Elspeth Hay

An avid locavore, Elspeth lives in Wellfleet and writes a blog about food. 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. Her Local Food Report airs Thursdays at 8:30 on Morning Edition and 5:45pm on All Things Considered, as well as Saturday mornings at 9:30.

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John Portnoy of Wellfleet raises his own bees. He has one Russian colony headed by a Russian queen that he purchased. His other hives are headed by queens that are survivors, so he bred from his best queens every year in the hopes that his bees will get better and more locally adapted. 

Elspeth Hay

Around 2006, beekeepers and scientists started talking about something called colony collapse disorder. CCD at that time was a new phenomenon; suddenly whole hives of worker bees started disappearing, leaving behind a queen, plenty of food, and a few nurse bees. Ever since, scientists have been trying to figure out why.    

Elspeth Hay

Most farmers and gardeners are just starting to get seeds in the ground. But Jeff Deck of Dennis uses a different model. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth visits the two greenhouses where he grows year round. She learns what varieties do well over the winter, and how he plants for a continuous harvest. 

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“Pawpaw is a tree that will grow here, and was growing here, actually, before the Europeans came,” Eliza Travesino said, as we stood in her Brewster backyard nursery, which holds about a thousand tiny trees. “It can grow from about 12-to-25 feet. It needs a few individuals to pollinate, it’s not self pollinating. And it also produces fruit”

Elspeth Hay

Two years ago my family started keeping chickens. Since then, we’ve raised birds for eggs and for meat, and we’ve always gotten the baby chicks at our local farm store. But this season I started wondering, what would it take to get a hen to hatch a few fertilized eggs on her own?

Elspeth Hay

For the past several years my family has been a part of a grain and bean CSA. I did a piece about it in this series in 2010. Every December we get one-hundred pounds of grain, like corn and oats, grown in New York and Massachusetts. We also get spelt, and I haven’t always known what to do with it, but the other day, my friend Ed Miller of Wellfleet, introduced me to his spelt bread. 

 

Elspeth Hay

During the growing season, Sarah Smith spends most of her time taking care of other people’s gardens—it’s her job. She also has a young son at home, and between these demands, she likes to keep her home garden easy and fun. 

Seventh graders Simone Rein Bosworth and Tashiana Lynch are standing in Nauset Middle school’s 30 by 50 foot greenhouse, peering into a microscope...

Elspeth Hay

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

We’ve been talking recently on the Local Food Report about honeybees—why we need them, what challenges they face, and what local beekeepers, farmers, and citizens are doing to safeguard them. But native insects that act as pollinators are also part of this conversation. This week, Elspeth learns about a simple backyard project that can help increase garden yields and attract different, native species of bees.

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

I’ve been thinking a lot the past few weeks about my grandmother. Biee as we called her, or Bobby Cary—was an excellent cook. She lived in Virginia, far away from my parents in Maine—and after my grandfather died in the nineties, she’d come to visit two or three times a year. She only flew on Wednesdays—the cheapest and according to her safest day to fly—and she always came for the month of December.

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.

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One of my younger daughter’s first words was “turkey.” We see the wild birds everywhere on the Outer Cape: in the woods near her daycare, along Route 6, out in our backyard. And we all know the Thanksgiving story—nearly four hundred years ago, wild turkeys fed the Pilgrims and Native Americans in Plymouth for their three day feast.

Elspeth Hay

Sauerkraut has a long history. Like other preserved foods, it was once an important source of nutrients during the long, cold winter months. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay continues her focus on fermented foods and talks with a Wellfleet woman about her recipe for fermented cabbage.

You can learn more about the sauerkraut and find Helen Miranda Wilson's recipe for the dish on Elspeth's blog, Diary of a Locavore

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.

People think amaranth is a grain, says Rein, but it’s actually what’s called a pseudo-cereal. It's not in the graminacea, which is the grasses and grains. Instead it's more closely related to a beet or spinach. Amaranth flour is the seed of the plant all ground up.

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