The Local Food Report

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.

JENNIFER BENDER

A butter clam is just a juvenile surf clam.

Surf clams are the big, wide clams Cape Cod cooks chop up and use for chowder or clam strips. In Asia people use the tongues for sushi, and lots of beachcombers collect the shells to use as soap dishes or ashtrays. But those are full-grown surf clams and they all come from a wild fishery. 

Elspeth Hay

Many farmers think of parsnips as an underappreciated vegetable—they're sweet, tasty, and they store well. But this week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay learns that growing them isn't as easy as it seems—and that other wild relatives may pose a risk as well.

A Community Composts

Aug 29, 2019
Ali Berlow

I’ve got a composter’s heart though the truth is, I’ve been really bad at it. But I finally got my shot at redemption because now nearly all my kitchen scraps go to the Martha’s Vineyard Food Waste Initiative. From coffee filters and spent grounds, to egg shells, dried bits of cheese, pork bones and fish racks - even the small sum of bacon fat from breakfast.

Michael Holt’s rosehip obsession started with an apricot mousse. When he had it for the first time it quickly became one of his favorite desserts.

SHELLEY EDMUNDSON

There they sit, on the bottom of the sea floor, minding their own sea snail business. They hardly have a care in the world or any predators (besides fishermen) to bother them. That is, unless they get caught up with lobster in a trap. The channeled whelks in these waters make up one of the most important fisheries around here. Who knew?

creative commons

You’ve probably heard of a huckleberry. But have you ever eaten one? The small, black relatives of the blueberry grow all over the Cape and Islands, and Neil Gadway has been picking them his whole life.

Elspeth Hay

It is squash season. I planted our patch in the spring, from leftover packets of seed I found in the garden basket in the mudroom. They were extras from the year before, February dreams we never followed through with, little packets of possibility languishing. 

Photo by Ali Berlow

Using solar power and good old fashioned ingenuity, the founders of Martha's Vineyard Sea Salt make their salt and then create blends like Lemon Dill, Local Smoked Oak and Naughty. Ali Berlow caught up with them at the West Tisbury Farmers' Market.

Elspeth Hay

I first met Roe Osborn on a cold January evening at a WCAI pub night. Today, it’s hot and rainy, and we’re standing outside looking at a patch of leafy plants in his garden.

The last time that we spoke, he was excited about celery.

Ali Berlow

 

 

I’m cooking late after sunset, in the dark, almost - chopping onions that cast tiny shadows on the cutting board. Tonight I’m making soups – cold soups they’ll be ready for the next days.

Elspeth Hay

It’s obvious that lettuce comes in all sorts of different varieties. Most people know the difference between Romaine and Boston Bibb. But strawberries? In grocery stores, they pretty much all seem the same. That’s not true, though, on local farms. I spoke with local growers to get an idea of the differences and what they really like.

David Haddad

David Haddad started a series of pop-up dinners some years ago called The Gathered Table. I went to one and was totally smitten by the variety of local wild foods used as accents or vehicles for infusing flavor. Bayberry for smoking, or using the buds brined for capers, Beach Rose, Beach peas, spruce tips... 

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It’s pouring rain at Ryder’s Cove in Chatham, where I’m standing with Don St. Pierre, the town’s herring warden.

He tells me about the herring's journey: They swim up a little stream, go under Rt. 28, and then to Lovers Lake. It’s probably around 1/4 of a mile trek for them.

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.

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