Odd Job Fall

Load of winter squashes

Load of winter squashes

Winter is the season of planning and brainstorming. Spring is excitement, rejuvenation, and opportunity. Summer is hectic and sweaty. And then there is fall, the end of the season, when the months of hard work have hopefully paid off and the farm crew brings in the last of the crops. A few frost-hardy vegetables hang on in the fields, including lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, turnips, carrots, and parsnips. Even pumpkin season is past, and the cows are happy to receive a good ration of old pumpkins in their daily meals.

With less and less to harvest each day in the field, the tiny field crew can focus on the projects that have been neglected all year (if not for multiple years!).

A few of the odd ball jobs we have accomplished in the last week:
–    Removal of an old barbed wire fence in a field at Right Fork. In some places, the bittersweet had wrapped itself so tightly around the wire that it was impossible to separate the entwined plant from the metal.

–    Digging out under the farmstand floor in order to put in insulation. It is a tight, dark crawl space that truly encourages the imagination.

–    Delivering pumpkins to the cows. We filled up the back of one of our farm trucks with old rotters from the lawn- It was an impressive pile. But as the truck was pulling onto the main road, the tailgate spontaneously opened and an avalanche of pumpkins came crashing onto the road, causing a four-car traffic jam. Oh boy. Luckily Jim came to the rescue just in time!

–    Splitting lots of firewood with a nifty tool that attaches to the back of the tractor. All that firewood will heat our greenhouses come spring.

–    And, of course, the usual cleaning and organizing that we finally have time for now that things are a little bit slower.

Lilly Walter;  Field Chief

Daily Vegetable Pick

Another Load from Cow Pasture Field

Another Load from Cow Pasture Field

Every day the Morning Glory Farm crew picks almost every vegetable we sell, we always strive to only sell the freshest from our fields, and picking 6 days a week ensures that.  It is high season for summer vegetables and I grabbed this picture yesterday of yet another load of peppers and eggplants.

This season from the Old Cow pasture field:
Classic Eggplant, Mangan Purple Eggplant, Japanese long Eggplant, Green Peppers, Red Peppers, Purple Peppers, Orange Peppers, Tiburon (poblano) Peppers, sweet Frying peppers, Hungarian Wax peppers, Jalapeno, Anaheim peppers, Thai chile,  Habanero Peppers.  Careful with the Habanero’s though, Wow their hot!

Planting Potatoes Video

Here is a short video of Dan Athearn putting in the Yukon’s.

Spring Plantings

Greenhouse opens April 22,  Monday to Saturday 9-5

Cropping update, I’ve been having so much fun as the spring has thawed and allows us to start planting again.  I wanted to share the things that have gotten into the ground.

We have been seeding spring greens in the high tunnel unheated tunnels and have been lightly harvesting the last couple of weeks, and selling the spring mix in our egg refrigerator on the farm stand porch.

Morning glory farm spring greens

Morning glory farm spring greens

We have an acre of shell and snap peas in and just cracking the soil surface in the field across from the store on the flat land.

Robyn and Molly have been steadily setting out a new perennial flower field, with 130 foot rows of hydrangea, sedum,  peony, butterfly bush, shasta daisy, and so many more,  should be quite a sight in season.

Dad, (Jim) Planted the first carrots &  spinach and the third radish and arugula last week, in our little field down Bennett Way.  This field will also have our expanded plantings of bulbing and fresh onions.

The Greenhouse tomatoes are doing very well with their supplemental oil fired heat every night.  They are up to their 3rd hand (or flower cluster) and about 2 feet tall.  The bee hives arrive on Tuesday so I can stop hand pollinating every day.

The 2010 Potato Crop

The 2010 Potato Crop

Also the potato crop in in, it has been roatated into the field where the annual flowers were last year at the back of the field across from the store and adjacent to the West Tisbury Road.  We buy our certified seed potatoes from a farm in northern Maine, we have to place our order in January.  This year we are trying a new Russet type because the famous Nortkoda has not been performing as well as we would like, this year we are trying Marcy.  We were also able to get the French Fingerling’s again, it was unavailable last season and is so delicious.  Here is the seed order.

Dark Red Norland, Yukon Gold, All Blue, Norwiss (lg pure white for whipping), Russian Banana Fingerling, French Fingerling, Marcy (Russet type), and a heirloom trial of Rose Fin Apple Potatoes.

I am very excited for a new growing season, the spring offers so much hope and energy.  Our crew, many of who are seasoned farm workers, are returning full of gusto and have high hopes for the season, we promise to grow huge amounts of delicious vegetables for you; Here we go!

Christmas at the farm

Join us at Our Christmas Party
Christmas on the Farm
December 16th, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm


Do Your Shopping and Join in the Festivities with
Live Music by Vineyard Classical Brass.

