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Winter Work 2010

dan athearn mulching strawberries

January 5th and Daniel and Simon are spreading a layer of straw over the strawberry plants.   We using the mulching implement attached to the Kubota L245H.  We purchased this multcher from Thimble Farm several years back, it shreds the sections of straw that are tossed into its hopper and deposits them in the straight line the tractor drives.  It takes two people to operate one to drive and operate the equipment, the other to work feverishly  to fill the ever emptying hopper with fresh straw from the wagon.  It took us about three days to cover our 1 1/4 acres of strawberries with 4 inches of straw.  The straw was locally harvested winter rye that we had baled in May and I wrote a blog about; about straw.

Straw berries right?  Well many discussions and researchers have worked on where the name came from.   No definitive answer comes but the contenders are… The fruits were packed in straw to prevent bruising,  the plants are covered with straw all winter, the  fruits rest (free of soil/dirt) on the straw in harvest, or the way street vendors used to string the fruits onto a stem of straw to sell at market, or (from the USDA) because of the way the fruit ‘strew’ around the mother plant.  Who knows but I can’t wait till mid June for the strawberries to be ripe!  Come in on Saturday June 19th for our Strawberry festival for fun and games, and fresh strawberry shortcake!!!

harvesting hog corn in the snow

Dan and I the next day went out to pick dry corn (cow corn) from the Corn Maze at the farm institute.  This excess of corn was generously offered to us as the by product from their very popular summer corn maze.   Our machine broke on three separate attempts at harvesting but this time all the belts, gears, fans, and chains seemed to work!   The machine is a New Idea 1 row corn picker we picked up at a Massachusetts farm auction in 2000, towing a John Deere model 15 manure spreader converted to a dump wagon, and of course the pride of the fleet towing it all the John Deere 5225 tractor.    This corn in a staple in the diet (we always grow our own as well) of our hogs, who we try to feed as many local ingredient as we can.  From a corn maze to pork chops!  A big thanks to the FARM Institute!

wagon full of hog corn in katama

WMVY Radio Ad

Here is our radio spot for December.

It may be getting cold, but at Morning Glory Farm we are still harvesting delicious vegetables from our fields and greenhouses, plus a ton of winter squash in storage.  We have our own eggs and our own beef, pork and chicken at our farmstand in Edgartown, on the West Tisbury Road, and we buy the best of the Boston Markets to give our customers a full selection of Good Food.

This time of year our kitchens are preparing delicious pies, zucchini breads, and big muffins and will be happy to take your holiday orders.  Our salad bar is the freshest on the island and our home-made soups are legendary.  We even cook up our meat, potatoes, and veggies for you to take home ready to eat.

For gifts, how about our book, Morning Glory Farm and the Family That Feeds an Island, or a gift box of our jellies or pickles? Gift certificates can be used next summer and are sure to be appreciated.

We have freshly cut New England Christmas Trees, wreathes, evergreen garlands and our own holly from Chilmark.

At Morning Glory Farm you can warm yourself by the woodstove, drink a free cup of hot cider and have tasty snack.  It’s a good place to be and we will be happy to see you.

December crops, bounty of the season.

It may surprise some people to learn that we still have so much growing here at Morning Glory.  Our maritime climate offers a long fall growing season that allows some crops to thrive; all the cole crops, the broccoli cabbage and kales’; all the brassica greens, mustards aruglua etc; and the spinach loves the cool weather; lettuces can withstand several moderate frosts.  We also have 5 greenhouses filled with lettuces, greens, spinach, boc choi, cucumbers and zucchini.

december organic broccoli

We are still picking:

Broccoli

Boc Choi

Bonsai-Boc Choi

Cabbage

Chard

Collards

Red Russian Kale

Tatsoi

Cape White Turnips

Baby Hakurei turnips (radish sized)

7 Varieties of head lettuce

Spinach, great late season crop this year!

Parsnips

Baby salad greens

Baby mustards

Mesculn salad mix

Radishes

White potatoes

Yukon Potatoes

Garlic

Heaps of Butternut and Acorn squashes

Island Cauliflower

Island Carrots

Dozens of fresh herbs picked daily

Kohlrabi ripe for xmass

Greenhouse grown zucchini and pickling cukes

osaka, suehlihung, red mustards

Pumpkin Festival!!! Sat Oct 17th

Pumpkin Festival!!!

Sat OCT 17th 11am-4pm

Island grown lunch!

