The Local Food Report

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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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”

The Versatile Potato

Mar 15, 2018
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

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. 

 

Ali Berlow

Gia Winsryg-Ulmer grew up between Martha's Vineyard and New York City. As a young American woman traveling the world, she met the man who would become her husband in his hometown of Essaouria, Morocco and then moved there in 2010. That’s where she learned how to cook Moroccan food side-by-side with her mother-in-law. 

Ali Berlow

Households in America account for 27 million tons of food waste a year. That's at an annual cost between $1,500 - $2,500 for an average family of four. Another one million tons a year of organic waste, like food scraps, also ends up in landfills.

According to WCAI’s science editor, Heather Goldstone, food waste is the single largest component of our trash and a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Like methane.

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.

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.  

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. 

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