Buy a light supper of Chili, Mac-n-Cheese, Corn Bread,
and Apple Dumplings,
Free Hot Drinks, Eggnog,
Roast Marshmallows on the Open Fire,
Free Cookie Decorating for Children
& Door Prizes and More!

A share of the proceeds
from the sale of each Christmas tree sold
will be donated to the Island Food Pantry.

The farmstand is collecting non-perishable food items
for the food pantry.

Closing after Christmas, but come to our
End-of-Season Sale from Mon-Wed, December 27-29.
Closing Wed 29th at noon.
Reopening May 2011, when the asparagus ripens.

December Farmstand Hours

Monday – Saturday 9am – 5:30pm
Sundays ’til Christmas 11am – 4pm

Thanksgiving offerings from the farm bakery & kitchen

To Place an Order call 508-627-9003

Pie/Quiche orders taken until 10am Tuesday.
Everything else can be preordered until 9am Wednesday.

Pies and Side Dishes will be ready at 2pm Wednesday.
 Fresh Turkey orders ($3.50/lb) will be taken until Monday Nov. 19th

Morning Glory Farm Fresh Baked Pies

$14.95 for a 9” Pie.  Serves 6 to 8.

          Our own Pumpkin Pie                Apple Pie

          Apple-Cranberry Pie                  Blueberry Pie

          Blue-Cranberry Pie                    Pecan Pie $15.95

Harvest Pie – Apples, Cranberries, Raisins, Walnuts, Orange and spices

Quiche $14.95 Veggie, Mushroom/Scallion, Portobello, Ham & Cheese
Quick Breads $6.95

Cranberry or Cranberry-Walnut          Pumpkin – with our own pumpkin               

Banana              Zucchini

Carrot Nut         Date Nut $7.25

Butter Dinner Rolls = $3.95/pkg   (6/pkg)

Boston Baguettes from Ace Bakery = $3.25 ea

Morning Glory Sides 

Sold by the pint and quart; a pint is approximately 2-3 servings

Our fresh chicken broth $3.95pt / $6.95qt

Our own butternut squash puree; $5.95 / $11.95

Our own Roasted Pumpkin Soup; $4.95 /$9.95

Wild Rice with wheat berries, roasted pears & cranberries. $6.95/$13.95

Ready to cook Beans Almandine $6.95/lb

Cranberry-Orange Relish $6.95/ $12.95

Whole cranberry sauce $3.50/$7.00

Our Own Fresh Pumpkin Puree   $2.95pt

Cornbread Stuffing with farm raised ground sausage $5.95pt/$10.95qt
Stuffing without sausage $4.95pt/$9.95qt

Heat ‘n serve par cooked Acorn Squash with sage/pecan/cranberry butter.  $5.95/serves four

Morning Glory’s famous pickled beets $5.95 /$11.95
NEW: Artisan Cheese Platter and Seasonal Pate Platter; price yet to come 


Exceptions and special requests usually available, just ask!

Thank you for including our products at your Thanksgiving table!

Wind Spin

Our windmill is up and running and producing energy for us and the nieghborhood!

morning glory windmill

morning glory windmill

The windmill is steadily pumping out electricity and I gathered some data to share with you all.
The turbine survived a direct lightning strike on Thursday Aug 5th  just as it is supposed to.
So a snapshot of time for our 50Kw turbine:
                  24hrs ending 12 noon on Friday the 6th
Farm’s total energy use: 569 KwH
Windmill Production for same period: 208 KWh
                  24hrs ending 12 noon on Thursday the 5th
Farm’s total energy use: 669 KwH
Windmill Production for same period: 442 KWh
                   24hrs ending 12 noon on Wednesday the 4th
Farm’s total energy use: 640 KwH
Windmill Production for same period: 420 KWh
This is a snapshot of the production, we will not really know what it is capable of until we see a full year of production (the best wind times are in the winter of course). 
Our stand and farm operation is at full tempo now at the start of August and I expect that these are peak energy use numbers.  The greenhouse fans run near non stop trying to cool the greenhouses and the many freezers and coolers we have are working very hard in the heat and humidity.  With about 18 people living and showering with us.  I look forward to comparing these peak use numbers with winter time peak production numbers. 
I hope you all find this as interesting and exciting as we all do here.  I will continue to update this blog with windmill stats and we are working on a windmill production data display down at the store. 

Did you know?

by Alina Harris, a happy fieldhand of  Morning Glory Farm since May, 2010

Alina works her lettuce magic

Green and Red Peppers Come From the Same Plant

Ripening: Did you know that the difference between green and red peppers is their maturity?  The difference in price, taste, and color all depends on the time that the fruit is picked.  Green peppers are picked the youngest and red peppers are harvested as the oldest.

