Somerville Local First

Shift and Save - Next Offer Coming Soon

Learn More »

Harvest Fest

Saturday October 9th, 2010 | Arts @ the Armory | Tickets start at just $20

Harvest Fest is Somerville Local First’s annual fall fundraiser and celebration.  Held at Arts @ The Armory, Harvest Fest brings all things cool and local: beer, wine, music, art, fashion and food for one of the best parties of the year.  Needless to say, we do the ‘nonprofit gala’ thing a little bit differently.

Harvest Fest 2010 will almost certainly sell out well in advance.  After all, tickets are only $20 and you get a ton of value while helping provide much needed capital for SLF to continue its work in the community.

Local Sourcing in Focus - Harvest Fest to welcome Pizzeria Posto & The Independent

by Joe Grafton

While we’re not quite there yet on highlighting specific local ingredients or menus with our Food Vendors at Harvest Fest (next year, we’re thinking theme ingredient each session?),  the today’s announcement that Pizzeria Posto and The Independent makes it an easy choice

If you’re a customer of either or both, you already know where I’m going.  Both menus regularly feature seasonal locally-sourced items.  Local food is important to both of these organizations, and its important to us.  We can’t wait to see what they cook up at Harvest Fest 2010 (tix here)

Pizzerai Posto - Participating in Session 1 & Session 2

Posto, a modern interpretation of a classic Italian pizzeria, enoteca and trattoria all presented in a “farm chic” open air concept, is a fantastic new addition to Davis Square specializing in wood fired Neapolitan Pizza in the spirit of Verace Pizza Napoletana.

Posto features an exciting “small plates” menu, handmade pastas and specialty cocktails while providing a family friendly, approachable dining venue. We support local artists, farmers, and ranchers whenever possible.

Their website here, designed by SLF Member Oat Creative.

The Independent - Participating in Session 1

The Independent is a casual, comfortable neighborhood restaurant and pub located in the heart of Union Square. Our seasonally influenced dinner menu is offered at either of our two bars as well as in the dining room. The kitchen prepares all of their cuisine with simple, classic preparation, using local, sustainable, and fresh ingredients. Fresh, local seafood specials are a daily mainstay.

The drink menu at The Independent features both standards and new trends. Our wine list is small, featuring mainstays of the old world while maintaining an emphasis on smaller vineyards, organic and biodynamic practices, and a low mark up. The beer list changes seasonally, featuring many local and craft breweries, as well as an array of Belgians, making full use of our 32 draught lines and 60-some-odd bottles.

And, if you didn’t know, The Indo hosted a quickly sold out ALLocal Dinner earlier this year, where every ingredient on the menu, down to the salt and spices, came from New Engalnd. (ALLocal Dinners are a program of The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Boston)

Needless to say, Locavores should find lots of Local Love at Harvest Fest 2010.

Originally posted on...September 22nd, 2010

Pretty Things Beer & Highland Kitchen - Latest Announced Participants at Harvest Fest 2010

We’d like to start off our blog this week by announcing  two more amazing participants in Harvest Fest 2010.  With just under 3 weeks left before the big day, we’re getting really excited for 10/9 to get here….with these two participants you can see why.

Session 1 Food Vendor - Highland Kitchen

Highland Kitchen was one of the hits of Harvest Fest 2009.  Their deviled egg specialty was voraciously scooped up at last years event (Ed. ~ hmmm, maybe that had a little something to do with the dearth of food?) and we expect this years offerings to be equally scrumptious.

Highland Kitchen is a family-owned neighborhood restaurant and bar located “up the hill” in the heart of Somerville.
It has been delivering its award-winning American comfort food, well-crafted cocktails, friendly service and a killer jukebox in a casual, fun atmosphere since opening its doors in 2007.  Their Weekly Goings On include a rotating set of musicians, games, a monthly spelling bee and an ever evolving blackboard of specials.

"We are a gypsy brewery, without a permanent brewing home. We like it that way, we can be whatever we want to be on a shoestring budget. What more do you want than that?"

Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project is something special.  The brewers/founders are passionate about what they do.  What we love about them most is that this passion and personality resonate throughout everything they do.  If you ask beer connoisseurs in the Boston Metro they’ll likely bring up Pretty Things as one of their favorite local indies….so would we.  We’re not sure yet if Pretty Things will be on the main floor, or only available to Super Supporters, but we’ll be sure to update you soon.  We’re just psyched to have them there.

Originally posted on...September 20th, 2010

Harvest Fest Contest Extended - Keeping it simple

Win tickets to the session of your choice...TODAY!

