Gloucester SaLT – Sea and Land Together – brings fishers, farmers, scientists and community together in their spring course series starting April 20th.

Individuals and families will connect to place, food, the season and each other, while building practical sea and land skills to take into the future.

Starting on April 20th, for four consecutive Thursdays, from 6-8pm, Gloucester SaLT will gather with community at Cedar Rock Gardens, in West Gloucester. Farmer, Tucker Smith, fisherman, Captain Joe Sanfilippo and scientist, Bart Difiore will explore garden layouts, plant and fish species of Cape Ann, and the ecology of local soils. Participants will have the option to process and prepare fresh, whole catch using whatever species is available, fresh off a local boat.  


SaLT aims to create deep, community awareness of the interdependence of sea, land and people. When fishermen, farmers, scientists and community have the opportunity to learn together, knowledge of place, neighbor, local food sourcing and preparation options is expanded. As SaLT facilitates an ever-widening network of local food connections, by working to reduce silos and competition, they aspire to increase collaboration, community resilience and local food security.


There is a lot of talk about wanting independence from powerful, external behemoths like the global food system. There is apparent desire to protect local heritage and Gloucester’s foundation — the fishery. The public seems to value small-scale, local farmers along with the benefits their existence brings. Yet a lack of actionable, individual and community choices creates a reality in which highly skilled, young farmers are fleeing north and experienced fishermen continue to leave the industry. Local youth continue to be discouraged from entering the industry. SaLT believes there will always be external forces influencing the fishing and farming industries, and therefore the region’s food security and resilience. SaLT wants locals to know, even in the face of those impositions, the community itself has the power to create the future it wants to see. They have just released a SURVEY for locals to gauge where the community has been, where it is now, and where it wants to head. The survey will take a bit of time and effort, as will a shift toward making choices at scale — choices that prioritize local food as local security. No one else is going to do it for the community. The people who make up the community must make it happen by taking the steps to make it happen. 


Five spokes, together, turn the whole SaLT wheel. 

1. PREPARE: the next generation of professional Fishers & Farmers

·      merging fishing, farming, and ecosystem science in SaLT’s professional, multi-disciplinary program


2. EDUCATE: youth & community

·      to source, grow, harvest & prepare local, seasonal seafood & 

produce — year-round.

·      to consider fishing and/or farming as recreation, life skills, income, way of life


3. EMPOWER: aspiring and existing local food-related businesses through SaLT’s brick and mortar incubator, market & exchange  

·      to more effectively source, grow, harvest, process, market, and distribute raw and value-added product 

·      to bond with each other, generate, and sustain mutually beneficial collaboration


4. ENGAGE: the public and policy makers

·       to understand that sea, land, and people are one system whose parts affect each   other profoundly, and that we each have the opportunity to influence that system.


5. CREATEa dedicated community through SaLT’s interacting spokes

·       who becomes acquainted with the various players in local food system

·       who knows what is and is not in season when and why

·       who knows how to source & prepare local foods they may previously never had access to or worked with

·       who shifts toward local food-consumption and exchange — for security, economic development, and diverse community engagement  






According to the USDA, “As consumers across the nation express a growing interest in a closer connection to their food producers—whether through access to more localized markets and/or shorter supply chains— cities and regions have begun to regard the expansion of local food marketing activities as a critical component of their economic development strategies.” In addition, the federal government acknowledges,” As the pandemic has evolved and Russia’s war in Ukraine has caused supply chain disruptions, it has become clear we cannot go back to the 

food system we had before.” Gloucester SaLT, even in its nascent stage, is already heightening community agility and interconnectivity by bringing people together to rethink the way Gloucester does food and security.


Gloucester, whose identity is founded on the men and women who harvest, process, and bring the people food, deserves —demands— a year-round, centrally located local food market, exchange, and training center. A place to raise up the next generation of fishers and farmers. A center to educate, engage, and feed the people. A market where buying a whole fish, in season, is as normal and easy as buying top-notch local oysters and a shucker to go. Where berries brighten the stands in summer, and a rainbow of root veggies holds the space in colder seasons. A venue where all members of the community can shop, learn about, and prepare local food together. A hub where organizations and individuals in the food system can cross pollinate ideas and pool resources, to make more money and energy available for where and whom it is needed most.



About Gloucester SaLT

Gloucester SaLT is a 501(c)(3), based in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Founded in 2023, their vision is to see fishermen, farmers, scientists, and community learning, engaging, and eating together in a highly collaborative, food secure community. They are facilitating agile, local food infrastructure, exchange, and training, by harnessing past experience, understanding current reality and shaping a view of the future that embraces land, sea and people as one interdependent system. Online:

Leaving a comment rewards the author of this post- add to the discussion here-

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s