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Winter on a Martha’s Vineyard Farm

“What do you do in the winter?” 110_1036 hay winter dog

It’s a fair question, and one most year-round Islanders are used to hearing. In our case, the answer is easy: We keep on farming!

Winter is a special season on a farm: time for reflection, evaluation and planning for the coming season. But there’s still work to do outside. We have something to harvest nearly all year round, and our pigs, cows and chickens never take a vacation. And, of course, many farm chores —like maintenance of our outbuildings, tractors and machines—get pushed into the slower winter months. While sailors ashore “make and mend,” farmers repair and refurbish. ethan screws down ridge cap

Meanwhile, the 2017 planting season is already right around the corner. We’re ordering seeds, hiring employees, picking the dates for our seasonal festivals and attending lots of farming conferences off-Island — always thinking about all the ways we can make things better here and help 2017 to be a banner year. The first tomato seeds get started in January, and by March our greenhouses are full of seedlings.

On April 28, we look forward to welcoming customers back to the farmstand with fresh herbs, greens and other spring vegetables, along with plants for your Martha’s Vineyard garden and “imported” groceries. Asparagus season begins in early May. Until then, Islanders and Vineyard visitors can buy self-service eggs from the fridge outside the farmstand exit. And for all our friends on the web, we’ll be posting recipes and news here at morninggloryfarm.com. Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram, too.

Asparagus season starts May 5. Photo by Alison Shaw.

Asparagus season starts May 5. Photo by Alison Shaw.

 

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Now Hiring: Farm Jobs at Morning Glory

Morning Glory Farm has Field Crew positions available for the 2017 season.

The Field Crew works as a team in a fast-paced, physically demanding environment to efficiently care for and harvest more than 60 acres of produce. All applicants must be comfortable lifting 50+lbs, working near machinery, and working with others. Crops are divided into the following five departments: Greens, Herbs, Fruits, Flowers, and Harvests.

Farmers and Field Hands report to each department’s chief. Crop-specific opportunities and positions are available. Click the highlighted titles below for complete job descriptions:

We are looking for people who want to work hard, enjoy the company of their fellow workers, produce a worthwhile product, enjoy the outdoors (rain or shine), and apply their energies to the success of our cause. Good workers will find themselves in excellent company. Compensation is based on experience.

Apply for any position

Mail your completed application and any reference forms to
Morning Glory Farm
100 Meshacket Rd
Edgartown, MA 02539

Now Hiring: Retail Jobs at Morning Glory Farm

We’re now hiring Farmstand Specialists and Farmstand Supervisors for the 2017 season.

Farmstand Specialists report to Farmstand Supervisors as part of a team responsible for exceptional customer service in conformance with established Farm policies, strategies and procedures. Learn more about this position »»

Farmstand Supervisors are team leaders, reporting to the Farmstand Manager and supervising Farmstand Specialists. Learn more about this position »»

Find out about other 2017 jobs at Morning Glory Farm »»

Applications for the new season are accepted online and by mail starting in January. Have them in by April 1, 2017 for best results. We receive hundreds of applications in January, February and March. Apply now »»

Apply to work at Morning Glory Farm.

We are looking for people who want to work hard, enjoy the company of their fellow workers, produce a worthwhile product, enjoy the outdoors (rain or shine), and apply their energies to the success of our cause. Good workers will find themselves in excellent company.

Honor Eggs Are Back

We’ve closed up the farmstand until next spring, but our well-fed chickens lay eggs all winter long. So until we reopen, the honor egg fridge and cashbox are once again located outside the farmstand exit. Come by any time to pick up farm-fresh Morning Glory eggs for $4.50 a dozen (jumbo) and eat gloriously!

Morning Glory Farm eggs are fresh year-round.

Photo by Alison Shaw

Half-Price Produce on Our Last Days

Tuesday, Dec. 27 and Wednesday, Dec. 28 are our last farmstand days of the year. We’re open 9 to 5 with ever-deepening discounts.

  • Produce is now at 50 percent off, cheeses and repack 20 percent off, and many groceries are being marked down as well.
  • The salad bar is closed, but we still have carry-out meals from the farm kitchen.
  • Come in and let us wish you a happy New Year!
Blue Hubbard Squash makes delicious pumpkin pie.

Blue Hubbard Squash makes delicious pumpkin pie.

 

Thank You, Friends of the Farm

Dearest farm friends,

The cellar is full, the firewood is stacked, and winter projects have begun here on the farm. As we enjoy the slowing of the season, we remember to give thanks for all that preceded. We feel so grateful to all those who contributed to the farm this year. An impressive amount of food was grown, prepared, and delivered to so many people it is humbling. But I think what further binds us, customers and staff alike, is the farm’s emotional impact: the people behind it, our need to connect with the land and seas that sustain us. For all the wonderful compliments I have received this year about our produce, products, and staff, I would like to pass them on to you, the true recipients of this praise. Thank you.

The spirit of thanks and gratitude leads naturally into excitement to do it all over again. The seasons’ cycle is to be honored and used as each season intends us to. So, I urge you to gather with your family and friends, to be grateful for the abundance of the past season, and to brighten the dark days of winter with stories of the past and hopes for our futures.

