The Local Food Report

Ralph Alswang

Selective breeding is not a new thing in the food world; humans have been selecting for desirable traits in plants and animals for thousands of years. But it is getting more sophisticated. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with a Wellfleet oysterman who's growing oysters with three sets of chromosomes instead of the normal two. 

You can read more about "triploid" oysters on Elspeth's blog, Diary of a Locavore, and ask questions in the comments section below.

Graham Burnett /

I’m standing on the edge of about an eighth acre covered in wood chips and newly planted trees and shrubs at Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary. It doesn’t look like much now, but Sanctuary Director Ian Ives and volunteer Cara Wilking say the idea is to highlight native and edible plants in an interactive exhibit.

Ali Berlow

Inside this refurbished barn it’s like a Vermeer painting. It’s home to the only organic commercial cranberry bog on the Vineyard and two women are bundled up in the low cold sunlight coming in through a window. I visited back in November where the women sitting at a desk were doing their handiwork.

Lee Ann Norgeot

This week Elspeth Hay learns about a simple backyard project that can help increase garden yields and attract native species of bees. 

Max Gibbs

In Chinese Medicine, fresh ginger root has warming properties and helps aid in digestion. Ali Berlow talks with acupuncturist Fae Kontje-Gibbs of Vineyard Haven, about a couple of simple ways to use ginger in the kitchen, to slow down, sooth your belly and be warm.  

Elspeth Hay

This time I want to tap into some local knowledge on a big and often daunting subject. How do you pair wines with different courses for a holiday feast? It can be intimidating, but what we drink is often integral to showcasing the meals we’ve worked so carefully to source and prepare. The other day I sat down with wine enthusiast Michael Rose of Wellfleet to get some tips.

Ali Berlow

When Judeen Lloyd migrated to the U.S. from Jamaica ten years ago, she brought her mother's recipe for rum cake with her. Some day, it'll be passed on to her daughter. But until then, she'll be baking and sharing rum cakes for the holidays, and the recipe? That will remain a secret.

Elspeth Hay

My mom’s friend Genie says the best gifts are “comestibles,” things that can be devoured and quickly disappear. She’s right.


Fish is important for good health, but it can be expensive. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with the fishermen and organizers behind a program called Fish for Families that's working to get high quality local seafood to Cape Cod families in need. 

Ali Berlow

Khen Tran is known around the Vineyard as the Egg Roll Lady because of the food she cooked and sold at the West Tisbury Farmers’ Market for 20 or so years. She was a Vietnamese immigrant who first worked as a nanny and a cook for a family on the Island and from there she became a chef and built up her own business.

Ali Berlow

On my last visit home to Wisconsin, one of my oldest friends and I were at the thrift store and came across a used ice cream maker which got us talking. She swears by her hand crank model but I love the convenience of my electric one. 

Elspeth Hay

I’m standing in front of 18 mason jars, an impeccably clean kitchen counter, and about 16 pounds of fresh Bluefin tuna. Why? Well, a few years ago, Ken Mason and his wife took a trip to Portugal.

Elspeth Hay

Amaranth was a key crop for the ancient Aztecs, but fell out of favor after European explorers arrived because of its association with pagan worship. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay learns about a modern day crop of amaranth growing at the home of Truro farmer and educator Stephanie Rein.

Photo by Max Berlow

In Massachusetts there are close to 300 Community Supported Agriculture farms (or CSAs). That's a 95% increase since 2007, ranking Massachusetts sixth overall in the country (Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Resources,). Rusty Gordon of Ghost Island Farm in West Tisbury is one of those CSA farmers- but he's doing things a little differently.

Elspeth Hay

Roughly every five years, the house and the senate work together to pass a new farm bill. The most recent farm bill expired on September 30th, but Congress still hasn’t negotiated a new version. Francie Randolph of the Truro Farmers Market and the non-profit Sustainable Cape says which bill passes could have big implications for Cape Cod consumers and farmers. That’s because roughly 75 cents of every dollar in the farm bill goes to SNAP and other nutrition incentive programs.