So we launched a contest on Friday of last week.  It was the 2nd time we’ve done so on a Friday, and both times almost nobody played. (Note to organization  - Choose a better day of the week next time)

So we’re going to extend the contest and simplify it.  Just comment on this blog post by the 10:00 PM tonight for a chance to win a pair of tix to the Harvest Fest session of your choice.

Originally posted on...September 20th, 2010

Regale us for Harvest Fest Tix to the Session of your Choice

3 more weeks and Harvest Fest will be upon us....we're excited about it and hope you are too.

We wanted to run a contest on our blog for tickets and this time want you to get creative.  So we are going to pick our favorite reply to this post as the winner and award a pair of Harvest Fest tickets to your choice of sessions.

To enter, comment on this blog post by Sunday @ 1:00 PM and tell us, in your most fun and creative way, why you’d like to go to Harvest Fest.  We’re looking forward to seeing what you can come up with.

Note:  We love fun and irreverent, but must ask you to keep it clean or we won’t approve the comment and you won’t have a chance to win.

Originally posted on...September 17th, 2010

A Look Into the Sounds of Harvest Fest 2010

by Clay Adamczyk

It’s safe, but bittersweet, to say that this glorious summer is all but behind us. And though our days of enjoying our meals, music, and fine ballgame lagers & wheat ales outside are numbered, it only really opens our pallets to the flavors of fall: New England’s most beautiful season. So while the leaves are turning Oktoberfest orange, let’s bid a fond adieu to summer, welcome autumn with open arms, and see what this year’s harvest has to offer. Harvest Fest that is, with a sampling for all senses: the tastes and smells of great local wines, beers and food; a look into the season’s local fashion; and of corse, the best in a variety of sounds this great town has to offer.

With the nature of the festival, experiencing what may be new to us is what’s fun, and with the musical entertainment, we’ll get a full dose.

Buy your Harvest Fest 2010 Tickets, its a show not to be missed

Buy your Harvest Fest 2010 Tickets, its a show not to be missed

Session One presents two of the finest bands to rise out of our diverse music scene. One Fine Morning opens the night with their own blend of acoustic based rock. Though this quintet began as an all acoustic quartet, they’ve spent the last couple years discovering themselves, incorporating a touch of funk, the perfect backing warm electric guitar tones, and classic rock organ.

SEA MONSTERS: "More of a 'collective' than a Band"

Headlining the first session is Boston’s own super group of sorts, and a band most known for their weekly residency at the Precinct. SEA MONSTERS: a band whose sound is as diverse as their lineup. As the groups informal leader, Christian McNeill puts it, “[SEA MONSTERS] is more of a “collective” than a band.”  It’s a musical endeavor in which friends come in and out of bringing in their own styles and ideas so much so that he could not as of yet confirm who the group would be comprised of for this performance, and is seen as a side-project “that is (supposed to be) a vehicle where we can all get together and have fun doing what we love” McNeill said. “As Scott Aruda, our trumpet player, says “SEA MONSTERS - never the same band once.” With a rotating cast of about twenty musicians, ‘a healthy spirit of improvisation in everything that [they] do,’ and a range of musical style from jazz to blues to rock, each performance is unique so this one is not to be missed.

Session Two musically shifts corse in a way that will loosen up those ties and work those dance muscles. Fellow SLF blogger and Weekly Dig editor, David Day, opens the electronic portion of the evening spinning top tracks in big-room techno heavily fused with soul and a lot of vocals. Day is one of the city’s leading members in an electronic revolution as both a co-founder and resident DJ of Boston’s best Thursday night, Make it New at the Middlesex Lounge; a founding member of show promoting organization, Basstown Presents; and is a co-founder of the Together Music Festival which celebrates its second run this coming April.

Closing the night is an unstoppable duo, the Zebbler Encanti Experience, with a performance unlike anything else we’ve seen–something truly legendary in which Zebbler, the visual mastermind behind the two, describes will be “a hybrid of bass-heavy electronic dance music and completely locked in three screen wide visuals, with a handful of artfulness thrown in to spice up the mix.” For the first time, Encanti’s original produced music and Zebbler’s multi-headed hydra of synched visuals will be joined with a choreographed performance by Somerville’s own AirCraft Aerial Arts team.

The Zebbler Encanti Experience - Breaking new ground @ Harvest Fest 2010

The Zebbler Encanti Experience - Breaking new ground @ Harvest Fest 2010

“SLF introduced us to the idea of collaborating with the Aircraft Aerial team for our performance and we loved it right away!” said Zebbler when asked about their collaboration with the aerial acrobats. “Co-incidentally, Encanti and I have been developing ideas for making our performances more interactive and large-scale, including ideas about involving a marching band (anyone?) and aerialists.”

