Friday, September 13, 2013

Health Food Stores on the Cape

For those wanting to do their own food prep and needing supplies beyond the farmer's markets now held regularly around the Cape, there are a few health food stores dotted from upper to lower Cape.

Orleans Whole Food Store—no relation to the Whole Foods chain—has been around for almost forty years. Packed tight with products leaving narrow one-lane aisles. the store has most of what you need with the exception that its produce selection is slim and not particularly local (this is one of the stores where the Mexican blueberries were sold).

Conveniently located next door to Orleans Whole Food, Main Street Wine and Gourmet is an airy light store offering a large selection of wines including a varied and unusual organic selection, as well as gourmet foods from around the world. 42 Main Street, Orleans, 508-255-1112

In Provincetown, 141 Bradford Naturals has two locations. It offers not only natural and organic groceries, but also vegetarian and vegan take-out dishes, a range of wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free foods. JJ Gonson, chef and owner of Cuisine Locale in Cambridge says of 141 Bradford's guacamole, “Dude, I don't care HOW good your guac is. This is better.”

All the stores are open seven days a week—check the Web sites for seasonal hours.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Local and Natural Restaurants on the Cape

Looking for groovy eats on the Cape? Like farmstands and health food stores, there are great places to eat sprinkled throughout Cape Cod.

The Juice in Wellfleet offers up sandwiches, salads, pizzas, real-fruit smoothies and fresh juices. The bestselling piña-colada-like Maui Wowie was the favorite in my group, but we sampled all the options and gave thumbs-up to all of them. The Juice is in downtown Wellfleet, 6 Commercial Street, Wellfleet, MA 508-349-0535. From May to September it is open daily for eating in or take-out lunch 11:30 am to 3:00 pm; Dinner 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm.

Other local food restaurants featuring, local, organic and natural menus include Local 186, Harvest Gallery Wine Bar, Pizza Barbone, and FarmMaid Foods Cafe. You can find out about others through the beautiful print and online magazine Edible Cape Cod. Other sources of good eats: for lists of  restaurants offering and supporting locally grown food.

Most restaurants worth eating at serve locally caught fish and of course oysters and clams! Always ask where the fish is from—you will be surprised by some of the places it comes from like Iceland and South America.

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Blueberry Hunting on Cape Cod

While Vacationing on the Cape I was on the hunt for local blueberries since at home in Vermont it was blueberry season. I purposefully had not brought any with me assuming they would be plentiful on the Cape. I was mistaken—what was readily available were organic berries from Mexico (!) or conventionally grown from New Jersey.

I was almost brought to fist-a-cuffs over my muttering at a produce stand about conventional agriculture in New Jersey. A woman who could have been an extra on the Sopranos said, “Are you saying something against New Jersey?” in response to my private frustrated grumblings to my friend. “You better not be saying anything about New Jersey while I’m here.” Wow. I held my New Yorker tongue like a good Vermonter.

After a failed farmer’s market and no luck at the local stores I got a tip that the Wellfleet Farmer’s Market, held from 8 am to 12 noon on Wednesdays, is where I would find my berries. I was properly advised to arrive no later than 8 on said morning because the berries sell out within the first thirty minutes. Really? I smell a business opportunity in berries. Not wanting to take any chances I arrived about ten minutes before the opening bell to find a small line waiting for the berry booth. Redberry Farm did not disappoint. A solar powered, sustainable farm on five acres in Eastham, Redberry sells at the Orleans and Wellfleet Farmer's Markets. I bought a few containers to tide me over for the week and felt sorry for the folks not in-the-know who would show up midway trough the market only to find no berries.The Wellfleet Farmer’s Market, held behind Preservation Hall at 335 Main Street, also has beautiful vegetables, cheeses, wine, crafts and more.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Cape Cod Organic Options

Heading to the Cape for vacation? Live there year round? Either way locally grown produce, especially certified organic, can be hard to find unless you know where to look.

To find Pleasant Lake Farm, the first farm on the Cape to be certified organic, requires the use of a good map, GPS, Google Maps or an excellent navigator in your passenger seat. The farm, located in Harwich is very much off the beaten path. Once there you can buy a variety of certified organic vegetables, beef, pork, eggs and local jams. The little farm stand is self-service. The meat is kept in freezers in another building down the road, so if you’re looking for meat, it is best to call ahead to make sure someone can assist you. Likely you will be greeted by a pack of dogs—fortunately friendly. On the sandy soil. Pleasant Lake grows snap peas, beans, squash, lettuce, field greens, cutting flowers, root crops and more.
 Pleasant Lake Farm, 2 Birch Drive, Harwich, MA 02645, 774-722-2319

For other organic and local farms explore for lists of growers, markets and restaurants offering and supporting locally grown food. This directory is great for locating the farmstands throughout the Cape and finding where the local food is hiding.

Locally caught fish is sold at most fish markets and is usually marked, but make sure to ask. In late July the local catches are pollack, haddock, sole and flounder—all delicious and like nothing you find far from the ocean. Oysters and clams—local of course—are everywhere.