Cambridge and Somerville Local First - 2011 Coupon Book - Shift Your Shopping to Local First

Harvest Fest 2010 Video Recap - A Preview of Things to Come

Sep 14 2:27 pm

Somerville Local First has been repeatedly blessed by the efforts of creatives of all kinds.  In that vein, we are proud to present an amazing recap video produced by Shane Solar-Doherty and shot/edited by Andrew Vella, with music by local legends SEA MONSTERS

Take a look at the awesomeness and get a sense for what’s coming up at Harvest Fest 2011

Filed under: Harvest Fest, Local First

Harvest Fest 2011 - Our First Ticket Contest - Labor Day Spectacular

Sep 01 1:08 pm

We find ticket giveaways to be a lot of fun and they certainly help generate interest in our events.  So with that in mind, we are pleased to launch our first contest of the Harvest Fest 2011 season.  The winner of this contest gets TWO free passes to Harvest Fest Session II (6-10 PM on 10/15).  And if you just wanna go ahead and buy tickets at the Early Bird Price ($20, a 20% discount), feel free to do so!

We Love You

In honor of Labor Day, simply comment on this blog post.  If you are so inclined, say a little something about Labor Day and maybe why its important to you…but any comment will get you entered to win.  We’ll pick the winner on Tuesday, 9/6.   Get to it!

Filed under: Harvest Fest, Local First

Get excited - Harvest Fest 2011

Aug 18 1:04 pm
Harvest Fest - a fund AND fun raiser

Harvest Fest - a fund AND fun raiser

It’s that time of year again, and we are incredibly excited to annnounce the date and early bird ticket sales of Harvest Fest 2011!

If you haven’t experienced Harvest Fest in the past, here’s a short video recap of last year’s awesomeness. (A longer cut is coming soon!).

Last years event SOLD OUT, so buy your early bird tix for as low as $20 now, make sure you get in and save some money!

Pretty Things, our SLF member darlings, were a hit in 2010 and will be back this year

Pretty Things, our SLF member darlings, were a hit in 2010 and will be back this year

Harvest Fest is our annual festival and fundraiser, celebrating the best in local libations, restaurants and entertainers.  It will be held in two four-hour sessions (Session 1 - 1-5PM, Session 2 - 6-10 PM) on Saturday October 15th at Arts at the Armory.

Our guests receive unlimited 2 oz. pours of beer and wine from up to 12 different craft breweries and local wineries.  And we’ve already confirmed that craft brew darling, Pretty Things, will be in the house again at Harvest Fest.

We are pleased to welcome back downTown Wine & Spirits as our Beer & Wine Sponsor.  They’ll be helping us organize all the awesome local libations at the event.

Foundry on Elm's Chilled Gazpacho w/ Avacado creme fraiche - one of last year's favorite dishes

Foundry on Elm's Chilled Gazpacho w/ Avacado creme fraiche - one of last year's favorite dishes


We are also psyched  to welcome back Foundry on Elm as our Food Sponsor.  They’ll be helping us select and organize the participating restaurants.  Our guests receive one small plate/sample from 8 local restaurants during each session of Harvest Fest.


We also show love to local musicians and  performers at Harvest Fest, and this year we are psyched to have a Hugh McGowan, of Burren Open Mic fame, curating a local musician showcase for Session 1 and The Improper Bostonian’s Best of Boston DJ, DJ Die Young for Session 2.

We’re also so happy to have an amazing local independent media sponsor from right here in Somerville, The Somerville Scout!

So,  to recap.  Some of the best beer/wine you’ll taste from local New England companies, and more than a meal via the servings from Somerville’s best local restaurants.  At an early bird price of only $20 per session, with all profits going to support the work of Somerville Local First and our vision of an economy that is local, green and fair.  Hard to beat that for sure!

Last year’s event SOLD OUT, and this year, we expect it to happen again.  We are offering a limited amount of Early Bird tickets ($5 savings per session), so don’t wait, act now and support local economies and your palate!

Buy your Harvest Fest 2011 Tickets

Aug 18 11:41 am

Choose your preferred option for Harvest Fest tickets below!

Harvest Fest takes place on Saturday October 15th at Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville.

Session 1 will run from 1-5, Session 2 from 6-10.

Session tickets get you unlimited 2 oz. pours of beer and wine for that session, a small serving at each of 8 amazing Somerville restaurants (i.e. more than a meal) and some great entertainment and vibes.

