Local is Best

The Boston Local Food Festival was something that Boston needs more of, fun, positive gatherings with an emphasis on supporting local businesses and protecting the environment. Sure it had a few glitches here and there, but overall I think it was a success, and judging by the crowds still there hanging out, eating, and listening to music at 4:00, lots of other people agree.

I started my day early as I was a festival blogger and volunteer. The festival could not have had a more perfect day, which started out cool with bright sun and blue skies, and by the end of the day was quite warm. I definitely got a fall sunburn!

Tents were set up all along the waterfront in the Fort Point area in front of the Boston Children’s Museum.

Fort Point, Boston

The festival was positively packed with delicious, fresh, local food and drinks, in addition to a variety of non profit organizations. The list of vendors can be found here.

There were plenty of farms represented at the festival, and their late season hauls were quite impressive. I expected apples, squash, and root vegetables, but there were still lots of tomatoes and peppers. It has been a good year for local produce!

local food, Boston

image City Feed and Supply
Organic Valley Cabot cheese
Singh's Roti Nella Pasta

Some of my favorite tables included Cabot Cheese, Haley House, Nella Pasta recent winners of Daily Candy’s “Start Small, Go Big” Contest!), Singh’s Roti, and Grillo’s Pickles.

I of course also enjoyed looking at the pumpkins and squash. Pumpkin and apple picking to come very soon!

pumpkins

gourds

I had a Dough Raise Me cookie for breakfast, and it was the perfect blend of oatmeal, Taza chocolate, and coconut in a crispy cookie with a slightly chewy center. The family selling the cookies was super nice, and as a result of this combination, we returned later in the day to buy more cookies.

Dough Raise Me Dough Raise Me

Beauty was everywhere, from fresh pear tarts to fall flowers. . .

Beautiful Pear Tarts image

Baked goods were in abundance and hard to resist. . .

image

After volunteering and some wandering, we headed over to the front of the courthouse for the local beer tasting. This is the portion of the event that could use improvement. It was waaaaaaaay too crowded, and some of the vendors ran out of beer by the time my friends arrived at 3. The main problem was that people went in to the event, then parked themselves there even when they were done tasting their beer. Next year, a much bigger space would be helpful as would different tasting times to ensure that people don’t take advantage of having a place to sit and hang out.I feel like this portion was a waste of money; out of the 25 tickets I bought, we used maybe 7 and threw the rest away because we just couldn’t get to the tables. Do I need to teach a class on tasting etiquette? :)

beer tasting

For next year’s festival (and I really hope there will be one!), I would also hope that the volunteers are utilized a little more. I didn’t have much to do, and though I asked a few times, never really knew where I was supposed to be. When I volunteered at Taste of the South End, I was assigned 3 vendors to help which I think worked well because it avoided having 6 people in one spot while other vendors looked for help.

After all was said and done, the festival was an excellent way to spend the day. It was full of people of all ages learning about sustainability, farming, cooking, and local charities and of course, enjoying tastes of new and different foods. It was one of those days that offered something for everyone, and I think everyone who was there learned something. I felt really good spending my money to support local businesses and look forward to doing so more and more.

Did you attend the Boston Local Food Festival? What was your favorite part?

If you didn’t, what is your favorite local food where you live?

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Tags: beer, Boston, Boston Local Food Festival, farmers market, Fort Point, local, local food, local produce

  1. Belinda @zomppa’s avatar

    What a great event – I certainly would have gone if I was in Boston. My favorite? That’s tough…depends on whether you’re talking about my milk, eggs…meat…corn…blackberries….

    Reply

  2. Erin’s avatar

    Everything looks gorgeous and delicious! Since joining a CSA, I’m enjoying local food more than ever. It was always nice going to the farmer’s market but this extra step is even more fun and gives much more variety. Squash of all kinds, apples, pears, sweet potatoes… yum!

