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Welcome to Somerville Local First.  We support a thriving local economy and sustainable community by supporting locally owned independent businesses.  Check out our member list (click Membership) and member directory to find a local business near you. 

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A new revolution is starting, and it's starting close to home

Last week, the 10% Shift launched in Somerville.  This program, as reported in Boston's Independent Alternative News Weekly The Weekly DigThe 10-Percent Shift, Revolutionizing the Way You Shop, offers hope and promise regarding our Local Economies:  A message not often heard these days.  The Shift is asking individuals, businesses, nonprofits and government agencies to Shift 10% of their annual purchases to Local Indpendents this year.

****UPDATE:  We are so excited to annonce that Alderman Rebekah Gerwitz and Mayor Joe Curtatone have become the first elected in their respective positions in all of New Enlgand to sign the 10% Shift pledge.  Won't you join them?  ******

 So, what does  a 10% Shift mean?  Well, as discussed here before, a recent study out of Western Michigan espouses the power of such a Shift.  To recap, the study found that if the 600,000 people living around Grand Rapids were to shift 10%, they would create the following economic benefits this year:

  • 1600 new jobs, reducing unemployment by .5%
  • $53 Million in new wages
  • $137 Million in new economic activity for the local economy
...and this is without the use of one taxpayer dollar! Quite the contrast to some other economic recovery packages, don't you think???

Shift Happens...   Join the movement and Shift 10% here



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Local Recipe of the Month
Ukranian-Style Borscht
When it gets really, deep down in the bones cold like this I can't help but think of what it must have been like for my grandparent's families, who came from places where this kind of cold is a way of life.  In Ukraine, and Poland, the temperatures dip down, down, down and stay there for a long, long, time.  These are people who only have a few short months to get what they can out of the ground, and they invest their farming time in starchy roots that will support them through the winters.  Things that store well in cold, dark places- cabbages, beets, carrots, parsnips, potatoes.

My mother's borscht was a pure beet soup, but I prefer a meaty, rich version, not nearly so dark red at the end, as you use a wide variety of root vegetables to accompany the ubiquitous beet.

If you can start with meat on the bone it is best, but if you don't have it you can substitute stock of whatever type you like.

2 uncooked lamb shanks- bone and all- in one gallon of water (or 1 gallon of stock)
2 bay leaves
a small handful of flat leaf parsley
4 large beets, well scrubbed, and diced
2 carrots, scrubbed and diced
2 parsnips, scrubbed and diced
1 celery root, scrubbed and diced
1 rutabaga or turnip, peeled and diced
1 large white onion, cut into small cubes
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 head of green cabbage, cut into cubes
1/4 cup each fresh dill and parsley, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the lamb shanks, bay leaves and whole parsley in a large soup pot, add the water and bring to a simmer.
Continue to simmer for several hours on medium-low heat.  Remove from heat and strain, retaining lamb.
Remove lamb meat from bones and return to soup pot with the strained stock
Bring again to a simmer and add all of the vegetables except for the cabbage and fresh herbs.

Cook for 10 minutes, and test vegetables for softness.  When the beets are getting soft, add the remaining ingredients and cook for another half hour.

Serve with or without sour cream at the table.  This soup keeps well, the flavors will bloom if you make it a day ahead of time.

jj gonson · personal chef ·  locavore
Cuisine En Locale
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