The Local Food Report


with Elspeth Hay and Ali Berlow

The Local Food Report can be heard every Thursday morning at 8:45am and afternoon at 5:45pm, and Saturday morning at 9:35.

An avid locavore, Elspeth Hay lives in Wellfleet and writes a blog about food, Diary of a Locavore. 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.

Ali Berlow lives on Martha's Vineyard and is the author of "The Food Activist Handbook; Big & Small Things You Can Do to Help Provide Fresh, Healthy Food for Your Community." Foreword by Alice Randall, Storey Publishing. You can reach her at her website,

The Local Food Report is produced by Jay Allison and Viki Merrick of Atlantic Public Media.

The Local Food Report is made possible by the support of the Local Food Chain.

Bone Season

Mar 14, 2019
Ali Berlow

I start my braises in the privacy of dark winter mornings. First I brown a piece of bone-in meat – lately it’s been beef – with hot fat in a heavy enamel pot. The braise of the day is shanks with turnips, carrots, plenty of garlic, onions, some parsley, a bay leaf and homemade stock. All day the braise fills my small home with smells that are elemental, earthy, and lush.

Photo by Elspeth Hay

Ali Berlow and Elspeth Hay have been taking stock about why local food is important to them. They've talked about local food through a lens of economics, seasonality and now,  security .  

Josh Leveque and his family grow a lot of the food they eat. They have a huge garden overlooking Little Harbor in Woods Hole and each year they put up gallons and gallons of vegetables. The season starts with lettuce.

Ali Berlow

This is a story about making meatballs and feeding people with something we all probably have a lot of in our backyard -- from an animal that could be grazing outside your window -- in your garden right this minute, and that’s venison.

Elspeth Hay

All beehives are full of activity. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with a beekeeper in Wellfleet who's taken the phrase "busy as a bee" to another level—with one of his hives collecting climate data for NASA.

This story is a rebroadcast. It first aired December 7, 2017.

The Versatile Potato

Feb 7, 2019
Ali Berlow

This past fall I bought fifty pounds of German Butterball potatoes. They’re a hearty, dense, and waxy-fleshed heirloom variety. They don’t get flaky or mealy when cooked. They’re like a Yukon Gold only better, I think, because they have a thick skin that is delicious.

Elspeth Hay

Richard Bailey is a pretty serious amateur forager. Every few months, he calls to tell me about a new wild food. Most recently, he took me to see a black walnut tree growing down the street from his house in Wellfleet. The tree is less than a foot in diameter, and fairly young.

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.