AirCraft Aerial Arts will contribute to a visually stunning performance @ Harvest Fest 2010

AirCraft Aerial Arts will contribute to a visually stunning performance @ Harvest Fest 2010

Harvest Fest is about people enjoying new experiences, and is why Zebbler is excited to perform for folks from all walks of life. “After all, pretty much everyone loves good local beer and good local food!” he added. “But as the night takes hold - we think people will be ready to get a little wild and experience something that is at once an aerial dance, a circus show and a 21st century dance party.”

Originally posted on...September 16th, 2010

Om Nom Nom Locally First @ Harvest Fest 2010

by Joe Grafton

Of all the things that didn’t quite work at Harvest Fest 2009, food was at the top of the list.  Part of the issue was our promotion of the event (i.e. setting the wrong expectations).  Another challenge was the format of offering 1 restaurant at a time and passing the food.  We just, quite frankly, just didn’t expect that many people to be there!

So, we knew in planning this years event, we needed to do a better job with food.  And we think its a safe bet that we’ll deliver.

We are very fortunate to have the managers from new SLF Member Foundry on Elm managing our food program as a sponsor this year.  With their help, we’ll be recruiting 10 local restaurants and food producers for EACH Harvest Fest 2010 session, offering 1 bite/small serving to each of the first 350 guests.

So with no further ado, we are happy to announce our first group of confirmed food participants for Harvest Fest 2010.  Local Om Nom Noms for everyone!

Foundry on Elm (Both Sessions)

Thank you to our Food Sponsors - Foundry on Elm

A brasserie-tavern hybrid, Foundry on Elm transports the best of seasonal New England fare into the kitchen of 255 Elm Street and produces refined, fresh food while serving proper ale. Located in the heart of Somerville’s Davis Square, the restaurant will pay tribute to the modern day craft worker by celebrating the farmers, brewers and winemakers that created the products on the menu.

Eat at Jumbo’s (Both Sessions)

The Margherita Pizza @ Jumbo's

Offering more than just pizza, Eat at Jumbo’s is the go to place when dad wants a huge 100% Angus Beef Burger, Jenny wants a freshly prepared sandwich, Jimmy wants some flavorful Chicken Wings and mom is looking for one of those fancy Panini sandwiches  Our mission is to provide every guest with a remarkable experience every day by serving only great fresh food at a fair cost. It’s that simple.

Ronnarong Thai Tapas (Both Sessions)

Thai Basil Anyone???

Formerly the Great Thai Chef, Ronnarong Thai Tapas has reinvented itself over the past 2 years.  With a revamped menu with many small plate options, a remodeled interior and a new outdoor patio, Ronnarong Thai Tapas is an eatery on the rise.  But what really sets it apart is its offering of Tapas menu items.  Small plates of Thai specialties like Paradise Beef and Papaya Salad make Ronnarong a dining experience like few others.

Lions Share Foods (First Session)

Local Probiotic Foods FTW!!!

Christine Oliver, founder/owner of Lion’s Share Foods completed her Certification in Holistic Nutrition and Health Counseling at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in NYC. She is a health conscious cook and avid locavore. Her goal is to provide healthy, affordable eating options for urban families. Lion’s Share Foods provides local alternatives  to probiotic foods such as Kimchee, Fresh Yogurt and Kefir, Cheeses, Breads, Teas, and other fermented vegetarian products. All of our ingredients are locally sourced and organic as often as possible. We want you to feel good about eating right!

the chocolate tarte (Second Session)

Desert from the chocolate tarte - the final Om Nom Nom of Harvest Fest 2010

the chocolate tarte believes in doing a few things very well.  They have spent countless hours perfecting each of these custom cakes, truffles and tartes, so that they offer a product that is fresh, all-natural, luscious, and decidedly one-of-a-kind.  They’ll be serving up a delicious desert after a day of local love at Harvest Fest 2010.

We think you should listen to your stomach, and buy your Harvest Fest tickets now!

(Unrelated side note:  this website makes me laugh every time I go there:

Originally posted on...September 14th, 2010
1 comment

No need to Whine, The Second Glass Has You Covered

One of the improvements at Harvest Fest 2010 that we’re really excited about is our enhanced Local Wines presence.  This year, The Second Glass, your unpretentious, badass source for baller wine information, will be sampling wine from Massachusetts and Cider from New Hampshire.  And this is no Proximity over Quality choice either.

President and Co-Founder of The Second Glass, Tyler Balliet says:

“Every single state in the US now makes wine and there are some really good vineyards in some surprising places. Here in New England we have some totally kickass wineries making fantastic wine! Dollar for dollar, the wines you’ll taste at Harvest Fest 2010 are good enough to compare with anything France or California can offer.”

