The past decade has been an exciting time for local food lovers, with an increasing array of foods coming to market. Yet, surprisingly, finding local chicken—that staple of the weeknight dinner table—remained next to impossible. In recent years, demand for humanely-raised chicken has increased as people have become more aware of the terrible conditions that exist on many conventional poultry farms. And as with other meats, people knew the taste of pasture-raised chicken would far outshine its grocery store counterparts, so the limited supply was quickly spoken for.

Thankfully, in January 2012 fourth generation farmers Elizabeth and Vince Frary helped fill this void in the market, starting Copicut Farms in North Dartmouth. At Copicut, chickens are raised on pasture and eat pesticide-free grass, legumes, and insects, just as nature intended. Copicut Farms also sells eggs, Cornish game hens, and, in the fall, turkeys. In a process that is state licensed and inspected, the poultry is even slaughtered on-site.

Copicut Farms products can be purchased at the farm in North Dartmouth or at ten farmers’ markets, including Hingham and Plymouth in the South Shore/South Coast area. Copicut also offers a farm share, where customers can pay a discounted price for chicken and eggs at the start of the season. Then, according to their needs and schedules, customers can pick up various cuts of chicken, as well as eggs, throughout the market season at any of the farmers’ markets that Copicut attends or on Saturdays at the North Dartmouth farm. Bulk orders are also available.

Copicut Farms
11 Copicut Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747

Julia Powers happily cooks whole foods in her Hingham kitchen. From roast chicken to homemade stock, the delicious, nutritious Copicut Farm chickens and eggs are a go-to staple in her house.


Photos by Michael Hart

Everyone in Hingham knows Pete Rando. For over thirty years, he was proprietor of Pete’s Barber Shop and his warm and engaging manner helped endear him to the generations of Hingham families that patronized his shop. And, as he turns 96 on April 19th, his life is a testament to the value of friendship, working hard at a job you love, and, last but certainly not least, the importance of good food.

Peter Rando and his homemade wine.

Although he was born in this country, Pete moved back to Italy when he was three years old because his father, who suffered from asthma, thought the warmer climate would improve his health. Once they were settled back in Italy, Pete spent his childhood immersed in the culinary culture of his parents’ homeland, working with them in the garden and raising rabbits, which would ultimately end up on the family’s dinner table. In 1935, when he was 17 years old, he decided to strike out on his own and return to the States. Pete arrived in New York with only $8 in his pocket. This money didn’t last too long; after paying for the bus to Boston, he arrived at his uncle’s home in Hingham with $3 to his name, no job and not speaking any English. At first, he lived at his uncle’s Hingham home and earned room and board caring for the family’s 1400 chickens. Yes, you read that correctly! His uncle, who lived on Pleasant St., had seven chicken houses on his property and, until he landed his first job as a barber, Pete looked after the birds. Trained in his father’s profession, he eventually found a job at a Weymouth barbershop, where he was able to learn English and save money to purchase his own store, which he did in 1948. Given that a haircut cost 35 cents when he started, saving money wasn’t an easy task!As a barber, hard work and a friendly manner defined Pete. As he is fond of saying, “I only worked half a day, from 6am to 6pm. That is half a day.” And, he was not kidding. After he sold the store in 1982, he continued to work at the shop and today, at age 95, Pete still cuts hair each morning from 6:00am until 9:30am. Through the years, he also worked hard at his other love-his garden. Like many immigrants, preserving the culinary traditions with which he was raised was vitally important to him. Over the decades, he grew much of the food his family ate while his wife, Nellie, preserved the bounty of the garden for the family to enjoy throughout the year. And, being from Italy, another one of the culinary traditions he continued was he making wine. Each year, he orders grapes from Napa Valley and, with the 100 year old wine press in his basement, makes both merlot and cabernet sauvignon.

As he approaches his 96th birthday, Pete is spry and his mind agile. He longevity and vitality are a testament to the way he has nourished his body over the years. His diet is filled with vegetables and fruits, many of which he grows himself. Other staples of his diet include chickpeas, lentils and beans. And, although he eats chicken and fish, he estimates he only has red meat once a year. Oh, and then there is the wine. Pete and Nellie have a small glass of wine every evening. What a lovely way to eat and an even lovelier way to live. Happy Birthday Pete!

Some first generation Americans, like Pete, choose to eat as they did in their homeland, often growing their own food in order to make this happen. Learn more about Pete’s fascinating story, as well as that of another first generation Italian-American who is also a gardener extraordinaire, in an upcoming edition of edible South Shore & South Coast.

Like Pete, Julia Powers lives in Hingham and shares his love of gardening, good food, and an occasional glass of wine.



Photos by Michael Hart

Sometimes, you just gotta have a burger.  When the craving strikes, South Shore residents can now head to Wahlburgers, the area’s newest burger joint, which opened last week in the Hingham Shipyard. Chef Paul Wahlberg, a Hingham resident and self-confessed burger addict, is the driving force behind the casual restaurant, which pays homage to his favorite food. Like his other restaurant, Alma Nova, located just down the street, Wahlburgers is a family affair. Two of Paul’s famous siblings, actor-producer Mark Wahlberg and actor Donnie Wahlberg, along with business partner Ed St. Croix, join Paul as co-owners of the new restaurant and the Wahlberg name certainly brings a touch of Hollywood to Hingham.

The menu offers several riffs on the basic burger. In a nod to the Dorchester triple decker in which the Wahlbergs were raised, there are single, double and triple decker beef burgers. The beef used in the burgers contains no hormones or antibiotics and is ground fresh.  There are also turkey burgers, barbeque bacon burgers, and the Thanksgiving burger-a turkey burger topped with stuffing, orange-cranberry sauce, and roasted butternut squash. In another tip of the hat to their childhood, burgers are served with “government cheese”, also known as processed American cheese. However, you can choose cheddar or blue cheese from the extensive list of burger toppings. The menu also features hot dogs, Yukon gold French fries, onion rings, and both traditional and sweet potato tater tots. Two local favorites, Hornstra milk and Nona’s ice cream, make an appearance on the menu, the latter as part of delicious frappes. The menu notes that a salmon burger and a mushroom burger will soon join the line-up, a welcome addition for vegetarian diners.

The décor of Wahlburgers celebrates the family behind the restaurant. Ceiling panels list movies, TV shows, bands, and restaurants in which the brothers have been involved. A map of their Dorchester neighborhood is superimposed on the wall, along with a photo of the home in which the family was raised. The L shaped restaurant, offers two seating options. Patrons who want a quick bite can place an order at the counter and grab a table or a booth. The other side offers table service and a full bar.

Whether you are craving a delicious burger or a little taste of Hollywood, Wahlburgers is your destination of choice.
Photos by Michael Hart