Celebrate Eating Local with Summer Recipes
by Martha Jackson Suquet
Summer in our region is a time of bounty. Whether you’re a home gardener, CSA member, or avid farmers market shopper, there are so many tempting options for you in the kitchen. Fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, dairy products, meat, and more: it’s a good time to be a food lover in the Berkshires. The only question is what to do with all that deliciousness.

To get some inspiration from those who know local food best, we asked local farmers and chefs for their favorite summer recipes. One theme emerged from everyone we talked to: keep it simple. When you’re cooking with local food at the peak of the season, there’s no need for complicated recipes or techniques. The best dishes to make right now are those that cook quickly (or need no cooking), use the freshest ingredients, and won’t weigh you down in the hot weather.

A few tips for shopping locally and making the most of your summer dining:

  • Have a meal plan in mind when you shop based on what’s in season, but don’t be afraid to try new ingredients and recipes. Your favorite farmer might have something intriguing, like chicken hearts or unfamiliar herbs, and they probably have some suggestions for how to cook with it.

  • Store your fresh ingredients carefully. If you’ve stocked up a bit too enthusiastically, find a way to use, freeze or can your goodies before they go to waste.

Elizabeth Keen, farmer at Indian Line Farm, shared a green bean salad adapted from CSA member Laurel Graney. Using local green beans, feta cheese, and fresh basil, this salad comes together quickly for an easy side dish. (Find the full recipes for all of these dishes below.)

Looking to spice up those gorgeous local heirloom tomatoes? We’ve got two great suggestions: Hannah Jacobsen-Hardy of Full Moon Ghee offers a simple bruschetta enhanced with rosemary-garlic ghee, and Berkshire Palate’s Paul Brassard shares a dish of fresh heirloom tomatoes topped with a zesty corn salsa and local cheese. See below for the full recipes, and don’t forget to pick up extra tomatoes at the market.

For meat eaters, farmer Ashley Amsden of Square Roots Farm has a great recommendation for enjoying their fresh, pasture-raised chicken without turning your kitchen into a furnace. “Cooking a fresh, local, and pasture raised whole chicken does not require turning on the oven,” she says, instead “you can spatchcock* and grill it!” Ashely recommends serving the chicken with simple sides like grilled corn, cucumber-tomato salad, or slices of fresh melon (all of which you can find locally). Feeling more adventurous? Hart, a livestock apprentice at Square Roots, loves grilled chicken hearts. After marinating in a flavorful, Asian-inspired sauce, the hearts are grilled until they’re perfectly crispy. They go well with rice and a light cabbage slaw.

*The term “spatchcock” is rumored to be a 17th century shorthand for “dispatching the cock”, meaning to open a chicken carcass in order to cook it. This technique involves splitting the chicken by removing the backbone so you can flatten it, resulting in crispier skin and even, quicker cooking.

We hope these suggestions from local food experts inspire you in the kitchen this summer. Enjoy! Click here for a complete listing of the recipes featured below.
Recipe from
Hannah Jacobsen-Hardy
Ashley Amsden
Recipe adapted from Indian Line Farm member Laurel Graney
Recipe from Paul Brassard and Chef Zach
Recipe from Hart,
livestock apprentice,
Eat local this harvest season with the Eat Local MA app

This August and September, the Eat Local MA iOS and Android app is here to help you to find nearby farms, farmers’ markets, food businesses, and restaurants that have committed to sourcing local ingredients.

Download the free mobile app today on iOS and Android stores, and begin finding local food and farms near you starting August 1st. Submit pictures of your receipts through the app to level up and win local food prizes! 

Order Local. Snap a Picture. Win Prizes!

The Eat Local MA mobile app is part of a statewide campaign organized by the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Coalition of Local Food and Farms to encourage buying food grown and harvested by Massachusetts farmers and fishermen. 

to Find Fresh Local Food Near You!
What We Are Reading:
This Community Garden in Baltimore Is Combining Environment and Education
By Melinda Fakuade for Architectural Digest
Outdoor space has always been a luxury, but right now it’s priceless. Most of us are cooped up inside, but not everyone has access to parks and backyards. Quarantine has been a good time to develop new hobbies, and all over the country, people are taking this time to learn to garden and grow, either in their yard or in a shared space. Community gardens bring neighbors together and give local residents a refuge outside of limited home space. But what about when a neighborhood lacks the resources and nature education to explore the outdoors?

BLISS Meadows is a community project in Baltimore city focused on creating a public space for nature education, gardening, and farming. Atiya Wells, the founder and executive director of the project, wanted to create a place where urban dwellers, specifically Black people, could be educated about and feel safe in the outdoors. (Photo © Sean Mancho)

Read the full article here.
JUSTice Cream offers sweet social justice model for nonprofits — and ice cream shops
By Lauren Leazenby for the Chicago Tribune
Fudge the Police — not just a family friendly wordplay on the 1988 N.W.A. rap hit, but a vegan ice cream flavor to benefit Black Lives Matter Chicago. The blend of mint cookies and cream, fudge and CBD was created by JUSTice Cream, a nonprofit ice cream shop focused not just on the flavors, but benefiting grassroots organizations like BLM Chicago.

JUSTice Cream works with local organizations to co-develop ice cream flavors that reflect a social justice issue, said founder Hialy Gutierrez. One hundred percent of the profits from each flavor go back to the organizations.

ABOLECHE ICE, a tres leches cake and strawberry blend, was co-created with Organized Communities Against Deportations. And profits from the churro-filled Fried Dough Kahlo benefit Art Resistance Through Education. The Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment’s flavor is Purple Root for Domestic Workers, made with ube purple yam.

Read the full article here.
Find Fresh Food at restaurants and farms
in the region!

Read Berkshire Grown's 
Guide to Local Food & Farms
Now more than ever, connections to local food and farms hold our community together. 
Berkshire Grown's 2020 Guide to Local Food and Farms is the region's best guide to farms, farmers markets, and restaurants offering local foods. 
Use this Guide to find farm stands, CSA farms, pick-your-own farms and orchards, as well as locally sourced, value-added products like charcuterie, preserves, and fermented foods.

Connect to the Guide here to read descriptions of Berkshire farms, farmers markets, restaurants and local food businesses, with addresses and a detailed map. Or, pick up a printed copy at your local grocery store or farm stand. Keep the Guide handy and use it frequently!

Shop Local Now! 

Visit Berkshire Grown's resource page 

Find Farms and Food Producers offering Home Delivery, Farm Stands, Farmers Markets, CSA's, Online Ordering, and Retail Outlets stocking local goods.
Visit berkshiregrown.org for more information about programs, services, guide to find food and farms, news, and upcoming events.
Stay in Touch

Berkshire Grown's e-newsletter comes out monthly. 
Please send information to  buylocal@berkshiregrown.org.

Margaret Moulton, Executive Director
Andrea Caluori, Program Manager
Jess Camp, Program Manager
Sharon Hulett-Shepherd, Membership and Office Manager
Join Berkshire Grown here.
Support Berkshire Grown, local Food, and our farmers.