In the spirit of “being the change you wish to see,” I feel very proud that we together are collaboratively improving our community and having a quiet impact on our green watery world. I wish you all a season of joy and a wonderful new year. My family and I look forward to seeing many of you again soon and in the mean time: Be merry, eat well, and laugh often.

Sincerely, Simon J Athearn

Our holiday lights are glowing, and so are our hearts.

No Pie? No Problem: Here’s Our Recipe

We use all butter for the flakiest pie crusts. Photo by Alison Shaw.

We use all butter for the flakiest pie crusts. Photo by Alison Shaw.

Our bakery is closed from Christmas until springtime, so we’re sharing recipes for a Morning Glory pie you can make at home. Invented by one of our head bakers, Harvest Pie celebrates the end of the growing season with apples, cranberries, walnuts, raisins and a hint of orange. It can be made with a double crust or a single crust with a streusel topping.

New Cheese: Morbier-Style Ashbrook from Vermont

Some of our favorite European-style cheeses come from Spring Brook Farm in Reading, Vermont, Their Reading is an excellent expression of the Raclette style, while Spring Brook Tarentaise is inspired by the French cheese Abondance. Now comes their Ashbrook, a creamy raw cow’s milk cheese in the style of Morbier.  Inspired by the French cheese Morbier, Vermont-made Ashbrook has a line of vegetable ash running through the middle.

Named for a small French village, Morbier is distinguished by its buttery color, creamy taste and a dark, horizontal line made from vegetable ash or dye, running through the center. Ashbrook, which is made with raw milk from Jersey cows, also has a thin line of ash and, like the other cheeses from Spring Brook, does a fine job of paying tribute to the European original.

Creating these award-winning cheeses is just part of the mission at Spring Brook Farm. On the dairy’s website, farmsforcitykids.org, you can read about the Farms for City Kids program, which educates urban children about farm life and agriculture.

Ashbrook is made by Spring Hill Farm in Reading, Vt.

Ashbrook is made at Spring Brook Farm.

 

Winter Squash and Potatoes: Quick Fixes for Long Keepers, Part 2

A truck full of winter squash including Hubbard, Acorn, Butternut, Delicata, Spaghetti, Red Kuri and Sweet Dumpling.One of our most colorful, reliable and long-lasting crops, winter squash is a vegetable everyone should have on hand. There are many varieties: Some have bright orange flesh, some are yellow and even a creamy white inside. All are packed with nutritional goodness including antioxidants, vitamins A, B2, B3, B6 and C, and fiber — not to mention sweet, nutty flavors.

Red potatoes from the farm.

Photo by Alison Shaw

Whether a blue Hubbard, a striped Delicata or a beige butternut, winter squashes can all be cooked in much the same manner: Halve the squash, scrape out the seeds and bake, cut side down, for about 45 minutes. (A little water in the baking dish makes it easier to clean up afterward.) Or you can bake your halved squash cut side up with butter and seasonings, as in this autumnal recipe from our chef Robert Lionette:
Roasted Acorn Squash with Cranberry Butter.

Potatoes are another storage staple — as long as you keep them out of the light and away from heat. A satisfying side dish for any meal, potatoes can be simply roasted with a little olive oil and sea salt, or spiffed up with seasonings. Try this recipe for one of our popular to-go dishes at the farmstand: Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes.

For more quick and easy winter vegetable recipes, please see Quick Fixes for Long Keepers: Turnips and Carrots.
And don’t miss our cookbooks, available at the farmstand and by mail.

Last-Minute Christmas Gifts from Martha’s Vineyard

Need some inspiration to round out your gift-giving this holiday? These presents will warm the heart of anyone who loves Martha’s Vineyard: Morning Glory's Farm Food: recipes by farm chef Robert Lionette, photographs by Alison Shaw

1. Morning Glory’s Farm Food: Stories from the Fields, Recipes from the Kitchen, with photographs by Alison Shaw, is a handsome softbound book full of recipes and information about the food we grow and cook. It’s available at the farmstand until Dec. 28, and at bookstores. And please don’t forget our original book, Morning Glory Farm and the Family that Feeds an Island, with recipes for Zucchini Bread and other farm favorites.

2. A subscription to The Vineyard Gazette, the Island’s newspaper of record since 1846, will do more than just keep your giftee well-informed about MV news and events: In collaboration with the nonprofit Island Grown Initiative, the Gazette is purchasing a row of school garden vegetables for every new or renewed subscription this holiday season. The proceeds from this calendar benefit Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary on Martha's Vineyard.

3. Proceeds from the 2017 Felix Neck Wildlife Calendar, illustrated by top Island nature photographers, benefit Mass Audubon’s Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary in Edgartown. You can find it at local bookstores and our farmstand.

4. Food! It’s not too late to put together a festive basket of cheeses, nuts and preserves, perhaps with some indulgent holiday cookies like Cherry Amaretti. The farmstand is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. this week, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Christmas Eve (Saturday). We’ll reopen Dec. 27 and Dec. 28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for our last two days of the season.

Christmas cookies are wrapped and ready to give.