Super Supporter tickets get you a special souvenir tasting glass and a big hug from SLF. (And maybe another surprise or two)

All profits go to supporting the work of Somerville Local First and our vision of an economy that is local, green and fair.

Harvest Fest is open to all ages, but obviously only 21+ (with valid ID) can drink.

**Note:  All tickets are electronic and will be listed under the name of the ticket buyer at the door.


Harvest Fest Ticket Options

Filed under: Harvest Fest, Local First

SomerFUN: A Rundown of Awesome-ness

Jun 07 12:53 pm

SomerFun is just a few days away (and the forecast looks great this year…YAY!), and we have lined up quite the day of fun for the community.  Here’s a lengthy rundown of all the fun (and mostly free) things to do at the event.  Needless to say, there’s something here for just about everyone!

And SLF would like to extend a VERY warm thank you to our event sponsors The Somerville Arts Council and ArtsUnion…you can thank them too at their table at the event!

See you THIS Saturday in Union Square Plaza from 3-7 pm

See you THIS Saturday in Union Square Plaza from 3-7 pm

Games, Activities & Demonstrations

A Tiki Hut with samples from Sponsor Polar Beverages

DUNK TANK - with our Executive Director, Joe Grafton, a special guest in a Gorilla Suit, Independent Bartenders and some surprises.

SomerMutt -  A Mixed Breed Dog Show with a guess the breed contest, sponsored by Riverdog, Canis Major Herbals and SomDog

Groundwork Somerville - butter churning, the food miles relay race, and the giant somerville puzzle map.

Mystic River Watershed Association - fish-based artwork - drawing

Mass Metta Massage - Free Chair Massage

Open Space Community Acupuncture - Community acupuncture demos

The Growing Center - An urban homesteading workshop

Shobu Akido - 20′ x 20′ demonstration area and a table with information about classes

OPENAIR Circus - Stilters rambling about the event


Abbie Barrett & the Last Date

Reverend Busker & Friends

Tall Enough

Riki Rocksteady


Balliro Vocal Studio - I will be promoting private vocal instruction with a video of various performances and instruction examples.

Beantown Franks ‘n Spuds - Gourmet Hot Dogs & Baked Potatoes

Canis major Herbals - Information on holistic dog health; herbal products for dogs will be available for sale, such as natural tick spray, herbal Lyme preventive, remedies for separation anxiety, etc.

Esoterica/ Smileybaby Hats - Handmade jewelry and baby hats.

ideaka - I am selling t-shirts, wallets, soap & maybe some lights. I have a pop up tent with a minimal display.

JoJo - Handmade design and one of a kind pieces that are seasonally appropriate. For the summer I have sundresses, skirts/pants, halter tops and one piece jumpsuits, lightweight cape-like tops plus some housewares like table runners and napkins, totes.
Mike’s Automotive - Information and swag from your local mechanic right across the street.

Monkey Chow - Irreverent illustrations rendered in bright popping colors and injected with heartfelt emotion.

Mystic River Watershed Association - Booth Set-up includes a map (on an easel if possible), reports, newsletters.

Picture Renewal - Sample books to view and 3-4 pairs of larger, framed samples and Swag:

Proxy Apparel - radical,  ethical fashion and accessories. With a raffle and fashion giveaways.

Swellr - The table will have a variety of individual activities designed to interest the public in Swellr. We will be handing out flyers and talking with the Somerville community and asking them about their favorite businesses and causes.

Rebecca J. D’Antonio - Handmade high quality one of a kind and limited edition jewelry. From now to the end of September, $1 from every sale will be donated to the Greater Boston Food Bank. I also offer “Creation Station” where people can pick beads to have custom pieces made

RESPOND, Inc - Brochures, trifolds presentations, people to answer questions.

RiverDog LLC - pet supplies for dogs and cats information on sevices and samples

Taza Chocolate - We have a sign to hang up behind us, as well as a 4″ table with chocolate samples and some pictures of our chocolate.

Thalia Tringo & Assoicates Real Estate, Inc. - We will display some marketing materials and Q&A on taking care of a home, buy v. rent, etc. We’ll give away some swag.

Two Little Monkeys - 1-2 rolling racks of childrens clothing, as well as a small selection of toys and books.

Truly Good - Info about my design business, as well as a few promo items from a few of our clients.

The Welcome Project - YUM restaurant cards and talking with people about our programs and volunteer opportunities.


Why come to SomerFun on June 11th? Why WOULDN’T you?

