Articles by Allyson Plessner and Rachel Ayotte
A celebration of Cape & Islands farmers and food purveyors, plus details on 26 upcoming fairs, festivals and events.
Articles on the following farmers and food artisans:
Mark your calendars for fun and games: Upcoming fairs and festivals showcase local food, beer, artwork and more
Local cranberry company is on the rise: Cape Cod Select – Carver
Cape Cod Select is a family-owned cranberry grower located on a sprawling 300-acre farm in Carver. For more than 70 years, the Rhodes family has been growing and harvesting cranberries in the region, and in 2009 Matthew and Cindy Rhodes opened Cape Cod Select as the retail face for Edgewood Bogs Cranberry Growers. Since then, the company’s berries have been distributed in 5,000 stores nationwide and are also available for purchase online.
Shannon McCrillis, who assists at Cape Cod Select with logistics and marketing, says the value in the company’s fruit comes from the staff’s commitment to excellence. “We take so much care when it comes to harvesting,” McCrillis says. “We really select the best possible fruit for our consumers. That’s what sets us apart.”
McCrillis adds that aside from being the region’s beloved local fruit, cranberries have many great health benefits. “They are low in sodium and free of saturated fats and cholesterol,” she says. The berries are loaded with antioxidants, she points out, and Cape Cod Select does not add any sugar to its fresh cranberries or frozen products, including “Cranberries Plus” mixtures with blueberries, blackberries, mango, banana, raspberries and pineapple. “They make a great addition to any smoothie,” McCrillis says.
Recently, the company renovated its properties with the goal of continuing to produce fruit at the industry’s highest standards while implementing sustainable growing methods. “We are not just focused on the bog itself,” McCrillis says. “As a farm, we rely on the Earth for our living.” These efforts include the installation of a solar field, which has significantly offset the company’s yearly use of electricity, and automated irrigation systems, which cut fuel usage and reduce water usage by several thousands of gallons, per acre, each year. –Rachel Ayotte
Cape Cod Select is at 73 Tremont Street, Carver. For more information, call 508-866-1149, or visit capecodselect.com.
Bonus online recipes: Cape Cod Select Cranberry Chili & Cape Cod Select Cranberry Squares
These events are sure to be sweet:
Harwich Cranberry Festival • September 16-17, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. • harwichcranberryfestival.org
Nantucket Cranberry Festival • October 7, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. • nantucketconservation.org
Cranberry Harvest Celebration in Wareham • October 7-8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. • seeplymouth.com
Natural practices, delicious results: Cape Cod Organic Farm – Barnstable
According to Tim Friary, making a living as an organic farmer can be challenging, both on the back and the budget, but the benefits can be plentiful. “I’m weeding today—and it’s just a pleasure,” Friary says with a laugh. The owner of Cape Cod Organic Farm in Barnstable Village, Friary always has nutrient-rich organic produce available for his family, and he believes it tastes better than foods grown non-organically.
The farm is Certified Organic, which means it meets several state-regulated specifications, including the exclusion of pesticides and chemicals. “I was never a conventional farmer,” Friary says. “For me, organic farming was just a natural decision.” Friary grows a variety of fruits and vegetables—from strawberries and watermelons to asparagus and onions—as well as flowers and herbs such as parsley and cilantro. For a taste, visitors can stop by the farm stand, which is open daily, or sign up for a weekly share in the farm’s Community Supported Agriculture program.
Friary also raises heritage breed pigs for pork. He says the breed is often overlooked in favor of others that became more popular with the ascent of industrial agriculture in the late 18th century. Industrial, or “factory,” farming looks for longer, leaner, more uniform pig breeds that can be raised in confinement, but Friary explains that heritage breeds can vary in size even within a single litter. “These pigs went out of vogue,” he says. Heritage breed pigs have a strong immune system, though, and thrive on pasture, so they do not have to be raised in enclosed spaces and, according to Friary, are perfect animals for an organic farm. The breed continues to dwindle worldwide, so by purchasing heritage breed pork chops and ribs, sausages and hot dogs—all available at the farm stand—customers are helping to both continue the line and encourage diversity amongst livestock.
Despite all the work, Friary enjoys his job and hopes visitors stop by for a look. “They can bring their kids to experience what farming is,” he says, “a hard but rewarding way to make a living.” –Allyson Plessner
Cape Cod Organic Farm is at 3675 Main Street in Barnstable. For more information, call 508-362-3573, or visit capecodorganicfarm.org.
