The Local Food Report | WCAI

The Local Food Report

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

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

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.”

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.

K.C. Myers

If you live on the Cape, you’ve maybe heard of the Ballston Beach overwash. It’s the spot on the ocean side in Truro where the Perfect Storm broke through in 1991. One relatively low sand dune is the only thing here between the ocean and the Pamet River, which cuts through Truro east to west from Cape Cod bay. George Mooney’s family farm is a quarter mile inland from the ocean beach.

Ali Berlow

My friend Cindy Kane invited me over for lunch. She was going to make watercress soup and wanted to make sure I’d brought my boots because first we had to go foraging, get a bit wet and muddy and then go back to her kitchen to cook.

In 2008, a leafy Brazilian vegetable called taioba made its way to Martha’s Vineyard, putting down it roots. Even though it’s from a tropical climate, taioba can thrive here, if it’s taken care of.

Elspeth Hay

I grew up in Maine and up there, this time of year we eat fiddleheads. Fiddleheads are the tightly coiled tips of spring ferns—specifically, ostrich ferns—and they taste kind of like asparagus once they’re cooked. Until last week, I didn’t think you could find them locally.

Last February during school vacation week, Island Grown Schools, the Vineyard’s farm to school program, hosted free bread and soup lunches every day of the week at some of the libraries. Not everyone can afford to go away on vacation. These lunches were part of a pilot program developed to help those families affected by food insecurity.

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