Farmer Debbie Athearn with wooden baskets
Photo by Alison Shaw

Today is Debbie Athearn’s birthday, and all of us at the farm would like to join her family and friends all over Martha’s Vineyard in wishing her a wonderful day with many happy returns!

It is safe to say that without Debbie, there would be no Morning Glory Farm. She and Jim started the farm and stand in 1975 as a young married couple with no employees at all. Nearly 45 years of hard work later, the Athearn family employs well over 100 people.

Debbie is here just about every day, leading by example with her unflappable good humor as she oversees the produce at the farmstand. Along with Morning Glory Farm-grown vegetables and fruits, Debbie orders from family-owned farms on the mainland who supply us with dairy, apples, cranberries and other fresh crops to rival our own.

Debbie and Jim raised their three kids on farm food and Deb’s Meatloaf remains one of our customers’ favorite carry-out entrées. You can find more of Deb’s recipes in our cookbooks.

Happy birthday, Debbie! We’re lucky you were born.

2 Comments on “Happy Birthday, Debbie!

  1. Happy Birthday Debbie! 🎉Debbie & Jim have been role models for me since as I met them.They grew spinach for me at Chez Pierre in 1979. My first of many restaurant purchases of premium local ingredients in my cooking career on the island now 40 years strong. Dan & Simon and their families are doing an exceptional job evolving the farm to vibrant and thriving island business feeding a knowledgeable clientele. MGF is now a proud island institution well deserving of the praise it receives. I’m proud to be able to use the local produce at l’étoile and have done so for the past 33 years.
    Michael P. Brisson
    l’étoile restaurant

  2. I guess it makes sense that her birthday falls at the peak moment of preparation in the farm year, because Debbie is the heart of Morning Glory Farm. There is no limit to the depth of knowledge and the breadth of wisdom and heart she brings to all she does-both on and off the farm. I should know. For +\-20 years which was my employment on the incomparable MoGlowFo, she celebrated successes and soothed defeats with a generosity that was above and beyond. How do I seed the larkspur? How can I roast a chicken? Now that I have found him, how do I get married? Can I bring the baby in to work? And even how can I still be good mom now that I am widowed? She somehow has a kind thoughtful answer each time. Even when it was time to change jobs, she said you will have a place here. For every spot on a pepper, or rat-nosed cucumber there are 100 private rainbows, goldsmith beetles, or perfect string of 12 ripe cherry tomatoes. Maybe it’s the first time you realize how eggplants or potatoes grow, or that time harrowing the old cornfield in the golden light on the cusp of fall, when you see the corn leaves swept up into a slow motion dust devil 2 stories high…and yes, you park the tractor and watch for five minutes, but without Debbie there wouldn’t be the miracle othat is Morning Glory Farm! Many happy returns to Debbie A, and onward and forward to her amazing family as they bring the farm into the future for us! 🌈