May 26 11:00 am

By SLF Community Board Member E. John Feig

Come join Somerville Local First, the ArtsUnion and us at the second annual street fair and festival, SomerFun: A Romp for Independents, in Union Squre, Somerville on June 11th 3-7pm for some open-air activities.

Something fun for Everyone!

Something fun for Everyone!

The theme of the event is local independents and we are pleased to welcome a new sponsor this year, Polar Beverages. Polar is locally owned and operated in Worcester, MA and has been for over 125 years.  That’s our kind of sponsor!

This year we are welcoming the participation of Somerville Dog owners and pet enthusiasts, with SomDog, Riverdog and Canis Major Herbals all confirmed participants. SomerFun will feature live music, the SomerMutt Showcase (Sign up YOUR dog here) and a Guess-the-Breed contest. This event is a showcase of local mutts who will strut their stuff across the main stage, prizes will be awarded to the cutest dogs, the weirdest breed combination, and the dog/owner couple that looks the most alike. Attendees will be able to enter a competition as a spectator to “guess the breed”. The most right answers will win a prize from SLF.

SLF has also lined up an eclectic mix of local musicians to entertain us at the event. Expected to perform are Abby Barrett a folk band, Riki Rocksteady a local reggae singer/songwriter, Tall Enough a rock band and a jazz band or two.

Along with the main activities, there will be lots of family activities at SomerFun this year. There will be face painting, a dunk tank and other activities that kids will enjoy. For the dunk tank, we are working hard to put some people in it that you will want to dunk. There will be a canning workshop by Green City Growers, food justice games with Groundwork Somerville and a martial arts session with Shobu Aikido.

We hope to see you and your family at SomerFun in Union Square on June 11th at 3pm.

The Somerville Arts Council and SLF present an ArtsUnion Event: SomerFun

May 20 1:34 pm

The Somerville Arts Council and Somerville Local First are excited to present an ArtsUnion Event, SomerFun:A Romp for Independents. Join us for our 2nd annual FREE street festival and market and sample local cuisine, take part in a square-wide scavenger hunt or send one of your favorite local celebs in the dunk tank. Whatever you choose, with a variety of participating businesses, artisans, musicians and activities, SomerFun has something for everyone!

Event Description:

Something fun for everyone!

Something fun for everyone!

SomerFun: A Romp for Independents is a celebration of local and independent businesses in Somerville and across New England with activities and games, local arts and musical performances and the culturally diverse performances that define the Somerville Community.

At SomerFun, you can:

  • Enjoy a wide variety of games and activities including a Mixed Breed Dog Show, Square-wide scavenger hunt, farm and food demonstrations, a selection of carnival games (i.e. dunk tank with local celebrities) and on-stage entertainment from local youth, dance and musical guests.
  • Peruse tables from great local retailers, food producers, artisans and nonprofits.
  • Enjoy an art installation curated by local arts nonprofit Artisans Asylum.

This event will engage all segments and demographics of our community: From entrepreneurs to teens. From seniors to families. SomerFun is for everyone and we look forward to seeing you there!!


Harvest Fest 2010 - A Celebration of Each Other

Oct 14 2:28 pm

by Joe Grafton

Where to begin?  I guess, to get a real picture for what Harvest Fest 2010 meant to me and to SLF, we have to go back a few months to the summer.

We’ve talked about our weather-related misfortune at our first outdoor event this year, SomerFun. The fallout from that rainy day in June was that we lost money, had disappointed vendors, I didn’t get paid for seven weeks, and my confidence was shaken.  Needless to say, I’ve started on projects from better head-spaces than where I started  with Harvest Fest.

But, following the lead of the entrepreneurship on which we were founded, we bootstrapped.  Harvest Fest was in our yearly schedule and we were going to make it happen.  And we would, as the kids say these days, ‘go big or go home’.

I’m not sure if it was the right decision at the time (in retrospect, I think it definitely was), but we on the board agreed to not only hold Harvest Fest this year, but to do it ‘right’.  Doing it right meant following the vision for the event and incorporating what we learned last year.

And even with donations of product from the beer vendors and the restaurants, Harvest Fest was not a cheaply produced event.  In fact, our P&L (Profit & Loss statement) for the event puts our total costs at just over $10,000.  Between fire prevention ($2,000 alone), the venue and fairly compensating the performers, SLF stuck its neck out to make Harvest Fest all it could be.

