A 38-star American flag flies proudly above Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury in this 1889 photo from the Athearn family archive. The following year, five stars were added for new states that joined the union in 1889 and 1890.
Now known as the Grange and owned by the Vineyard Trust, this building is still the home of the summer farmers market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.
The Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society now operates out of a rebuilt historic building on Panhandle Road. That’s where the annual fair takes place, as well as the winter farmers market, Barn Raisers Ball and other community events.
No, that’s not a typo for “carat”! Twice in the past decade or so, garden carrots have turned up sporting diamond rings that had been lost years earlier. We learned about both cases from the BBC, which reported in 2011 that a Swedish farmer named Lena Paahlsson had pulled up a carrot that was sporting the engagement ring she’d lost in her kitchen while peeling vegetables 16 years earlier.
Did the ring go out with the compost? Did the sheep eat it in their scraps and then poop it out? We’ll never know. At the time it seemed like a highly unusual event, but less than six years later the BBC was back with another carrot-in-diamond-ring report, this one from Canada.
Alberta farmer Mary Grams had lost her ring while weeding in 2004. In 2017, her daughter-in-law pulled up a carrot that was wearing the ring like a belt, bulging out on either side.
How did we get to this point—from no carrots ever reported growing through diamond rings, to two in less than six years? Will such discoveries become more frequent, or will these two events stand out in history?
These may be unanswerable questions. All we can do is keep planting and harvesting as many carrots as we can.
The entire farm is bustling now, not just in Edgartown but up in West Tisbury where we have moved the flower operation to Simon and Robyn’s farm. We have three new greenhouses there for flowers and this week we began planting outside as well. We’re very excited about all the flowers we will be bringing you this spring and summer—more varieties than we’ve ever grown before!
On May 3, when we open at 8 a.m., we expect to have several early Morning Glory crops for you: arugula, microgreens and pea shoots, nettles, radishes, red kale and spinach. If you haven’t tried nettles, they are wonderful in soup or as braised greens. Yes, they’re sharp and spiny when raw and you’ll need to wear gloves when handling them, but once they hit the heat they become soft, tender and tasty.
Martha’s Vineyard has been a quiet Island this week, with schools on vacation and many families down with the flu. But Passover, Easter and Earth Day are taking place over the next few days, as signs of spring and renewal continue to sprout from the warming soil. We look forward to seeing you May 3!
Small, fresh early-season potatoes offer a bright potato flavor with a clean, low-starch texture. Cooking them slowly allows them to keep their shape. Other potatoes can also be used, but most will begin to fall apart or release starch, leading to a “gummy” texture—not a bad thing, just a different result.
1 lb. new red potatos
1 tsp. white vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 lb. green beans or haricots verts, stemmed and cut at an angle in 2 1/2-3″ pieces
1/4 lb. smoked bacon or cured pork belly
1/2 bulb fennel, cored and sliced across in 1/4″ slices
1/2 cup Pickled Red Onion, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. finely chopped dill
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp. whole grain mustard
2 tsp. raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1/8 tsp. hot sauce
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
If the new potatoes are smaller than a quarter in diameter, use them whole. Otherwise, cut in halves or quarters and place in a 6-quart saucepan, covering with water to an inch above the potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 20-22 minutes or until potatoes are tender but not soft. Add white vinegar and green beans; cook an additional 45 seconds to 1 minute. Strain and place in an ice water bath until cool. Remove and shake dry.
Meanwhile, in skillet over medium heat, render bacon until it begins to brown, 8-10 minutes. Add fennel and cook 2 minutes. Place potatoes, green beans, bacon, fennel, red onion and dill into a large bowl.
Combine oil, mustard, cider vinegar, hot sauce, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Drizzle over potato mixture and stir to incorporate. Serve while bacon is still warm.
We’re very excited to announce Morning Glory Farm’s first and only loyalty card, a membership program for our Martha’s Vineyard neighbors. There’s no charge for the card and the application asks just a few questions.
Every autumn, we celebrate the harvest with our Pumpkin Festival. It’s a day of fun on the farm with pumpkin games, live music, fresh food, family hayrides and, out in the fields, our famous trebuchet launching pumpkins high into the air. Based on a weapon of siege warfare that originated in the Middle Ages, our trebuchet is strictly for fun — but it takes a great deal of force to pull back the throwing arm.
We want to express our deep thanks to everyone who came to the Ag Hall in West Tisbury Saturday night for the Flat Point Farm benefit. It was a real success and the proceeds will go a long way toward restoring the Fischer family’s losses after their devastating barn fire last month.
The music was great, the food no less and donations were more than generous—but what really meant the most was seeing so many faces and even whole families from all parts of the Island, all coming together to support our fellow farmers.
It makes us feel both humble and very grateful to a be part of the Martha’s Vineyard community.
To all who took part—from the musicians and other volunteers who donated their time and the businesses who provided goods and services, to the just-plain-folks who brought dishes, bought tickets and joined in:
We’re proud to be your neighbors.
Read more about the benefit in the Vineyard Gazette and the Martha’s Vineyard Times: