About the farm
Morning Glory Farm, started in 1975, grows about 65 acres of vegetables and small fruits. Small, successive plantings of a wide variety of crops supply the farmstand from late May through December.
Crops include sweet corn, lettuce, carrots, beets, tomatoes, melons, potatoes, beans, squash, pumpkins, and others. Our “Morganic” herb garden supplies a full assortment of culinary herbs. We also raise two acres of cut flowers and small plantings of strawberries and blueberries.
We keep about 30 head of beef cattle for which we harvest 40 acres of hay and successively graze 22 acres, moving cows to fresh grass daily. We sell the beef as frozen cuts in our farmstand, along with our home-raised pork, pasture-raised chicken, and fresh eggs.
Six acres of our vegetable fields are farmed organically (not certified) and we try to manage the rest of our land using a minimum of pesticides, with attention to the long-term health of the soil. We make hundreds of tons of compost annually.
Jobs and housing on the farm
Our business has grown rapidly and has become very popular on Martha’s Vineyard. We have a large and supportive following in a very good market area. Our employees have been instrumental in building our good reputation and they have enjoyed being part of the growth of a quality farm business. We have more than 100 employees during the summer. Wages vary according to experience. Employment should be considered to be on a trial basis for the first two weeks. Our veteran employees have earned periodic raises and increased responsibilities as appropriate.
Two 27′ x 96′ greenhouses supply transplants for the field such as lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes and peppers, as well as vegetable and herb plants for sale. Several employees work in this area. In another 27′ x 96′ greenhouse, we grow tomatoes in natural soil that can be harvested as early as late May. We also have a second tomato house where the tomatoes are grown hydroponically.
Our farm kitchen and bakery get busier every year so that now we need about 10-20 people, on various shifts from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., to bake the breads, muffins, and pies and prepare salads, soups, casseroles, pot pies, jams, and pickles from our own produce, meat and eggs as much as possible. We find endless opportunities for new, creative uses of fresh produce in our kitchen.
We can supply housing for up to 11 employees in the upstairs of “The Barn,” which has five bedrooms, two bathrooms and a kitchen with a washer and dryer. The housing is exchanged for your first 8 hours of work each week and every resident is required to help with the cleaning of the residence and to live quietly and considerately. All employees get a 20 percent discount on all items we sell, and vegetables we grow ourselves are free if in good supply and you pick it yourself on your time.
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. Each year we are particularly careful to keep only extraordinarily good workers. We cannot afford to keep anyone who is only doing a mediocre job or who demonstrates by his/her attitude that he/she is not enthusiastic about our work. Good workers will find themselves in excellent company.
Every summer for the last one hundred years or more, summer workers on Martha’s Vineyard have been looking for places to stay which are clean, safe, and affordable on the wages of their summer jobs.
For a worker making our starting wage of $11.50 an hour an “affordable” housing allowance of 30% is about $150 a week. Naturally it would be desirable to pay less and our farm housing does give a good advantage at $100, but we can only house 12 people in The Barn. Our onsite housing is full for the 2017 season.
We are building another Bunkhouse for seasonal workers that will house another 11 people but we don’t know when that will be available to live in. There are many contractors and inspectors who have to do their part before we will know. If it is ready by summer, we will fill it according to a variety of factors related to farm need, personal need, and fairness.
We have one place where we can allow 2 people to camp but our farm is small and there are legal limitations that make any more camping unworkable. We ask for $35 a week per camper as they are expected to share kitchen and bathrooms in the farm housing.
There are rooms to rent and houses to share around the island and our workers have been finding them for years but there is no straight answer as to how. I conclude that each one has its own story and you need to make calls, follow leads, listen to possibilities and you will find a place to stay. A lot of housing is just found by word of mouth. You may have to come to the island and just meet people and network.
There is a youth Hostel that you could try for temporary housing- https://affiliates.hihostels.com/hostels/hi-martha-s-vineyard
You can start looking for rooms to rent with the Chamber Of Commerce website http://www.mvy.com/jobbank/housinglist.aspx. Here people list their rooms for summer workers who have jobs.
You can also place an ad in one of the local papers- Housing wanted section(MV Times, Vineyard Gazette). Craig’s list may have some summer housing listed as well. Sometimes MVOL or MV Patch may have information. There is also a campground on Martha’s Vineyard. If you are interested here is their site https://campmv.com/reservations.htm .
Real Estate offices may have some listings, but the few that we contacted do not have employee housing, just vacation home rates. (Island Real Estate, Hall Associates).
One of our employees suggested calling other farms on the island, they will often rent a room for a few hours of work at that farm.
You may ask us to help you check out leads. In some cases we know the people, or have worked with them before. We have asked our Facebook followers to share info if they have any- so you can check that post on our facebook page. We will try to keep this info flowing out to those that have approved being on the open mailing list.
We are prepared to provide a subsidy of up to $50 a week for rents that are over $150 a week, to bring the rent as close as possible to $150 without exceeding $50. Someone paying $175 a week would receive a $25 per week subsidy. Someone paying $225 a week would receive $50 per week, our maximum.
We hired you with the expectation that you will do what you need to do to find your housing. There are people who were turned away because you got the job and they didn’t. If you don’t find housing, we are left with an empty position and the people who were turned away have probably gotten something else. Please do your best to follow through and do a diligent search.
We hope you have luck in finding your accommodations for this summer. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.