Bonus online recipe: Pan Roasted Pork Chops with Cranberries and Swiss Chard
We think you’ll dig these harvest events:
Osterville Village Fall Fest • October 7, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. • ostervillevillage.com
Bourne Farm’s Pumpkin Day • October 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. • saltpondsanctuaries.org
Taylor Bray Farm Festival • October 7, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. • taylorbrayfarm.org
Try something new at Fromage à Trois: Fromage À Trois – Dennis
Who says pasta can’t be both delicious and organic? At Fromage à Trois The West Village Pasta and Cheese Shoppe in West Dennis, Kathleen Kadlik makes a variety of handcrafted cheeses, sauces and pastas that not only taste good but are made with organic eggs and flour imported from Italy. Kadlik, who graduated from The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, is passionate about her work and committed to “clean, real food.” Her pastas and sauces are great for a meal with friends and family and make for tasteful gifts too!
The shop offers a variety of Kadlik’s homemade pastas, including fettuccini, lasagna and pappardelle. The staff also makes marinara, pesto and Gorgonzola cream sauces and cheeses such as Mozzarella, Burrata and more. Visitors can also order pasta salads or combine ingredients to create their own custom dish. “My favorite dish changes a lot,” Kadlik says, “but right now I really like the broccoli rabe with the sausage-and ricotta-stuffed shells.”
The shop hosts weekly pasta-making classes where Kadlik teaches attendees, step by step, how to prepare various hand-shaped pastas like Fettuccini and Farfalle. They call it hands-on training for a reason. “Pasta making is very tactile,” Kadlik says, adding that to discern when the ingredients in pasta have reached just the right moisture or temperature levels, one must “have a good touch.” At the end, the group enjoys the dinner they’ve prepared with a glass of wine.
A South Yarmouth resident, Kadlik says her motto is “Try new things and eat real food,” and at Fromage à Trois she offers her customers the opportunity to do just that. “Food is about making memories,” she says. “When you sit around a table, whether it’s a holiday meal or a meal with someone special, you remember it.” –Allyson Plessner
Fromage à Trois is at 581 Main Street in West Dennis. For more information, call 508-258-0212, or visit fromageatroiscapecod.com.
Cultural gatherings for every taste:
Yellow Dog Music Fest • September 17, from 1 to 7 p.m. • yellowdogmusicfest.org
Taste of Dennis • October 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. • dennischamber.com
Yarmouth Seaside Festival • October 7-9 • yarmouthseasidefestival.com
In Eastham, turnips are a town treasure: Redberry Farm – Eastham
Every fall, the community of Eastham attracts lots of attention for a seemingly unusual reason: turnips. According to Bob Wells, owner of Redberry Farm, there is much speculation about the true origin of Eastham turnips, but by most accounts the variety was first developed in town during the mid-1800s, and has grown into a community staple ever since.
Eastham turnips are known for their sweet flavor and lack of any bitter aftertaste. Wells would know, as he and his wife, Connie, grow thousands of the root vegetables on their five-acre farm every year. “Eastham turnips are a lot sweeter than regular turnips,” Bob says. “They grow well in the town’s sandy soil, and they don’t really have the radish-like aftertaste that is typical of other turnips.” Eastham turnips are typically white with a purple crown, and often grow to uncommonly large sizes. They pair well with potatoes to make a turnip-potato gratin, and their sweetness is the star ingredient in an Eastham turnip pie.
The Wells began their farm in 2005, and, at the advice of a friend, started growing their own Eastham turnips a few years later. Though turnips are popular in town, Wells says there’s a shortage of local farmers that are currently growing them. Seeing the demand, the couple set out to not only become one of the few local suppliers, but also join the ranks of farmers committed to organic practices. Redberry Farm’s turnips, as well as their blueberries, market vegetables and cut flowers, are all grown without the use of pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Bob has even created a machine that transforms waste wood into biochar, a soil amendment used to enrich infertile land and soak up greenhouse gases. “It helps turn our Cape Cod sand into productive, healthy soil,” says Bob, who adds that the invention helps his farm grow the turnips in ideal soil conditions—without wasting energy or polluting the surrounding area.
Redberry Farm sells its produce at the annual Eastham Turnip Festival, and what’s left goes to local grocery stores. –Allyson Plessner
For more information on Redberry Farm, call 508-255-3688, or visit newenglandbiochar.com.