And for me, standing here on the other side of the event, it was all worth it.

Here’s why:

  • We got the food mostly right this year.  After 12 months of listening to people remark about Harvest Fest 2009′s lack of food, I’m excited to be past that with this years strong performance by the Somerville Restaurants.
  • The amount of excitement that Harvest Fest built, and the resultant awareness in the importance of shifting your shopping to local businesses, was a breakthrough for SLF.  I think there are many more people in Somerville and beyond that understand what we do, why we do it…and most importantly, why they should also participate in the local movement.
  • While almost all opinions matter to me, the opinions of colleagues tend to matter most.  At and after Harvest Fest 2010, people who are involved in the event produciton world were incredibly positive and offered tremendous praise.  There will always be some guests who don’t enjoy an event, but when people who produce them for a living tell you you did something right, it’s a really good sign.
  • Local MET Local.  I heard so many of our vendors and participants talking about how they met and conversed with other local businesses.  We hoped this would happen organically, and it seems like it did.

But if there’s one thing I’ll take away from Harvest Fest 2010, it will be the ubiquitous vibe of happiness that permeated the Armory.  Everyone that I talked to at Harvest Fest was just really happy to be there.  Vendors were happy to talk to their guests, and guests to proprietors.  Performers felt valued and were excited to share their skills for the audience.  Guests seemed really excited to enjoy all the local love.  And from what I can tell, the staff also exuded happiness and thankfulness to be part of the production.

For one day, for a few hours, we brought together hundreds of people to eat, drink and be merry together.  We showed our guests and participants that the community surrounding ‘local’ looks better, tastes better and is just more fun.

Its been said many times in the movement, by leaders with far more experience and wisdom than me, that in order to take our movement to a tipping point, we have to make our work “a better party”.  (Side note:  this is why we try to avoid negativity.  Negativity ruins a party)

By the end of Harvest Fest 2010, at least for a day, it was apparent to me that ‘local’ can be one of the best parties out there and that community, far from a dirty word, is in fact it’s what most of us are seeking.

Harvest Fest 2010: Where Local was a better party

Filed under: Harvest Fest, Local First

Harvest Fest Recap

Oct 10 3:51 pm

Harvest Fest was a huge success! Based on the comments, tweets, and Facebook posts we heard and saw all day yesterday, folks had an amazing experience.

Share your Harvest Fest photos on our Facebook page, and check out the blog later this week for how things looked on our end, including the official photos from the SLF Photo Booth.

Filed under: Harvest Fest

Ceviche, Crostini, Creme Fraiche oh MY! Menu items announced for Harvest Fest 2010

Oct 07 10:37 am

We’re excited to start announcing some of the menu items that will be served at Harvest Fest 2010. To be honest, we are blown away by what we’re hearing so far. The forecast most surely calls for Om Nom Noms.

Foundry on Elm - Doing Double Duty plus 1

Foundry on Elm is not only our Food Sponsor this year, helping us transform from what was a pretty big issue with last year’s event into a clear strength for 2010, they are also working on the “go big or go home” philosophy.  Participating in both session and providing TWO different bites at Session 2.

Session 1 & 2 Menu:  Smoked Trout Pate over Crostini

Session 2 Additional menu Item: Chilled Gazpacho with Avacado Creme Fraiche

Ronnarong Thai Tapas Bar - Both Sessions

Chef Ronnarong (aka The Great Thai Chef) from Ronnarong Thai Tapas Bar will be preparing two dishes to sample at each session of Harvest Fest.

Ginger Chicken

The Greath Thai Chef’s Fried Rice (Vegetarian w/ Tofu)

Highland Kitchen - Serving at Session 1

Highland Kitchen’s Deviled Eggs were a hit last year.  This year they’ll be serving up Ceviche (!!!) for our Session 1 guests.

Trina's Starlite Lounge - Serving at Session 1

Trina’s Starlite Lounge will show all of our Session 1 guests that they’re not just a great place to enjoy a drink.  They’ll be serving a Squash Tart with Apple Slaw and Spicy Pecan

Lion's Share Foods - Session 1

Lion's Share Foods - Session 1

And for all you fans of Fermented food (and for those who want to see what it’s all about), Lion’s  Share Foods has you covered in Session 1.  They’ll be serving: Soup and Samples of Kimchee and Saurkraut

More menu announcements coming soon…hurry, presale tix are gone for Session 2 but some still available for Session 1!

Filed under: Harvest Fest, Local First

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