The Local Food Report

Elizabeth Cecil, used with permission from Edible Vineyard

The farm bill started off as a New Deal program in the 1930s to supply emergency aid to farmers who were economically hard hit because of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Over the last 85 years it’s grown and morphed into a huge omnibus piece of federal legislation that impacts everything we eat in this country.  

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.

Photo by Ali Berlow

Summer's sweet corn evokes memories and simple deliciousness beyond the familiar grilled or boiled slathered with butter. There's old-fashioned kitchen wisdom in using up the silk and the cobs.

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. 

Daylilies: Resilient, Ornamental, & Edible

Aug 9, 2018
Nora Boydell

During the summer, a bright orange flower weaves through your daily commute. Daylilies pop up along roadsides and bike paths, cemeteries and soccer fields, even in the cracks between pavement. Long admired for their beauty, these prolific invasives are also edible. In this episode of The Local Food Report, horticulturist Laura Swain demonstrates how to turn daylily flowers into a potluck showstopper.

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. 

Your Local Woods Can Be a Veritable Smorgasbord

Jul 19, 2018
Photo by Elise Leduc

 

A green twiggy thicket in a Mashpee forest may look unremarkable to the untrained eye, but to Elise Leduc it's an endless feast of wild edible plants.

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. 

Ali Berlow

When I go out foraging I figure the worst things that could happen are mosquitoes, poison ivy, ticks - always ticks, and maybe some surly local wildlife.

Ali Berlow

Olivia Pattison, 30, is a bread baker living on Martha’s Vineyard.

“I’m an artist at heart,” she told me. “So I like to mix it up. I sprout things, and I ferment stuff, and I soak other things.”

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.”

Pages