Yesterday was the Martha’s Vineyard Living Local Festival at the Ag Hall. My friend Kevin and I had our debut of Forest Foods, where we sold foods that featured wild harvested, foraged and perennial crops, specifically chestnuts, apples, wild herbs, and asian pears. The idea is, these perennials and wild plants do not have to be farmed in the traditional sense. There is no intensive agricultural input, not energy inputs, and no depletion of nutrients from the soil.
I will admit, there is more labor that goes into making food from these products. For example, to make the apple muffins, I had to cut out all the bruised or rotten parts of the apples that had fallen from a tree. They were never sprayed with pesticides or fertilizers and so were not “perfect” or completely uniform. But they were delicious. This island is full of foragers and people who make products out of wild foods, and the labor of love involved is definitely worth it, for some. Last night, I got to try autumn olive vodka made by a local here…it tasted sweet and rich and delicious, with just a little burn…mmm!
The day made me realize just how amazing the food community on Martha’s Vineyard is! There are people doing such a vast array of different exciting food projects, from Not Your Sugar Mamas doing healthy treats, The Kitchen Porch and fermentation (kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha!!!), Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group getting into growing seaweed, local honey companies (Martha’s Vineyard Honey Company, who provided us with our sweetener for sugar free gluten free muffins) and so much more.
There were talks on chickens and the possibility of a slaughter house for four legged animals here on the Vineyard. As of now, we only can process chickens but not cows or pigs or other large animals.
I wish I could have walked around more, and I’d love to see photos and hear stories of other peoples’ adventures at living local. Overall, I just realized what a cool, interesting and smart community we have here on Martha’s Vineyard.
Thanks to all who attended, and especially to everyone who took interest in Forest Foods! We hope there will be more to come!
Our photoshoot….Thanks to our photographer, David of Camp Sassafras….