The Local Food Report


with Elspeth Hay

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 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.

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

Mattapoisett cookbook author Karen Covey wants you to make apple butter. Her book is called The Coastal Table, and is filled with recipes made with foods from the SouthCoast. 

This Thanksgiving I’m going to give a toast to all the nomads in my life - the travellers, the road warriors. The sojourners, seekers, and the strays.

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. But it doesn't have to be that way, and Falmouth resident Mary Ryther has started a composting business that's working to change that. 

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.

Alison Shaw

Cathy Walthers of West Tisbury is a kale fanatic. Last year she ate the green for 140 days straight, while testing recipes for her new cookbook, Kale, Glorious Kale. Kale is one of the only local greens available for most of the year, and it’s also wonderfully versatile.

Elspeth Hay

Dave Dewitt has a hard time describing the taste of the leafy Japanese herb called shiso.

“I have no description,”  he said, “because there’s no reference point in my dietary world that tastes like this.”

Sarah Reynolds

Barbara Austin is a Wellfleet legend. With hands like quicksilver, she’s won the Annual Wellfleet OysterFest Shuck-Off multiple times since it began in 2001. The Festival, held each October the Saturday and Sunday after Columbus day weekend, brings tens of thousands of shellfish lovers to town to eat, drink, and watch as local shuckers compete for the title. According to Austin, she developed her knack for opening oysters over 20 years ago.

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

Peter Burgess is as interested in the history of farming as he is in the practice itself. His farm in Truro is called Sixpence Farm, after a silver coin he found in the soil that dates back to 1689. Burgess focuses almost entirely on fruits and vegetables that would have been found here over a hundred years ago. On the day I visited, he told me about the apple varieties he planted, and why he chose them.

Ali Berlow

Ali Berlow went to speak with a food historian in Plymouth about cooking with smoke-and-fire and historic cooking techniques. The last thing she expected was dessert.