Sunday, November 23, 2008

Eastie in the news

Today's Globe has several stories referencing our neighborhood:

**Giordana Mecagni and Peter Chipman moved to East Boston three years ago, and they make hard cider from apples they find locally. A couple after my own heart! They've found fruit trees around the beach, Piers Park and Belle Isle Marsh, crushed them and made homemade alcoholic brew. I've been fermenting cider for six years now, but I use unpasteurized cider that I get at orchards, which means a drive and a few bucks. I've thought about crushing my own apples, but as a renter I'm not sure how feasible that is space and mess-wise. I'm jealous of these guys, who -- like me -- also make mead (fermented honey and the beverage of choice for Vikings).

**Eastie resident and freelance writer Elizabeth Gehrman starts off her piece on the nightmares that sometimes come with home ownership with a story about a house on Sumner Street that was purchased by a pair of brothers and, not long after, condemned when a work crew busted a water main just outside. (Gehrman also has a nice piece on a New Hampshire couple who built a beautiful off-the-grid home.)

**Transportation beat reporter Noah Bierman writes, in the "Stops & Starts" column, about the proposal to increase tolls for the harbor tunnels and how that would affect East Boston. He mentions a pair of Internet sites that have popped up in protest: Stop the Hike and Stop the Pike Hike.


Sonya said...

I was told by someone not to eat any of the fruit in Eastie - that the lead (or mercury? I forget) content was really high.

I'm assuming any toxins would remain, even after fermenting.

Any knowledge on this?

John W said...

Almost all the soils in Boston contain ludicrously high levels of lead thanks to lead paint and years of leaded gas usage. That's why you want to use raised bed gardens with clean dirt trucked in.

Outside of a raised bed garden, leafy stuff and tubers would definitely be a no-no. I've heard some people say lead take-up in tomatoes and other veggies might be less and from what I understand fruits like apples, peaches and pears would probably contain negligible amounts of lead.

End of the day it's your call to make I suppose because you can probably find some horticultural expert to tell you yes and another to tell you no in regards to whether you should or not.

Shannon said...

Stop the Pike Hike is holding a rally in East Boston-at Ecco-on December 3, 4pm. I can't wait to get fired up and support people who are actually trying to do something about this exorbitant increase! If you pre-register on the website,, you get a free T-shirt at the rally. Let's stop the Mass. Turnpike Authority from shoving this burden on Eastie residents!

Sonya said...

Where's the Eastie scientist who can do lead samples for the wild foods?

I have a community garden space down on Marignal, and they replaced the soil there before turning into said garden. That being said, it's at the bottom of the hill - I wonder how long it'll be before the soil's tainted?

My potatoes do taste good though... mmmm, lead potatoes.