Farming on Martha’s Vineyard is a family affair, most farms owned by local island families for years. Because of the terroir and climate, island farms focus on a few specific regional produce items, but work well together to supplement each other. While one if growing the best tomatoes you’ll ever taste, the other is harvesting the sweetest strawberries you’ll ever experience. Believe it or not, there are about 40 farms on island, some year round and others purely seasonal, supplying not only retail customers, but restaurants and chefs throughout the island. Check out this interactive map put together by the Martha’s VIneyard Times of All Our Farms in One Place, thanks to Slow Food MV, Living Local MV, and Island Grown Initiative. Below, we are listing five of the forty farms we think are staples to island life and we suggest visiting them and supporting local farmers!
Morning Glory Farm
Morning Glory Farm, started in 1975 by James and Deborah Athearn, grows about 65 acres of vegetables and small fruits on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. These acres are spread out all over the island, but their farmstand is located on Edgartown-West Tisbury Road. When we referenced the sweetest strawberries you’ll ever taste, this is the place. Come June, they will start harvesting the berries and you must get their early if you’re looking to score a pint, because they go fast! Make sure to also check out their Strawberry Festival during the same month - a delightful way to spend the day eating strawberries and tasting delicious strawberry focused recipes by their bakers and chefs.
The FARM Institute
The FARM Institute is located on the historic Katama Farm, a farm that dates back to the early 1900s. It is home to a breeding herd of 23 cows, Belted Galloway and American British Whiteparks; 25 breeding ewes, mostly Cotswolds; over 300 laying hens including Barred Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, and Araucana among others; and every year they also raise around 50 Heritage Breed Turkeys. Produce, eggs, and meat available at farm store. They also host classes, summer camps, and more during the summer, so make sure to check them out if you’re traveling with kids.
Island Alpaca Company of Martha's Vineyard began in 2004 with the purchase of 19 acres of land and an antique post-and-beam barn. The alpaca's are a delight to visit on the farm, and guests are encouraged to meet the alpacas. The farmstand offers handmade goods, many of which is made from the alpaca wool. We especially love their soft blankets!
The Grey Barn
A certified organic farm, The Grey Barn produces and harvests cows, pigs, sheeps, chickens, ducks, vegetables, and fruit. But what they are really known for is their award-winning cheeses that come from the gorgeous milk that their dairy cows produce. Recently awarded one of the 25 Most Important Cheeses in America by Bon Appetit Magazine, their Bluebird cheese is one of the best, period. You can purchase it, along with any of their other cheeses, at their farmstand.
Mermaid Farm & Dairy
You might know Mermaid Farm & Dairy for their refreshing mango lassis, which make the trip up island well worth it. But their self-serve farmstand is packed with other things such as meat, seasonal vegetables, raw milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, and yarn, and is open from dawn to dusk year-round. You can also find them at the West Tisbury Farmers Market, every Saturday, summer and winter.
Get more great info on Martha's Vineyard farms here!
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