Welcome to spring; a season of renewal and transformation. Emerging from winter—albeit a tamer one than last year’s snowball-palooza—the warmth and light propels us into action and sparks new beginnings for Mother Nature, and ourselves. To celebrate the season, we thought it apt to highlight the many innovations within the South Shore and South Coast’s local food movement that motivate, teach, and lead us to become better-engaged locavores. Initially inspired by Lu Yoder’s bicycle-powered seed-cleaners and carrot-washers, we set off on a journey to find the unique ways in which citizens further Living La Vida Local in Southeastern Massachusetts.
When we hear the word ‘innovation’, our first thought may leap to new technologies. However, as the issue took shape an interesting pattern began to emerge. Many of the innovations, philosophies, and trends are based on simplicity, going back to basics, and transforming old ideas into modern day practices resulting in far reaching benefits for the future. Innovators, or as I like to call them, innoventers, lead by example, inspire others in their quest to live more sustainable lifestyles, increase the food security of others, or make the absolute most out of what’s within arm’s reach. Sometimes, going backwards and embracing our relationship with our land leads to re-’new’ed ways to keep it simple and celebrate our agrarian roots.
So how do we represent in our little piece of Massachusetts? Pretty darn well! And on a myriad of levels. There is Lu, of course, who combines the cleaning of seeds with aerobic exercise disguised as fun. And Eva, who brings fresh meaning to the word ‘resourceful’ as she farms her three-acre Dartmouth plot to provide greens to high-end restaurants, as well as her neighbors. We also explore Cream Etc., a pioneer farm-to-table restaurant in Abington born from a locavore ice cream store, and 2 Friends Farm in Attleboro, whose two founders turned their mutual life’s passions into an organic farm frontier. Delving into the food security arena, read about Jonny Belber and his outreach efforts to teach, grow, and make fresh produce available to a wider, more inclusive audience. Following suit, All Are Welcome in Middleborough provide innovative pay-as-you-can, nutritious and tasty dining to all. Kristi Marsh educates us on leading-edge ways to protect and nurture our ‘personal environmental health’.
In the competitive world of inventive cooking, we talk to our World Bacon Champions and the Cochon555 New York winner, who feed our imagination with the innumerable ways to cook pork and bacon while supporting local farmers. Speaking of local farms, transforming part of its cranberry business into a PYO operation, Spring Rain Farm will have you salivating for succulent strawberries. We even take a look at an innovator of yore, the Ice King, whose stick-to-it-tive-ness innovated refrigeration and disrupted the global market.
From the ‘Queen of Green’ to the ‘Princess of Porc’, this issue is dedicated to those who keep the locavore movement alive and thriving, always exploring new ways to make our slice of the planet healthier for all. Hopefully, their stories and recipes will ignite the innoventer in you, and leave you energized, inspired, and proud to be ‘local’.
Terry Vandewater, Assistant Editor
Laurie Hepworth & Michael Hart