are like, and what to do with them in the kitchen. 

Elspeth Hay

The day I find the blueberries is hot. My computer malfunctions, protesting the heat, maybe, just in time for a looming deadline. I’ve brought my girls up the road to their grandparents, and I’m supposed to be working. I start repairs: a backup, new software, and finally, an operating system update. 3 hours to complete, the screen tells me.

Photo by Elspeth Hay

Fermenting Ginger Beer can eat up the sugar and leave behind that dry unmistakable tang of ginger. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay heads to Truro to talk with the founders of Farmer Willie's Craft Ginger Beer, Nico Enriquez and Willie Fenichel, about why they got into making fermented beer and how the process works. 

Elspeth Hay

Have you ever noticed how some blueberries are light blue and others are dark navy? How some are tart and some are sweet? Some tiny and some huge? This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with the owner of a pick-your-own blueberry farm in Dennis about what varieties he grows and why. 

Photo by Elspeth Hay

  

Strawberry season, in my family, is a religious thing. We pick strawberries in late June every year, all together, no matter what. 

Elspeth Hay

In the heart of downtown Hyannis, Hy West Elementary School faces a unique set of socioeconomic challenges. Compared to student population averages at school districts and statewide, Hyannis West has a disproportionate number of low-income students: 57 percent of the school’s student body is considered economically disadvantaged, almost double the average statewide. But in addition to that, School Garden Coordinator Sue LaVallee says there’s a wide array of other challenges.

Elspeth Hay

Rachel Hutchinson of Brewster has a deep respect for local clams.

“The Northern Quahog, or our hardshell clam, is a very important species all over Cape Cod," Hutchinson says. "It’s been here since Indian times, so it’s kind of one of our level species, something shell fishermen have always had to harvest. Where there have been booms and busts in other species, the quahog has always been a dominant species for our wild harvesters, as well as for our aquaculture industry.”

Elspeth Hay

A small crowd of people at the Plimoth Grist Mill recite excitedly in unison, “One, two three: Water on!” One of the millers and a group of visitors are starting the water wheel at the same site where the Pilgrims built the first American grist mill in 1636. The replica mill, operated by Plimouth Plantation, works not only as an exhibit but also as a modern-day production facility. Kim Van Wormer and Matt Tavares are the millers. 

Ali Berlow

On the Local Food Report we’ve been thinking a lot about the why: why we make this show every week. Since we started in 2008 we’ve learned a lot about our local harvest, activism, and traditions. But we wanted to remind listeners why we’re interested in covering local food in the first place. So we asked co-hosts Elspeth Hay and Ali Berlow to give us their motivations.

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