Masons working feverishly

Over the weekend and early this week the masons have been working feverishly to complete the concrete forms so they can pour the concrete before the cold spell hits on Friday, let hope they can.  Anthony Bartok  and his team from Fair and Square Concrete have really been earning their meals down in the hole.  I was pleased to see such an all Island boy crew working the forms; Anthony Bartok, Dylan Estrella, Greg Belcher,  and Damien  Childs were all pounding away on the forms.  It is a 12 foot high foundation wall that should leave us with an ample 10 feet of head room in the finished area.

Complications to the foundation are many but being over come, the ‘sugarly’ sand that makes up our subsoil crumbles easy and with the freeze thaw and that heavy rain the pit is collapsing a bit.   The new floor will be about 4 feet lower than the floor it abuts so a retaining and support wall must be built.   The walk-in cooler area needs floor insulation and additional supports.  The large fir posts that will hold the new store up need a concrete footing created underneath the existing basement floor.   The biggest threat to the foundation is that the only concrete company on the island is unable to pour on Thursday when we are ready; and on Friday we expect it to be too cold and stay that way for a while.  Fair and Square are trying hard to get a pour in on Wednesday to beat the anticipated cold, wish us luck!

before the dig

This is the morning before DECA began to dig the foundation, you can see the existing ‘middle room basement’  and the corn/salad bar room.

daniel athearn on the saw

Daniel Athearn cutting up the wood from the trees that were removed.

Pitch pine used as flooring

Here Daniel felled a rather large Pitch Pine in the area the #3 greenhouse will be moved to (to make more parking up front).
We sent the largest parts of the trunk out to Katama and Tom Turner’s sawmill (yes the fisherman Tom is also a sawyer) where it will be cut into flooring for the new store.
Tom has been cutting pitch pine for us to lay on the floor but he also has been cutting white pine out of the State Forest to use as our roof, ceiling, and walls.
Tom works with the state on selective cutting, and we very much like his finished products and have been building with them for years.

tomato geenhouse firewood

The wood that was too small for the sawmill gets seasoned and will be used in 2011 as fuel to heat our tomato greenhouse in the early spring.
We find it easy enough to find oddball cuttings from around the farm, clearing field edges etc to get plenty of wood to keep a fire going in each of the two tomato greenhouses.  This will add to that supply, and by the way a off season greenhouse is a great way to dry and season firewood!

morning glory farm new store

Just finishing the excavation and the masons are digging footings for the foundation walls.

fair and square laying footings

Here the masons are pouring the footings, pretty sandy soil eh?

Forms going into place

These guys work fast!  The footings are in and the re-rod is being lattice worked together and form being erected around it, soon we will fill up the forms with concrete.

Addition update, store on the move

design by DECA and Laurie Miller

We hope to get to here in the next 4 months, the greenhouse will be next winter


Day 2


Preparing the greenhouse for moving


This is the greenhouse that set on the south side of the farmstand and was used for plant sales and this year acted as a stopgap register checkout area.

I am the lucky recipient of this old greenhouse, I am moving it to my house (simon talking) where I will grow veggies for my self and do some experiments of new crops, such as figs and tioba this season.






The store crossing the herb garden headed up toward the blueberry field.



almost to it’s new home


This is where our store will sit until we lightly renovate it for affordable housing of farm employees.


A strange view of the back half of the store about to be moved.


We had to roll the building off its foundation and onto solid ground using rollers (pipes) where we could get the trailer under it to carry it away.


These parts of the building will remain and be connected to the new area.  What a strange view, it has been bittersweet for us watching this unfold.   We are fully behind the idea and the need but sad to see the old building go.  Built by us 31 years ago and cared for, loved and well used all that time.  It softens the impact of the move that we get to make the old farmstand into new housing for our farmers.

Keep checking back for more updated photo’s or just drop by, we will all be there nearly every day and are quite willing to share our ideas and plans and accept suggestions.

P.S.  Still looking for some one (preference to island farmers) to take our 12 x 16 walk in cooler, good shape, comes with or with out the cooler shed for outdoor use.  Can load or possibly deliver.

Farm addition, were going for it!

morning glory farm january 14

Our store as it has been for the last 31 years, this front part is the oldest piece.

The 2/3 of the current store will be carried off for use as employee housing up by our blueberry field.

The other 1/3 the “corn room” will remain as will all the buildings behind it.

morning glory farm inside store

It feels so large when totally empty, allot of feet have scampered across those floorboards.

morning glory farm store inside

morning glory farm store from south january 10

deca construction at morning glory farm

Jim Glavin and the team at DECA Construction from Tisbury will be doing much of the work.  Dad, Mom, Dan, Meg,  Simon and a couple farmers and cooks that stayed on will all be involved in the building.

work begins at morning glory farm

The crew has begun!  Wish us good luck and good weather.  Check back for updates on the progress.

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:


Boc Choi

Bonsai-Boc Choi




Red Russian Kale


Cape White Turnips

Baby Hakurei turnips (radish sized)

7 Varieties of head lettuce

Spinach, great late season crop this year!


Baby salad greens

Baby mustards

Mesculn salad mix


White potatoes

Yukon Potatoes


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

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