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

The other day I was shopping for leeks at the Orleans farmers’ market. I noticed that some vendors had leeks with a lot of green on the stems and others had leeks with more white. Peter Fossel runs Swan River Farm in Dennisport and knows a lot about leeks. He’s something of a gardening guru—he wrote the book Organic Farming: Everything You Need to Know, and is the former editor of Country Journal.

Molly Glasgow

Jacqueline Foster is the cheesemaker at Grey Barn Farm, an organic dairy in Chilmark. To speak about how she uses variations in moisture and salt to create the farm's three very different cheeses, she brought me to the large sterile kitchen where the cheese is made.

Molly Glasgow

In 2009, Eric Glasgow and his wife retired from city life and bought a defunct dairy farm on Martha’s Vineyard. Ever since, they’ve been learning how to make dairy farming as low waste and low impact as possible.

Elspeth Hay

In many local gardens, rhubarb is the first plant ready to harvest. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth talks with her mother, Liz Pierson, about their favorite family rhubarb recipes. Favorites include spicy rhubarb chutney to serve with Indian food, a rhubarb custard pie similar to lemon meringue, and a sweet, tender rhubarb cake.

For a long time, skate has been considered trash fish. But with local groundfish like haddock and cod increasingly off the menu, home cooks and local chefs are turning more and more to this tasty shark relative. 

Wellfleet Historical Society

Almost every town in Massachusetts has a Herring River or a Herring Pond. The migration of river herring from sea to coastal streams and ponds once marked an important rite of spring for New Englanders. For centuries, the small, oily fish were valued as both bait and an important food source. But today, taking river herring is illegal in Massachusetts because populations are so low.

Elspeth Hay

In the mid 1800s, Cayuga ducks were one of the most popular meat birds in New England. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with Rebecca Gilbert of Native Earth Teaching Farm in Chilmark about why the breed fell out of favor, and why she thinks it's worth bringing back.

You can learn more about Cayuga ducks on the Slow Food website, as part of their "Ark of Taste."

Elspeth Hay

Have you ever had a wintergreen berry? This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay goes on a hunt for the native edible with Donna Eaton of Cedar Spring Herb farm in Harwich. The ivy green leaves and bright, cherry red berries are all over the Cape, and the fruit is especially tasty this time of year. 

You can read more on Elspeth's blog, Diary of a Locavore.

Ralph Alswang

Selective breeding is not a new thing in the food world; humans have been selecting for desirable traits in plants and animals for thousands of years. But it is getting more sophisticated. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with a Wellfleet oysterman who's growing oysters with three sets of chromosomes instead of the normal two. 

You can read more about "triploid" oysters on Elspeth's blog, Diary of a Locavore, and ask questions in the comments section below.

Elspeth Hay

Have you ever wanted to grow your own radicchio, frisee, escarole, or endive? This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks with Steve Coleman of Eldredge Farm in Brewster about how to grow these delicious greens from the chicory family.