Think Twice About Eating Rhubarb Leaves

Poison: Ever wonder why rhubarb is sold without the leaves?  Because the leaves contain oxalate, a substance that has been reported to cause poisoning if large amounts of raw or cooked leaves are eaten.  The stalk also contains a small amount of oxalate, but nothing that could be problematic.

Indeterminate Tomato plants grow “forever!”

An indeterminate tomato plant is one that continues to vine and set fruit until killed off by any outside force. In New England, this usually is the frost (hopefully not the tomato horn worm or late blight).  In warmer climates or greenhouses, indeterminate tomatoes can grow to be trees!

In contrast, determinate tomato plants are ones that will set all of their fruit during the same time period.  These type of plants would be best used if one wanted to can the tomatoes all at once.

The Waiting Game: A Farmer Needs Patience

Asparagus: A productive bed of asparagus can last for 10 to 15 years, however the waiting period for this crop to become productive can be 3 years!

Strawberries: The Athearns grow their strawberries in a perennial system of matted rows, as opposed to using plasticulture.  For a whole year, the Athearns weed, water, fertilize and lay straw around their strawberry plants in order to prepare for harvesting.  Even though the plants begin to flower, the flowers are pinched off in order to encourage vegetative growth, instead of reproductive growth to form the fruit.  On the 2nd year, they are finally able to pick the first strawberries (and man, are they good!)  After the 3rd year, however, the strawberries get tilled into the ground and it starts all over again.

Farm Update

morning glory farm family

The whole gang in a group photo in front of the new Morning Glory Farm Store.

The best growing season in years in flying along.  I have not posted in surprisingly long, I got so caught up in all the farming duties and moving into the new building I was unable to post, but alas I just grabbed a moment during a heavy summer thunderstorm to write a few notes.

This rain is all so welcome as we have been dry for a long time now and been working hard at irrigation.  Oh I can just feel all the plants breathing a sigh of relief.  The great spring weather allowed us to get our plantings in early or on time and then they seem to take off and we are now harvesting many things ahead of schedule.

Dad, Dan and I picked the first Sweet corn of the season today!  We picked 20 bushels of Sweet Chorus in West Tisbury on Uncle Lenord’s Farm.  It tastes so snappy and sweet, I have been eager for it to ripen all season.  We should have every day now for the foreseeable future.

We are now picking:

Sweet Corn, 9 varieties of lettuce, salad greens, boc choi, broccoli, zucchini and squashes, cucumbers, early peppers, greenhouse tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, garlic, fresh eggs, carrots, baby carrots, beets, swiss chard, 3 kinds of kale, collards, Shelling peas, green beans, slender young beans, yellow beans, snow peas, green onions, scallions, purple scallions, walla walla sweet onions, cut flower bouquets, red potatoes, Yukon potatoes, fingerling potatoes, blueberries, and loads of culinary herbs from arugula and cilantro to Parsley and basil to Radicchio and on

The crew is busy busy every day keeping up with the weeds and all the harvesting, the baking of pies and working the store, turning the veggies from the fields into soups, salads, muffins, and happy customers,  they are a fantastic group of people and we together can grow all this food, with out their passion and energy the farm would cease to exist.

Thanks for checking in…


Morning Glory to Open May 28th

Morning Glory Farm

Nearing completion, this week we have finished all the coolers, laid the new pitch pine floor, hung the lights, tiled the new bathroom floor, laid the brick patio, put the front porch on, and so many more things.  We are feeling ready to open on Friday May 28th and are just awaiting all the requisite town officials to sign off.   Meanwhile all the normal field work has continued with many of us splitting time between construction and weeding carrots, planting broccoli, and sowing beans etc.

We need to open for one because the crops seem to be way ahead of schedule, the asparagus started 12 days earlier that the average for us and is coming in very strong every day now, spinach is ripe, first and second plantings of lettuce are ripe, garlic scallions, 2 kinds of radishes, baby salad greens, rhubarb, chives, many herbs, the strawberries are way ahead of schedule and may be ripe by May 5th and be a strong crop, followed by green onions, baby beets etc.

Here is a picture of our new space, this is the main area, unseen is the ‘corn room’.  The registers and vegetable tables are moving in now.  The floor is made from local Pitch Pine cut by local sawyer and fisherman Tom Turner from logs from trees removed for the addition and others tom cut from island forests.  Soon this area will be filled with vegetables, fruits, baked goods, our famous salad bar, local meats, hot coffee, and happy customers and staff enjoying the new building.  We really believe that our new store will create a significantly better customer and staff experiences.  Many of the changes were for work flow, customer and staff ease, energy efficiency, and food quality.

local pitch pine floor

The view from the second floor storage/office area.