The Local Food Report | WCAI

The Local Food Report

    

with Elspeth Hay

The world of food is changing, fast. As we re-imagine our relationships to what we eat, Local Food Report creator Elspeth Hay takes us to the heart of the local food movement to talk with growers, harvesters, processors, cooks, policy makers and visionaries. Through these conversations she aims to rebuild our cultural store of culinary knowledge—and to reconnect us with the people, places, and ideas that feed us.

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. You can find more of her work at her website, elspethhay.com

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.

Elspeth Hay

Ken Greene is the founder of the country's first seed library in a public library. Last spring he came to Martha's Vineyard to help the community get a local seed library up and running. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with Ken about how a seed library works and what some of the community challenges and benefits are to getting one going.

Elspeth Hay

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 new program called Fish for Families that's working to get high quality local seafood to Cape Cod families in need. You can read more about Fish for Families and find out about the groups behind it on their websites:

Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance

Elspeth Hay

Many local farmers have a greenhouse to help extend the growing season. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with a young Brewster farmer who got a grant from the state to build a mobile greenhouse. The structure itself is 25 feet long by 12 feet wide, but it can slide back and forth over two fields 12 feet wide by 50 field long. Lucas Dinwiddie of Halcyon farm will use this system to cover different crops at different times of the year.

Elizabeth Pierson

Ginger is native to the tropics. But that doesn't mean we can't grow it on the Cape. Two years ago, Coonamessett Farm Manager Stan Ingram read an article about a farmer in Maine growing ginger, and this year he decided to try it. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth talks with Stan about the challenges of growing ginger in our cold climate. The finished crop tastes similar to mature ginger, but looks quite different. 

Elspeth Hay

According to the EPA, Americans throw out 14 percent of the food we buy. And all but 2 percent of that goes into landfills. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with Falmouth resident Mary Ryther about her new composting business that's working to change that. 

You can learn more about Mary's operation and other efforts to cut down on local food waste on Elspeth's blog, Diary of a Locavore.

Elspeth Hay

Gleaning is an ancient practice, as old as the Torah. It means to gather leftover grain or other produce from farm fields after a harvest, and traditionally was a form of charity. In most places, the tradition has died out. But today on Martha's Vineyard thanks to a program called Island Grown Gleaning, it's alive and well. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay attends a potato glean with a group of eighth graders from West Tisbury.

Elspeth Hay

Spelt is an ancient grain—a hybrid of regular bread wheat and another wheat variety called farro or emmer. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with Ed Miller of Wellfleet about a slow-rise spelt bread made with locally grown grain.

Read more on Elspeth's blog, Diary of a Locavore.

 

Elspeth Hay

The bean to bar chocolate movement is on the rise. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with a young couple in Truro who've opened a chocolate factory. She learns about sourcing beans, how the production process works, and what characteristics make for a top notch chocolate bar.

You can find a recipe for a chocolate bundt cake and see photos from Chequessett Chocolate's factory on Elspeth's blog, Diary of a Locavore.

Elspeth Hay

These days, we don't often interact with the animals we eat. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with three local people about raising, slaughtering, and butchering pigs. She weaves their voices together to bring the animals from life to death and finally to the table.

Alison Shaw

Kale is one of the few local greens that's available almost year round. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with author Cathy Walthers of West Tisbury about her new cookbook Kale, Glorious Kale. They cover everything from the nutritional benefits of the green to kale varieties and recipes—including some that might come as a surprise. 

You can find Cathy Walthers' recipe for Kale Granola on Elspeth's blog, Diary of a Locavore

Elspeth Hay

Happy Thanksgiving! This week on The Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay gives thanks for local cranberries—and brings us a story on growing and cooking with the tart berries from bog owner Ralph Tupper of East Brewster.

Ralph shared his family recipe for Cranberry Goodin' Pudding with Elspeth, and you can find it on her blog, Diary of a Locavore.

This piece is a rebroadcast. It aired originally on 11.18.2010.

Audio will be posted later today.

Elspeth Hay

Peter Burgess is into local history. Several years ago, he discovered a variety of winter squash called the Long Pie Pumpkin that came to Nantucket in 1832 aboard a whaling ship. Over time the variety was forgotten and almost lost, but Peter is one of a growing number of New England farmers trying to bring it back. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth talks with Peter about how to grow and cook with Long Pie Pumpkin, and why he thinks it's a variety worth saving.

Elspeth's posted her grandmother's recipe for pumpkin pie on her blog, where you can also read more about the history of the Long Pie Pumpkin

This piece is a rebroadcast. It originally aired September 22, 2011.

Elspeth Hay

If you've ever shopped for local beef, you've probably heard the terms "grass-fed," or "grass finished." Many people will tell you 100-percent grass-fed beef is better for you than conventional grain-finished beef, but the specifics can be confusing. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with a nutritional consultant from Orleans and a butcher from Chatham about some of the differences between grain- and grass-fed cattle.

Seawind Meadows

Highland cattle are originally from the rugged mountains of northern Scotland. Archaeological evidence dates the breed back to the 6th century, and the animals first came to the United States in the 1800s. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with a family from Dennis who tend a herd of 20-25 Highland cattle for beef. 

You can find a recipe for grilled grass-fed steaks on Elspeth's blog, Diary of a Locavore, and see pictures of the Seawind Meadows Highland cattle. 

Elspeth Hay

Beer relies on four ingredients: malt, water, hops, and yeast. But as evidenced by the number of beers and breweries around the globe, there are infinite ways to combine these ingredients for a tasty beverage. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with Todd Marcus of Cape Cod Beer about how he makes beer from start to finish. 

Elspeth Hay

Today, most people throw away the skeletons and innards of our fish. But in Ancient Rome, these parts weren't trash—they were food. This week on The Local Food Report, Elspeth talks with a chef from Wellfleet who's using the fermented skeletons and innards of small, oily local fish to make a popular sauce from Roman times. 

You can learn more about this sauce, called garum, on Elspeth's blog, Diary of a Locavore

Elspeth Hay

Most modern pickles are made with vinegar and sugar. But it hasn't always been this way. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with a couple in Western Massachusetts who make their cucumber pickles the old-fashioned way: by fermenting them with lacto-bacteria. It's a similar process to how yogurt or sourdough bread is made—the cultures are active on the surface of healthy vegetables, and with the addition of salt, will preserve cucumbers in a way that's both tasty and healthy.

Elspeth Hay

The names are beautiful: Nubia, Gretel, Fairy Tale, Nadia. Michiaw, Orient Express, Long Violet, Galine. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with local farmers about what types of eggplant they're growing, and how they like to cook with them. 

You can learn more about the varieties mentioned in the piece and find a recipe for eggplant caponata on Elspeth's blog, Diary of a Locavore.

This piece is a rebroadcast. It originally aired September 19, 2013.

Elspeth Hay

Twelve years ago, Charlie Amsler planted two tiny fig trees in his front yard in Wellfleet. Today, they're huge, thriving plants that produce loads of fruit each September. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with Charlie about the history of the trees, how figs grow, and what they need to thrive in our unique Cape climate. 

You can find a recipe for fig and arugula salad with prosciutto and gorgonzola on Elspeth's blog, Diary of a Locavore.

Elspeth Hay

Most people think of sweet potatoes as a southern crop, and artichokes as something from the Mediterranean. But both plants can thrive on Cape Cod. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay visits the Barnstable County Fairgrounds demonstration garden to learn about growing these two unusual crops.

Cover photo courtesy Paul Greenberg

The United States controls more ocean than any country on earth. And yet more than 85 percent of the seafood we eat is imported. On top of that, we're exporting more than 3 billion pounds of seafood a year. Why? This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with bestselling author Paul Greenberg about his new book, American Catch. It looks at why Americans have stopped eating from local waters, and why it's important to re-localize our seafood industries and protect the ones we still have.

Elspeth Hay

Elinor Arsenault grew up baking in the small town of Royalton, Massachusetts, where a good portion of the population was Finnish. This week on the Local Food Report, Elinor shares her Finnish-inspired recipe for a traditional raspberry shortbread made with raspberry jam from her own Orleans-grown berries.

Elspeth Hay

Green beans are one of the quintessential foods of summer. But they're not as similar as they seem. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with growers at the Orleans Farmers' Market about what bean varieties they grow, why they like these beans, and how they cook them. You can read more about the bean varieties mentioned in the piece and find a recipe for Salad Nicoise on Elspeth's blog, Diary of a Locavore.

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. You can learn more about both wild and domesticated blueberry varieties and find a recipe for blueberry buckle on Elspeth's blog, Diary of a Locavore.

Elspeth Hay

Blueberry season is in full swing on the Cape. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay visits a local pick-your-own farm in Dennis, and talks with pickers from ages 1 to 96 and from all over the east coast about what they're planning to do with all their berries.

You can find links to the recipes people are making on her blog, Diary of a Locavore.

Pages