By Tina Miller
It’s summer on Martha’s Vineyard, and the bounty is exploding from land and sea. Locally grown foods are found on menus around the Island, and in a few markets such as Cronigs, Middletown Farm & Market, Vineyard Grocer, Alley’s, the Chilmark Store, Katama General Store, the Larder, and of course the fish markets. We recommend getting a real sense of our diversity by taking a ride around the Island and checking out the variety of farm stands. Though there are only a few certified organic farms on the Island, most farms are using some or all organic practices.
The farm stands here are open to the public without appointment, so if you are out cruising around, and just happen by one of these beautiful farm stands, you may find a bouquet of flowers, some chilled fruit, yogurt lassi, fresh greens, ground lamb, pork chops, or a wool throw blanket.
Some are cash or Island checks only; bring small bills to make change — many stands collect your payment by the honor system: Just put the money in the can.
See a list of all Martha’s Vineyard farms and farm stands here: bit.ly/vv-farm-finder.
Allen Farm Sheep & Wool
42 South Rd., Chilmark
Perched high up on South Road in Chilmark with a million-dollar view of the south shore, this old family farm has over 100 sheep. Walk the pretty path to a small store featuring all-organic, grass-fed meats: lamb, Merguez and other sausages, pork, as well as beautiful hand-woven throw blankets, clothing, and sheep-related gifts.
22 South Rd., Chilmark
Also on South Road in Chilmark, the Grey Barn is a big, beautiful farm with a jewel of a farm stand that features certified organic raw cow’s milk, raw milk and
pasteurized cow’s milk cheeses, eggs, pork, beef, veal, and now a full garden of vegetables and herbs. New this season: fresh artisan bread made in their new barn bakery. They also offer farm walks, and are adding events such as flower arranging workshops and kids’ farm experiences
410 Middle Rd., Chilmark
Reopening this month, this self-serve farm stand has returned with new owners who are in the process of rebuilding and restoring the land and farm using organic and regenerative agricultural practices. This summer and fall the stand will feature an extensive array of vegetables and flowers.
Menemsha Crossroads Farm Stand
This small roadside summer-only farm stand does not have a name or address, just a chalkboard sign and a sweet little stand with fresh flowers and vegetables. The small garden which grows the flowers and vegetable sits is right there on this little plot of land.
North Tabor Farm
4 North Tabor Rd. (North Road), Chilmark
This self-serve farm stand has been featuring some of the best greens grown anywhere, including their famous salad mix, baby kale, and arugula. I especially love the arugula. Also seasonal vegetables, broccoli, bok choy, baby squash, heirloom tomatoes, eggs, and gorgeous fresh-cut flowers; also organic ginger syrups from Old Friends Farm in Amherst.
Native Earth Teaching Farm
94 North Rd., Chilmark
This pretty farm and stand are surrounded by baby goats, which is the main attraction. Feel free to roam around and visit with the goats, and check out community gardens. Yarn, naturally dyed using ingredients foraged on the farm, is sold at the stand. Workshops on Sundays.
9 Middle Rd., Chilmark
The self-serve farm stand in lower Chilmark is housed in a sweet wooden cabin-like building on the side of Middle Road. Mermaid offers raw cow’s milk, a selection of cheese made on the farm such as feta-style, plain and herbed fromage, and blue and Alpine-style cheese. Also beef, including hamburger patties, lamb, seasonal vegetables, flowers, yogurt, and their famous fruit lassis in flavors such as mango, lemon, and raspberry. You will also find locally grown grain flour, as well as wheat, rye, and einkorn.
Ghost Island Farm
27 Davis Look Rd. (off State Road, the Nip ’N Tuck driveway), West Tisbury
At the old Nip ’N Tuck Farm dairy, Ghost Island Farm has about 500 CSA members, and is also open to the public for a huge array of vegetables (famous for their tomatoes). This mini-market also sells Nip ’n Tuck Farm meats and eggs, and lots of local treats — Mermaid Farm Yogurt, M.V. Kimchi, Cape Blueberries, Pam’s Pesto, and more. Cinnamon Starship bread on Saturdays in the off-season.
40 Cottles Lane (Behind Cottle’s lumberyard on Lambert’s Cove Road),
Tucked inside the barn that houses big, beautiful draft horses, there are always lots of fresh eggs, pasture-raised beef and pork, fresh vegetables, including tomatoes and haricots verts, and bouquets of summer flowers.
Bayes Norton Farm
223 Vineyard Haven–Edgartown Road, Vineyard Haven
Seasonal vegetables and fruits, also peas in early summer, herbs, fruits, and more.
Morning Glory Farm
120 Mashacket Rd. (off West Tisbury–Edgartown Road), Edgartown
The biggest farm stand, one-stop shopping with every seasonal vegetable and fruit you can imagine, including their own corn, herbs, beef, chicken, eggs; their own pies and other baked goods (try the addictive zucchini bread). Check out the salad bar, and nearby on the shelves soups, lots of their own canned jams, jellies, and sauces. Flower bouquets, plants; seasonal festivals and special events.
Slip Away Farm
199 Chappaquiddick Rd., Edgartown
Housed in Chappy’s original one-room schoolhouse, Slip Away Farm is open May to October and offers a CSA for organically grown vegetables and flowers. Certainly, a great excuse for a field trip to the island off the Island.
14 Aero Dr., Katama, Edgartown
The FARM Institute, a property of The Trustees of Reservations, is an educational working farm. The farm stand offers grass-fed beef and lamb as well as pastured pork. With the addition of a farm kitchen this summer, the teaching farm now offers education for adults with Wednesday workshops. Farm camp, daily hayride tours, and seasonal festivals.
This article first appeared in Edible Vineyard, Summer Issue. Check out The MV Times interactive Farm Map at bit.ly/MVT_FarmMap.