 

Island grass fed burgers.
Pumpkin soup and Portuguese kale soup
Pumpkin Dounuts fresh made all day on lawn
Pumpkin Pie, and the wonderful pumpkin squares
Last of the fresh island corn steamed fresh for you

Free games for children

 

Hay Rides
Hay maze
Pumpkin Toss
Pumpkin Painting and Carving
Face Painting
Burlap Sack Race
Vegetable stamp printing

Watch the Trebuchet throw a pumpkin 400+feet!!!
Go for a pony ride through the field (sm fee)
Look at and sit on our fleet of tractors

Wholesale at Morning Glory

Hello everyone!  My name is Cheryl Harary and I’m the wholesale manager at Morning Glory Farm.  This is my third season here and I can’t imagine doing anything else!  This time of year, my job is very important/rewarding because the farmstand has slowed down significantly, but we are still harvesting all kinds of delicious vegetables and fruit.  Thanks to several island restaurants, caterers, retail stores and schools, we don’t have to compost all of the surplus food that we harvest!  All I ask is that orders are made by 7:30 in the morning, and the same day pick up or delivery is available.

It is a great feeling to know that the more we are providing local businesses with, the fewer trucks and boxes are coming onto the island.  Some of the restaurants that regularly serve Morning Glory produce include Zephrus, State Road, Sweet Life, Chesca’s, L’etoile, Sidecar, David Ryans, Harborview, and the Outermost Inn.  It is very cool to go out to eat and see our produce on the menu!  Some island caterers, such as Chefworks, Bill Smith’s Clambakes and the Kitchen Porch also love serving local vegetables at events throughout the season. 

Additionally, several island retail stores, including Cronigs (both stores), Alleys, Tisbury Farm Market, Eden and Tony’s market, have all kinds of our produce available.  If Edgartown is inconvenient sometime, check out one of these stores if you are looking for Morning Glory produce!

This fall, the schools on the island have been using all kinds of island grown produce, which is amazing.  I can’t imagine eating local vegetables when I was in school!  Corn on the cob and watermelons have been a huge hit in the last month.

This week’s wholesale availability includes: corn, lettuce, potatoes, sugar pumpkins, winter squash, boc choi, peppers, eggplant, melons, celery, garlic, chard, kale and various bunched herbs

Written by:   Cheryl Harary, Wholesale Manager

Top 10 from farmhand Emily

planting pumpkins in west tisburyEmily direct seeding pumpkins in a west tisbury field.

Hi! My name is Emily Carol and this is my second year working as a field hand at morning glory farm. Working in the fields means that I get to go to work everyday and enjoy the simple pleasure of working hard outside with wonderful people and living plants.  Here are my top 10 things that make me happy at Morning Glory Farm.
1) Enjoying a sungold tomato- Tomato plants need a lot of love to grow up into strong plants.  This summer I was involved with setting up the high tunnels (similar to a green house), pruning, and trellising the many tomato plants.  This is hard work and tomato sap is very hard to get off, but after tasting the first ripe tomato, it is all worth it.
2)Wheel hoeing- Many of the plants that are grown on the farm are planted in beds.  There are three rows per bed and the dirt between these rows is a breeding ground for unwanted weeds.  When the plants are too big for a tractor to come through, a wheel hoe is used. I really enjoy using it because I can put in my I-pod and rock out up and down the rows pushing the hoe back and forth.  Its fun, productive, and it gives you a little workout.
3)Transplanting- Some of our plants (tomatoes, broccoli, flowers…) are seeded in the greenhouse and once they begin to mature they are planted into the ground.  This is almost everyone’s favorite job because an extension is put onto a tractor that allows two people to sit on the back.  The tractor makes holes in the ground and the people on the back plant the plants as they move down the rows.
4)The smell of a carrot when it is pulled out of the ground- We grow beautiful carrots that are sweeter than any carrot I have ever tasted.  I had never seen any vegetable be pulled out of the ground before I came to morning glory, and to this day, I am still amazed each time I pull up on a green stock and vibrant orange carrot comes out.
5)Seeing the flower bunches be brought in- This always puts a smile on my face.  We have very talented flower bunchers that create the most beautiful arrangements.  A few times I have been lucky enough to help carry them in from the field and I loved sharing in the amazement and joy of the customers.
6)Talking with customers- It’s always nice to know that your hard work is appreciated.  One day after a long morning in the cucumber field I walked into the stand and I overheard someone say, “Wow look at these cucumbers”.  Another time I was walking through the parking lot and a woman came up to me and asked, “Honey, how did you get so dirty?”  She just made me smile.
7)A morning in the pea or bean field- The whole field crew will agree that there is something special about picking in this field.  It always inspires good thoughts and conversation.
8)Eating at a nice restaurant and seeing Morning Glory Farm produce on the menu- The farm whole sells produce to businesses and restaurants on the island.  When you are picking and boxing up vegetables for wholesale it’s a cool feeling to know that it is hours away from being prepared and served by talented chefs.  It also pretty cool to order the meal and to then tell the waiter that you work at Morning Glory.
9)An afternoon of haying- Haying is hard work, but it is also a lot of fun.  It involves gathering bails of hay from a field and loading trucks up into heaping towers and then organizing the bales into a barn.  You get a huge sense of accomplishment seeing the truck loaded up and then driving it.
10)My Morning Glory Farmily- The people who work at this farm are a special group of people.  I can’t believe how lucky I am to have had to opportunity to work with such talented and dedicated people.  It always amazes me how well such a divers group of people mesh and work together.  The people of Morning Glory make the farm such a special place in my heart.