Bonus online recipes: Turnip Pie & Eastham Turnip and Mushroom Gratin
Insider’s events on the Outer Cape:
Eastham Windmill Weekend • September 8-10 • easthamwindmillweekend.org
Truro Treasures Weekend • September 22-24 • trurotreasures.org
Eastham Turnip Festival • November 19, from 1 to 4 p.m. • easthamlibrary.org
Are you game for an edible adventure? farm.field.sea – Martha’s Vineyard
Having grown up on her family’s apple orchard and surrounded by her mother’s gardens, Nevette Previd says the love she has for food is practically in her bones. Further, she feels that all foods—from shellfish to salmon, quinoa to kale—have a story. And the longtime Martha’s Vineyard resident believes that the island is the perfect place for individuals to “hear” those stories and to learn more about the foods they eat while embarking upon an edible adventure.
Previd is the owner of farm.field.sea, an island organization that offers activities, tours and events throughout the year with the goal of inspiring a deeper curiosity among residents and visitors about where their food comes from. Previd and her staff arrange culinary tours, cooking and design workshops, and group retreats at venues across the island where attendees can meet Vineyard farmers, food purveyors and culinary artisans. One might describe the organization as the “farm-to-table” movement in practice.
farm.field.sea’s clients can actively participate in a local harvest, and then prepare the food side by side with an island chef. Additional activities include clamming outings, oyster-shucking sessions, and learning some tricks in a wild cocktail workshop. With each, Previd says she hopes her clients enjoy a “360-degree” experience where they learn about the food they eat while having fun in the process. “I hope when they go home they really look at their food differently and understand what goes into the things that eventually grace their plates,” she says. “We really try to get people in touch with their food—and the story behind it.”
farm.field.sea also organizes private events that can be customized to coincide with the season or popular cooking trends. For example, recent activities have introduced groups to the daily practices of fish and shellfish farming as well as the science behind harvesting shiitake mushrooms. This fall, the organization is scheduling classes in charcuterie and bread making, as well as cooking workshops featuring the Vineyard’s autumn bounty. –Rachel Ayotte
For more information about the organization, call 508-687-9012, or visit farmfieldsea.com.
Bonus online recipe: Summer Cucumber Gazpacho
Get a taste for island living:
Living Local Harvest Fest • September 22-23 • livinglocalmv.org
Columbus Day Vineyard Artisans Festival • October 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. • vineyardartisans.com
Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival • October 19-22 • mvfoodandwine.com
Brewing up a Nantucket tradition: Cisco Brewers – Nantucket
Distillery, winery and brewery—Cisco Brewers could be considered a true Nantucket triple threat. Open year round, the business has long been attracting throngs of native islanders and visitors with their passion for creating quality spirits in an inviting, family-friendly environment.
Founded by Randy and Wendy Hudson in 1995, Cisco Brewers was originally deemed America’s first outdoor brewery, and it remains Nantucket’s only brewery. The Hudsons, who met in 1992, were passionate about beer and skilled in the realm of yeast and grain. Randy, having worked at a bakery, and Wendy, having brewed on her own in the past, made the perfect pair. As their operations grew, so did their scope of beverages. Eventually teaming up with Dean and Melissa Long, the group began their winery, Nantucket Vineyard, and later their distillery, Triple Eight. Today, they continue to apply the same quality techniques and passion to their business as it expands rapidly, and it shows.
For the better part of the last two decades, Cisco Brewers has received national attention for their craft beers. From their Island Reserve to their classic Pale Ale Whale’s Tail, the brewery offers their unique concoctions with expert food pairings. Local food trucks and vendors join in on what operations manager Tracy Wilde Long calls “a really chill setting,” a place where people can both revel in the exquisite beauty of the island and find a feeling of familiarity and comfort. “We want everyone to feel welcome and at home here,” she says. “We’re all family and friends.” –Rachel Ayotte
Cisco Brewers is located at 5 Bartlett Farm Road on Nantucket. For more information, call 508-325-5929, or visit ciscobrewers.com.
Nifty reasons to head to Nantucket:
Nantucket Island Fair • September 16-17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. • nantucketislandfair.com
Nantucket Fall Restaurant Week • September 25 to October 1 • nantucketrestaurantweek.com
Maritime Festival • Saturday, September 30 • nantucketshipwreck.org
Mark your calendars for fun and games: Upcoming fairs and festivals showcase local food, beer, artwork and more
Friday through Sunday, September 15-17
Saturday, September 16, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, September 22-23, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. • Sunday, September 24, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, September 24, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, October 7-8
Saturday and Sunday, October 14-15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, October 14, 2 to 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 21, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.