The Local Food Report

What's So Great About Local Food ? Let's Start with Food Security.

Jun 22, 2017
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 .  

Elspeth Hay

Rachel Hutchinson of Brewster has a deep respect for local clams.

“The Northern Quahog, or our hardshell clam, is a very important species all over Cape Cod," Hutchinson says. "It’s been here since Indian times, so it’s kind of one of our level species, something shell fishermen have always had to harvest. Where there have been booms and busts in other species, the quahog has always been a dominant species for our wild harvesters, as well as for our aquaculture industry.”

Elisabeth Swan, 2017

Here’s what I know about asparagus: it’s delicious, usually green, and, most importantly for us, my friend Scott Britton grows it in North Falmouth. But his doesn’t look anything like the tidy bundles you find in the supermarket. And it sure doesn’t taste like supermarket asparagus—which is exactly what led Scott and his wife Liz to growing their own. It all started when  some friends gave them some wild asparagus….

Elspeth Hay

This time of year at the farmers markets, lettuce is the variety queen. It comes in heads and leaves, reds and greens, crisp hearts and soft butter leaves. Over the past few weeks, I’ve spoken to farmers about growing lettuce, and what varieties they like.

Ali Berlow

Claus is a 3rd grader at the Chilmark School, and he was one of my lunch buddies. We sat together in the school’s makeshift cafeteria, in the community center next to the school. Fresh fish, pollock, was on the menu, and Claus wasn’t all that sure about it.

Photo by Ali Berlow

The green crab (Carcinus maenas) arrived on the shores of Massachusetts in the 1800s. It is described as an alien or invasive species, because of its negative impacts on economically valuable shellfish stocks like clams and bay scallops—though there may be culinary uses in its future, if we cooks get creative.

 

Elspeth Hay

Helen Miranda Wilson grows five kinds of mint and each one has a story. The first comes from her mother’s close friend Nina Chavchavadze, who moved a piece of the plant from her garden in South Wellfleet to Helen’s family property in 1946.

Mr.TinDC goo.gl/8ZmNS1 / goo.gl/cefU8

“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”

Ali Berlow

Olivia Pattison, 30, is a bread baker living on Martha’s Vineyard.

“I’m an artist at heart,” she told me. “So I like to mix it up. I sprout things, and I ferment stuff, and I soak other things.”

Ali Berlow

This is one of those stories about a hometown kid who grows up, moves away to go live the world, and then, after a few years of adventures and figuring it all out, the young man returns home to his roots. "Home" in this story is New Bedford, and the kid’s name is Brandon Roderick.

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