Go to the Fair

morning glory farm at the martha's vineyard fair

Ah the fair, I love the fair.  Workmen/women, visitors and residents across the island take time to visit and enjoy the fair.  Listen to the Blue Hills Strolling Brass Quintet, catch the new favorite event the antique lawn tractor pull, hear the booming sounds of pop music blasting over worn amusement speakers all across west tisbury, watch the shucking contest, check your entries and look for your friends names in the hall, I love the Ox pull event (Thursday at 11:30), Saturday night listen to some of our favorite island musicians, stroll through the fiber tent and talk and listen to people carrying on the traditions of spinning,  Woodsmans contest noon on Saturday, Visit the barn say hi to animals (will Fred have piglets there this year?) and stop and talk to all those old friends you only seem to see at the fair, enjoy it!

The Fair design this year is done by my cousin Morgan Taylor.  She is a graphic designer that has come home to the Vineyard after many years away, and now works with the Vineyard Gazette.  The cover of the Fair booklet, the poster and the shirts have a team of oxen hitched and pulling a dump wagon, standing in front of the Ag Hall.  She crafted this image after a photo of my great uncle Lenoard’s team and wagon.  He was a avid supporter of the fair and the Agricultural Society.  He showed animals and entered contests for decades.  He was a West Tisbury kid and adult, a dairyman for the then Vineyard Downs Dairy (among others) and currently known as Campbell and Douglas and even sooner to have a new name.  He was often seen tinkering with his antique cars and tractors at the antique power show, or at the family farmstead in Crow Hollow off  New Lane.

Our corn will be available this year at the fair!  Todd Debbencourt will be selling fresh Morning Glory Farm corn in his food booth this year.  Come by and have the taste of the season.  We will be picking for Todd every morning or even mid day to ensure you a fresh ear at the fair.  After a slow start our sweet corn in coming in strong now and will be available every day.

Come on down to the fair.   At the Fairgrounds in West Tisbury August 20, 21,22,&23 but you knew that already after all its the fair!

http://mvas.vineyard.net/    for the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultual Society’s web page.

Please I invite you to post comments on your favorite fair event, to suggest an event or one you have seen at another fair.  sj

Katama hay day

hay in katama

Hillary, Michael, Kelsey and a high quality alfalfa, clover and fescue mix in Katama

Jamm’in and pickl’n kitchen

jesse iskra with strawberry jam

Hi There,

If your reading this, it is probably because you enjoy the jams and jellies that grace our wonderful farm stand.  I do too, I’m Jesse Iskra, often seen through the bakery window, and I’m the guy that makes many of these tasty products.  A farm fresh corn muffin, split, toasted,  and smothered with fresh raspberry jam – ah the satisfaction (my personal favorite)!  Though the times, they do change.  People are much more concerned with what they eat these days, rightly so, we are what we eat.  For the past year Simon and I have been researching a more health conscious product.  Today, you get to taste the literal fruit of my labors.

Have you ever wondered why jam and jelly is so sweet?  If you look at a jar of jam, you will note that the fruit seems to float in a pretty clear jelly.  This is achieved through liquefying sugar into the fruit juice.  Jelly is the same, minus the fruit pulp.  How much sugar?  A fair bit!  Before, the fruit to sugar ratio leaned in favor of the sugar.  Now I am using Pomona’s Pectin (not Certo).  Rather than a pectin that relies on sugar to jell, Pomona’s uses the fruits calcium to gel.  This swings the ratio back towards the part of the jam or jelly you want to taste – The FRUIT!

Now the jar you hold today is sweetened a little, but only for the sweet taste you desire on a morning muffin or peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  The taste of the fruit will speak for itself.  In the future I will be testing other natural sweeteners: maple syrup, honey and agave nectar, and feel free to make requests for others – your critiques and suggestions are valued and heard.  Please comment to a baker in the store or here on the blog.

I hope you enjoy eating these delectable and wholesome products as much as I do making them for you – are valued customer.

Sincerely
Jesse

Garlic harvest in edgartown

pround farmers with thier harvest of garlic

Graham, Justin, Anna, Eric, and Page proudly showing off the garlic harvest.

This years garlic harvest was fantastic!  We harvested thousands of ‘morganicly’ grown garlic.  The little field at the corner of Cleavelandtown and Katama road was filled with garlic now in the barn curing.  We quickly turned the garlic soil over to grow an Labor day crop of lettuce.  And the Garlic has now cured and is for sale at the store as well as at the farmer’s markets West Tisbury (Wed&Sat) Vineyard Haven (Tuesday).  We are selling first quality German White heads in the stand as well as garlic braids, a decorative way to have and display your garlic, as well as having a second quality cheeper ‘roasting’ Garlic and we will be selling the best of the crop carefully stored till November for planting stock for your garden and ours.