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.

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.

Elspeth Hay

My father’s goal for the past decade or so has been to cook his way through the book “660 Curries.”

“I don’t think I’m past about 60 recipes,” he says. “So I have 600 to go. But I’m getting there.”

Mac Hay/Mac's Seafood

Have you ever had whiting? It’s a small fish, usually about 12-to-14 inches long, with a soft white flesh and a mild flavor. It lives in our waters, and historically, the whiting fishery was big on Cape Cod every fall. These days, though, most local fisherman aren’t catching whiting, and it’s hard to find in local markets.

Putneypics bit.ly/2fSz6K5 / bit.ly/1jNlqZo

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.

Wapster / flickr / CC BY 2.0)

A tote of mackerel slides noisily down a metal chute into a warehouse at the fish pier in Chatham. It’s dark and chilly and I’m standing with Willie Ligenza, who caught the fish.

I asked him if today was a good haul. “I saw you got what, about five, six hundred pounds?”

“Yeah, it was a pretty good haul,” Ligenza said. “I got between 400 and 500 pounds today, it was a pretty good haul.”

How do you fish for mackerel, I asked. What kind of gear do you use?

Elspeth Hay

One January, I gave a talk to the Village Garden Club of Dennis. In the midst of a snowstorm, we talked about landscaping with edible plants. I asked if anyone knew of any unusual food plants growing on the Cape, and at the end of the talk a woman named Susan sought me out. “There is a persimmon tree near my house,” she said.

Elspeth Hay

Ben Chung is obsessed with garlic. He lives in East Orleans with his wife, six kids, and uncle, and he works as a dentist. But when he’s not cleaning teeth, he’s outside working in his garden, where he grows over fifty kinds of garlic.

Elspeth Hay

Now that it's fall, local beekeepers need to prepare their hives for colder weather. This week on The Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay looks into a Wellfleet beehive and learns about the massacre of drones (a good thing), mouse incursions (bad thing), and how to tell if the queen is healthy. 

Elspeth Hay

Chestnuts are common snack food in Europe—you find them roasting on every street corner in the fall. But in the U.S., they're rare. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth talks with Falmouth farmer Carrie Richter about her own locally grown chestnuts.

Find out more about chestnuts and many ways to prepare them, along with information about the American Chestnut Society, at Elspeth's blog, Diary of a Locavore.

Plum Nutty

Sep 29, 2016
Elspeth Hay

Today, I'd like to let my grandmother do the storytelling. A while back, when she moved into an assisted living apartment, she stopped cooking. 

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