The Second Glass to bring their love of local wine and penchant for partying to Harvest Fest 2010

So with no further ado, here’s what’s in-store for the wine booth at Harvest Fest 2010:

Wesport Rivers

A family owned winery in Westport MA specializes in sparkling wines that rival those from all over the globe. They also make a variety of still wines that are crisp, delicious and reflect the New England lands on which they were grown. It started with Bob and Caroll Russel who bought an old dairy farm and built a winery, their sons Rob and Bill carry on the tradition to this day with an array of wines that are both local and delicious!

Farnum Hill Wines

A small apple orchard in MA that specializes in rare apple species made for cider, cooking and eating. Planted on an old dairy farm their ciders are refreshing, made from all MA apples and fermented on site!

Travessia Winery

Marco Montez is the man behind the wine, using all local produce they create a variety of well crafted white wines (and a rose!). Marco hopes to one day own his own land, that he might himself grow the grapes somewhere in Southeastern New England. “In a very short period of time I’ve learned that winemaking presents tremendous risks and enormous challenges.  It’s farming, it’s chemistry, it’s marketing, it’s sales… And I’ve only scratched the surface. But the world of wine and winemaking is also extremely exciting and rewarding in its own unique way.”

90+ Cellars

90+ is taking advantage of the current economic conditions by purchasing high quality and highly rated finished wines direct from wineries at a discount and then passing the savings on to you. Price and availability aren’t the only selection criteria.  The wines we purchase must have a pedigree of 90 or higher ratings, best buy or gold medal accolades from a respected wine authority or publication meaning 90+ sells high quality wine to you at a discount.

Tickets are starting to move fast, get yours today before you miss out on all the local love!

(Editors Note:  This story originally referenced  ”ALL Massachusetts wine”.  We have updated the post to more accurately reflect our tasting, which will be from all Massachusetts wine companies, but not all produced within Massachusetts.  We’ve also added a clarification that Farnum Hills Cider is from New Hampshire.  We’re the first ones to call out others for mis-representing local, so we made these corrections as soon as they were brought to our attention.)

Originally posted on...September 1st, 2010

Harvest Fest: The Second Glass In The House & Local Designer/DJ to Manage Fashion Performance

by Joe Grafton

We’re just over two months away from Harvest Fest 2010 and the participant list continues to add some of the best and brightest from Greater Boston.  One thing we’ve learned in our 2+ year history:  The more great people we can surround ourselves with, the more fun and success we have.  Along those lines, we are incredibly excited to announce two new partners for this years festivities.  Note:  We do expect the event to sell out,  and suggest you buy your tickets in advance.

The Second Glass to bring their love of local wine and penchant for partying to Harvest Fest 2010 and their own Wine Riot on October 22nd & 23rd.

The Second Glass is your unpretentious, badass source for baller wine information.”  Sounds like a match made in heaven, and we think it will be.  Tyler and Morgan, the founders of SG were recently featured in Inc Magazine’s 30 under 30, a list of some of the country’s best young entrepreneurs and have lots of local roots and connections.

It is also worth thanking the recent hot and sweltering weather for facilitating this bad-ass partnership.  For were it not for Tyler’s need to get out of his hot apartment and into an air conditioned office, and my response via the social interwebs that he was welcome to chill (pun intended) at the SLF office for the day, we might not be talking about this.  But a short conversation later, Tyler was emailing Morgan about the potential of running the local wine parade at Harvest Fest, and a day later it was official (entrepreneurs, social or otherwise, like to act quickly).

Finally, it’s not just about these guys rocking our wine world.  Remember, Harvest Fest is about local first and foremost.  And Tyler is excited to show our guests just what Massachusetts can do.  In discussing the format, Tyler said “Massachusetts wineries are making GREAT wine right now.  But not enough people know this“.  We have a feeling that at least 700 folks will know a lot more about it after 10/9/10.

Find the Second Glass on the web, on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Fashion Performance Manager Ari Paoletti is the Founder of Deconize Style...

...and a Basstown resident at one of Boston's best dance parites, Make It New

Last year, the fashion show at Harvest Fest featured a TON of stylized and fashion forward looks from some of our favorite local fashion shops and boutiques.  Looks from poor little rich girl, Artifaktori and Black & Blues Boutique filled the Armory with style and beauty.

The looks were great last year...

And like most things from Harvest Fest 2009, gave the organizers some indegestion as we tried to create something spectacular,  without really knowing what we were doing.  We think the guests probably were more likely to notice the lovely looks parading up and down the runway, but this year we’re bringing in an expert to help us enjoy it too.

