Much of the roughly 100 square miles of Martha’s Vineyard is rural, with a significant portion of land is used for farming. At last count there were over 40 working farms on Martha’s Vineyard and many of the farmers congregate weekly during the summer at the West Tisbury Farmer’s Market. The open-air Farmer’s Market was established in 1974 and has been operating ever since, making it the Island’s oldest market, and the go-to spot for the freshest food around. According to their website the market was founded “by a ragtag group of hippies, Yankees and retired English teachers” and the chill vibe of the place hasn’t changed.
The market pops up twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9-12pm at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury. The Saturday market runs from June through October and the Wednesday market runs from June through the end of August. The market also returns in the winter and meets indoors at the Agricultural Hal in West Tisbury on Saturdays from October to December. Be sure to check the most current hours here.
Obviously, the market is packed with local farmers and fresh produce but you’ll also find many prepared foods and packaged goods that will stand out in your pantry. Be sure to go early (many things sell out) and go hungry, there’s a plethora of breakfast options available to you while you stroll.
Here’s what not to miss when you’re visiting the West Tisbury Farmer’s Market.
It’s safe to say that MVM Mushrooms are unlike any mushroom you’ve ever had. They’re rich, tender and oh, so flavorful. MVM Mushrooms was started by two Harvard graduates who met while studying mycology. They set up a farm on Martha’s Vineyard, with the perfect growing conditions for their shiitake mushrooms, using traditional Japanese techniques, and resulting in delicious, protein packed mushrooms. According to their website they hold very little water, do not shrivel when cooked, and sear like meat, yielding incomparable woodsy umami.
The Miller’s Wife Sweet & Savory Crêpes
The Miller’s Wife is one of the newest additions to the West Tisbury Farmer’s Market and a sweet one at that. The iconic red food truck pumps out hot, made to order crepes from fresh-milled organic heirloom grains, including English White May Wheat, Aromatic French Buckwheat, and Italian ‘00’ Rice flour. Fillings include whipped butter and vanilla sugar, brushed coconut meringue and cream, to name a few, along with an equally as impressive savory selection.
If you drink only one cup of coffee on Martha’s Vineyard make sure it’s Chilmark Coffee. Chilmark Coffee has been a fixture at the West Tisbury Farmer’s Market for years and for good reason, they make great coffee. Owners Jenny and Todd Christy roast the coffee themselves and they source their beans sustainably from producers/farmers who are being fairly compensated for the work they do, from places like Ethiopia, Colombia and Guatemala. Treat yourself to a cup of their drip coffee, espresso or addictive cold brew, or take a bag home for enjoying at your leisure.
Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt
While strolling the rows of vendors there’s a good chance you’ll get to meet Heidi Feldman, farmer and entrepreneur extraordinaire behind Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt. In the tradition of Island settlers, Heidi and her husband Curtis solar evaporate Atlantic Ocean water, resulting in delicious, briny crystals that make for the perfect addition to both savory and sweet eats. Pick up one of their sea salt comes in a variety of flavors including "Lemon Dill" with added dried lemon verbena and dried dill, "Smoked Oak" which is salt smoked over Island oak, and our favorite, "Blueberry Honey," with added freeze-dried blueberries and honey. Better yet grab a multipack or try a few, it also makes a great gift and wedding favor!
Head High Kombucha
Kombucha brewing has become increasingly more popular in the past few years and Martha’s Vineyard has taken note. The Island’s first and kombucha brand, Head High Kombucha has made a splash at the Farmer’s Market and our tummies and mouths are happy to have it. Owner Becky Bonds learned how to make kombucha after taking a fermentation class at the Oak Bluffs library and now she’s teaching her own classes on it. Her refreshing flavors include blackberry, pineapple, lemon-ginger and strawberry mango. Grab a bottle and get head high.
For a full list of West Tisbury Farmer’s Market vendors click here.
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