Food Waste is Key to Farmers' Success

Coffee grinds, apple cores and curly orange carrot peels: straight to the trash they go in most households. But on Island farms, these food scraps (along with egg shells, wilted greens and watermelon seeds) go to the compost. For the farmers, this trash is treasure.

“It’s like crop insurance,” explained Jim Athearn of Morning Glory Farm last week as he stepped down from his tractor.

Wet Summer Leaves Paucity of Products

The summer of 2009 will be remembered for primarily one thing: rain.

“Summer? It didn’t start until the first week of August,” said James H.K. Norton of Norton Farm in Vineyard Haven. “We had no sun for two months. We planted everything in a timely fashion, but nothing ripened because there wasn’t any sun.”

Island farmers, fishermen and sailors all were affected by the bad weather.

Farmers Seed Plans to Sell Wind Power with Produce

Imagine a future in which you join a farm share program and receive, along with your in-season fruit, vegetables and flowers, cheap electricity.

A future where you receive a wider range of produce over a longer season, maybe even year-round, as greenhouses proliferate on those farms, taking advantage of that cheaper, price-stable, renewable energy.

Seven Gates Land Reclassified, Bringing Tax Relief to Owners

The state Department of Revenue has agreed to allow a large portion of Seven Gates Farm in West Tisbury to be classified as a working farm and recreational land under chapter 61A and 61B of the Massachusetts General Laws, a decision that will cost the town of West Tisbury some $100,000 in lost property tax revenue.

Effective July 1, the changed classification will apply to some 930 acres of common land at Seven Gates, a residential community that spans the towns of Chilmark and West Tisbury and includes some 1,600 acres.

Long Legacies Populate Fair Parade

By PETER BRANNEN

Tuesday’s agricultural fair parade was 150 years in the making, lasted half an hour and was worth the wait. Hundreds of well-wishers lined the streets and stone walls of the historic route that began at the town hall, wound down Music street and Panhandle Road and ended at a packed viewing stand in front of the Ag Hall.

It was a small-town classic and onlookers arrived early with beach chairs and blankets at the final bend in Panhandle Road to stake out the best seat.

In Farm Shuffle, Whippoorwill Will Return to Old County Road with its CSA Program

Whippoorwill Farm, home of the first Community Supported Agriculture program on the Vineyard, will move its operation from Thimble Farm in Oak Bluffs back to Old County Road, farm owner Andrew Woodruff said this week.

Agriculture Commissioner Declares Island Farms a Model

On any given summer afternoon, the stand at Morning Glory Farm in Edgartown is bustling. Shoppers leave with large totes of fresh vegetables, still warm from being picked just across the street. For new Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources commissioner Greg Watson, the stand reflects the changing face of the country’s farming movement, one where consumers aren’t left behind but are active participants in the changing of their food system.

Farmers’ Roundtable Grows Good Will

A Farmers’ Roundtable will be held Feb. 2, at the Farm Institute in Edgartown.

The 2:30 p.m. event, organized by the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF), the Martha’s Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative (MVYLI) and the Farm Institute, will bring together farmers from around New England to discuss farming issues.

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