In this typically tardy Vineyard spring, the Chappaquiddick trees are finally decked out in all their finery — delicate leaves, dangling catkins, and frilly blossoms that entice the bees to do their job while we shiver in the morning, refusing to get the stove going because it’s the middle of May, for God’s sake! And then gratefully we soak up the sun, which is high enough to warm us before mid-morning. The apple trees and beach plum bushes are in full bloom along the sides of the roads and fields. Their profusion of white blossoms portends a bountiful crop in the season ahead. This is the best time of year to enjoy the show put on by nature before the mosquitoes and the tourists arrive on our Island.
To celebrate Slip Away Farm’s first season on Chappy, Lily, Jason, Christian and Collins are having a spring party and open house tomorrow, Saturday, May 18, starting at 4 p.m. to introduce themselves and their farm to the community. They’ve been working hard all winter to get things up and running, and are eager to share what they’re doing. The open house will give us all a chance to tour the farm, mingle with our friends and neighbors, and enjoy food made from locally-grown or foraged sources, prepared by Gaby Redner, chef at The Terrace, and friends. All ages are invited, and people are welcome to BYOB. Please park at the Chappy Community Center and walk over to the farm, as parking is limited. The party will happen unless there’s torrential rain, which is not in the forecast. The Slip Aways are hoping to hold more events like this in the future.
The Slip Away farm stand is open, too, every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during daylight hours. It’s a self-serve stand, selling Island-made products, as well their own eggs and seedlings; farm produce will start to trickle in soon. Lily Walter says they’ve had many words of encouragement from Chappy neighbors and friends. “Everyone has expressed enthusiasm in the farm, and we have heard time and time again, ‘We are so excited Slip Away is here!’” A great way to show your support is to visit the farm stand and purchase some of the yummy local products they have for sale. You can check out the new porch and renovations done by Knight and Zadeh this past winter that have beautified Chappy’s former one-room schoolhouse. The stand is hidden by some trees from the road, but if you head up the driveway, you’ll see it on the left.
The next potluck at the community center is on Wednesday, June 5, starting at 6 p.m., and Paul Cardello and Judy Buss are hosting. The last potluck of the season is June 19, and a volunteer is needed to host it. The CCC is also looking for someone to host movies for July and the first half of August. Peter Taft, who ran the movies last year, will show films again from the end of August into September. The CCC would like to host a few musical events with local musicians this summer, and is looking for someone to coordinate them. You can contact Lynn Martinka at the CCC office at 508-627-8222 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
Lynn and her family are still looking for a place to live year-round on Chappy, since they had to move this spring from the home they’ve rented for many years. Lynn is coordinator at the CCC, and Matt Chronister is a carpenter and member of the Chappy fire truck, and they really want to stay on the island.
We are sorry to hear about the death of David Plumb last Saturday. David’s long and deep connection to Chappy began in 1941 when he and his wife Faith came to Edgartown for their honeymoon. That first night, they met Tony Bettencourt who said in his typical way “Good evening, children. Would you like to take a ride?” Soon Tony was lending them his Model A, and they were exploring every nook and cranny of the island. David was instrumental in the start of the Chappaquiddick Island Association and the Chappaquiddick Tennis Tournament. His oral history in the Chappy recollections book tells some fascinating stories about life as a summer resident in the middle decades of the last century. On his last day, his daughter Cynthia Plumb Hubbard says, he went out to get the mail — a half mile walk straight uphill — came back to take his afternoon nap and never woke up, which is exactly what he wanted.