...and with Ari's help, they'll be even better at Harvest Fest 2010

As part of my work as Director of Operations for the 1st Annual, Together Music Festival, I got a chance to work with Ari Paoletti, a renowned local fashion designer and DJ (Volvox).  Ari managed the Get Together: a record fair, trade show and, you guessed it, fashion performance.  Watching what she coordinated that day at the Villa Victoria, I knew that we had to find a way for her to work on Harvest Fest.  A few emails and conversations later, we had ourselves a Fashion Show Manager.  With Ari in the fold, not only will the show be visually stunning, but I and the other organziers won’t have to worry about it, and might actually be able to enjoy it from the Super Supporter Box on the Mezzanine.

Note:  You can find Deconize products in our very own Grand in Union Square.

Originally posted on...August 1st, 2010

The Relaunch of the Somerville Local First Website - A resource to find Locally Owned and Independent Businesses in Somerville

Welcome to the new SLF website!  We’re excited to completely relaunch our web presence in an effort to better promote the local movement and our members. At the same time, we hope to engage in meaningful dialogue with you, our fellow community members.

This site is intended to serve as a community resource: a place for learning and discussion.  To help you continue  to Shift your Shopping to local and independent businesses, we are incorporating a number of new features:

  • The SLF Blog – Our new blog based site will feature wide ranging contributions every week from many different sources, including:
    • SLF Staff, Interns and Board of Directors
    • SLF Members – entrepreneurs, artists and nonprofit directors
    • Community Bloggers – community members who are passionate about ‘local’ and want to share their Somerville stories
    • National Experts – people around the country who are working to build strong local living economies
    • Multimedia galore!  - We’ll be posting photos, reviews, videos and more to the site in the coming months.  We hope these tools will continue to build the awareness and behavior change we need to take our movement to the next level.
    • Campaign and Event pages – We’ll have living pages dedicated to the 10% Shift, Shift your Shopping, Move Your Money, Harvest Fest and SomerFun, which will be updated throughout the year.
    • Tweets from around the ‘ville – A live-updating tweet list of SLF members and SLF partners
    • A more active and engaging set of content about the Local Movement, here in Somerville and beyond
    • Shift & Save coupons!  - Want to buy local?  Want to save money?  Then buy Shift & Save coupons from the SLF website.  These coupons get you great deals from our members and help provide much needed capital to the SLF organization.  COMING SOON!
    • Real time, location based mobile coupons on your smartphone!  - SLF has partnered to pilot a location based coupon system for iPhone and Android users.  Simply come to our home page, click on the Mobile App widget from anywhere in Somerville, and see offers from our members in real time.  COMING SOON!
    • An easy way to JOIN SLF – We now have membership categories for businesses, artists, nonprofits and community members.  Each community can easily join our growing network and become part of the movement to build and sustain our local economy in Somerville.

This is just the first step to developing a community resource for local economies like no other.  We want to know what you think…in fact, one of the main reasons why we chose this format was to create and foster dialogue.  So if there’s something you’d like to see, something you like (or don’t like), please let us know.

Stay tuned this week for daily blog posts, including the beginning of a video series on SLF developed by Street Attack. We will also be hearing from our first Community Bloggers and providing more details on our Shift & Save coupons and mobile applications!

Shift Happens


Originally posted on...July 19th, 2010

Harvest Fest: Our first brewery announced and a remarkable final act for Harvest Fest 2010

Rapscallion Brewery will be @ Harvest Fest 2010

We’re pleased to announce that Rapscallion Brewery will be at Harvest Fest.  The co-owners are great guys and big fans of and participants in the Local Movement.  And you’re likely to see them in a Somerville bar if you look hard enough.

Their slogan:  Think Local, Drink Local and we couldn’t agree more.  That’s a big part of what Harvest Fest is all about.

Aircraft Aerialists to Create Visually Stunning Finale

This idea has been kicking around for a while, but its now a reality.  At the conclusion of Harvest Fest Session II (titled Local is the Future), the Zebbler Encanti Experience will team up with Aircraft Aerial Arts (think Local Cirque du Soleil).

We’ll have aerial performances up to 20 feet in the air on the ring and silks choreographed with some of Boston’s best progressive electronic music from Encanti and 3 screens of award winning video from Zebbler…and we still have some surprises on top of that.

We really can’t wait to see this, and it may just be the only time this has ever happened in greater Boston?  So ya, this is how we do our fundraisers.

Originally posted on...July 17th, 2010

[top of page]

developed with a whole lotta local love by trulygood