    Reply

  3. Evan Thomas’s avatar

    I remember at the Copley farmers’ market there was this man who sold local goat cheese, and one of his flavored was smoked. I had no idea you could smoke cheese but it was pretty awesome.

    Reply

  4. Michelle’s avatar

    This is a great photo re-cap of the festival! I had a great time and it was wonderful hanging out with you! Sorry to hear about the beer tasting but it was the first event so hopefully there will be improvements next year!

    Reply

  5. Heather’s avatar

    I was so sad I couldn’t go to the festival yesterday – I really wanted to! Work got in the way though.

    I hope there is another one next year!

    Reply

  6. Megan’s avatar

    I love all your pictures. I can tell you were there before the crowds. I had so much trouble getting up close to anything.

    I had a fabulous grilled cheese sandwich with bacon and tomatoes — yum! And I guess the best part was just seeing how many people came out for this and supported local food. There was so much to see, taste, and learn the whole time.

    Reply

  7. Megan’s avatar

    Local is best. – I am a fan of eating all we can locally. Those little pear cakes are one of the most gorgeous pastries I have ever seen! – Glad you had a great time! – Megan

    Reply

  8. Simply Life’s avatar

    How do you find out about all these fun events?! I had no clue this would be here but it looks amazing!

    Reply

  9. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic’s avatar

    I was there and it’s too bad I didn’t get to see you! I’m looking forward to meeting you soon though. I had a good time at the festival, even if it was super crowded. It was great just being with friends and enjoying the beautiful weather. And I bought a veggie strata from Centre Street Cafe that was really delicious!

    Reply

  10. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    I read on Bianca’s blog the same comments about it being too packed. I hope next year they choose a different area. I’d love to volunteer next year. It sounds fun!

    Reply

  11. wishful nals’s avatar

    sounds so fun! i had been looking forward to this festival for quite some time + didn’t realize that i would be out of town. hopefully there will be another one next year!

    Reply

  12. Brian @ A Thought For Food’s avatar

    It was a wonderful day and, despite the few glitches… it was a success. I also went to Dough Raise Me and had their pumpkin whoopie pie. It was so good!

    Great meeting you… I hope we can do it again soon! :-)

    Reply

  13. Shannon’s avatar

    yeah, waaaaaayy too crowded was my feeling, but it was great that there were so many people there to support and learn more about the awesome local companies we have around here! i was excited to find a local farm for wheat and flour! might have to visit soon :)

    Reply

  14. Justin’s avatar

    Great photos and festival summary! I hope this is the first of many Boston Local events too. It was great to run into you at the festival, you really looked like you were having a great time.

    Reply

  15. Brie’s avatar

    great coverage! it’s wonderful when local farmers are able to speak directly with their customers to further explain their products and introduce new items. my festival is in a month and i can’t wait!

    Reply

  16. Kerstin’s avatar

    What gorgeous pictures – I feel like I was there with you! I’ll have to check it out next year :)

    Reply

  17. Emily’s avatar

    Great photos! Glad to get your perspective. Like many others, it was PACKED when I was there. I thought maybe I’d recognize some other foodies but it was so hectic. Hope to meet you another time soon!

    Reply

  18. Elina’s avatar

    It’s so interesting to hear it from the volunteer perspective. I heard that they had to cram everyone into a smaller space last minute which definitely didn’t help. It was SO crowded although I still feel like I found a few really cool vendors so I’m excited I came. I hope they do this again – with more space and better flow. I think a map would have been helpful too… anyways, I may blog about this although my pictures weren’t great (because there were just so many people everywhere).

    Reply

  19. Anne@ Food Loving Polar Bear’s avatar

    I wish I could have attended the Food Festival. Your pictures are very pretty :)

    Reply

  20. Jason Phelps’s avatar

    Definitely reminds me of the farm markets in NH & VT during the summer and fall. Have you been to the Cabot cheese facility in VT? Definitely worth a stop. Right near Ben & Jerry’s.

    Thanks for the photo journal.

    Jason

    Reply

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