Ten years ago looking for a change of pace, Scott Jones and Kell Hicklin left their suits and ties down south and bought the Lambert’s Cove Inn and Restaurant in West Tisbury.
“Who would’ve thought we’d be bottle feeding goats four times a day?” said Mr. Hicklin. “It’s a long way from the corporate world.”
The baby goats are six-week-old Ava and Zsa Zsa, the newest additions to the family. The goat sisters join 45 hens who arrived this winter, all part of a new farm component the owners are planning for the seven-acre property.
“We’ve got so much property that we never utilized, so we want to be able to use more of it for gardening and for them,” said Mr. Hicklin. “We’ve gotten a lot done over the last couple of months, but it’s a longer-term project because we want to do it right.”
This spring the owners hired Chris Riger as farm manager. Mr. Riger has been an integral part of adding the farm element to the inn’s property. He selected the five breeds of hens and planted baby lettuces, micro greens, herbs, tomatoes and berries in gardens surrounding the inn’s brick pathways, all of which will be used in the restaurant by executive chef James McDonough, formerly of the Beach Plum Inn and Restaurant.
“He’s been very active in choosing what’s going in our gardens. We want to make sure everything we grow we can used,” said Mr. Hicklin. “We may not be able to supply the restaurant with absolutely everything we grow, but what we don’t, we plan to get from as many local farmers as we can.”
For now, the eggs produced by the hens are being served to the inn guests for breakfast, along with the herbs and greens. When the goats start producing milk, they plan to make goat cheese. And in the fall, Mr. McDonough will use the harvest from apple trees to make homemade apple butter.
“I’d love to go to the farmers’ market and set up a little table to sell our eggs and our granola and our apple butter,” said Mr. Jones.
For the owners, expanding into farming is just one of many evolutions of the property since they purchased it a decade ago.
“From year one we’ve redecorated and done different things, so we feel like it will get the name out there again and get a new buzz going,” said Mr. Hicklin.
Mr. Jones and Mr. Hicklin look forward to sharing the farm with both regular and new guests this season.
“We have a large number of guests from larger cities and they might not have the opportunity to experience something like this,” said Mr. Hicklin. “We’re letting them participate as much or as little as they want to.”
And with the hens producing some 40 eggs a day, the owners invite the local community to purchase eggs and see the updates to the property. Everyone can also meet Ava and Zsa Zsa, who once they are weaned, will be getting to work producing milk and clearing brush.
“Now they’re starting to eat everything,” said Mr. Hicklin. “Initially they were with us in the Red Room having a glass of wine, but now they’re starting to eat all of our flowers.”