A citizens group that opposes a proposal for an 18-hole private golf club along the Edgartown Great Pond took its turn in the spotlight this week, responding sharply to an advertising campaign started by the golf course developers last week.

“They’ve ‘Gone Organic.’ We Think They’re Dead Wrong. Do You?” declares a full-page advertisement that appears in today’s Gazette.

The advertisement is a rejoinder to paid advertisements in both Island newspapers last week from the developers who want to build a golf club along the Edgartown Great Pond.

Declaring “We’ve Gone Organic,” the advertisements purported to detail a new shift toward organic turf management techniques for the golf course development.

The Meeting House Golf Club is planned for some 200 acres of land on the Great Pond owned by the MacKenty and Bigelow families. Developers for the project are Rosario and Barry Lattuca, a father and son team from Natick. Assisting with the project as a silent developer is Richard Friedman, a Boston real estate developer and seasonal homeowner on the Great Pond.

The project is under review by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission as a development of regional impact (DRI).

A public hearing on the project closed last month and the commission is now deliberating on the proposal. A vote is expected near the end of the month.

The Meeting House Golf Club is one of two golf development proposals pending before the MVC. A separate proposal for a private golf club on the Old Vineyard Acres II subdivision in Edgartown is also under review as a DRI. A public hearing on that project will continue on April 22 in the lower level of the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown.

Public opinion over the Meeting House Golf project has reached a near-boiling point in recent weeks. This week the citizens group that opposes the project castigated the developers for claiming to embrace an organic theme.

“Their plan does not comply with any known organic certification standards. In fact, it encourages continued reliance on toxic chemicals,” declares the group’s advertisement.

Named the Coalition for the Protection of Island Resources and the Martha’s Vineyard Legal Defense Fund, the group began some months ago with a handful of members but has now grown to include an active membership list of nearly 100 people.

Last week and this week, the MVC continued its deliberations on the project, hearing a partial staff report at its meeting last Thursday night. The staff report was expected to conclude at the regular commission meeting last night.

In a related Meeting House Golf issue, yesterday James and Deborah Athearn, the owners of Morning Glory Farm in Edgartown, put out a statement to the press to quell distorted reports in the community about the state of their farm operations for the coming year.

The Athearns have leased some 13 acres of land from the MacKenty and Bigelow families for the last 10 years to grow vegetables. Mr. Athearn said the lease arrangement with the two families was always done on a year-to-year basis. This week he confirmed that the MacKenty and Bigelow families terminated the lease arrangement last month, a short time after the Athearns had testified at a public hearing against the golf course project.

But Mr. Athearn also said this week that while the loss of the leased land hurts, Morning Glory Farm is not out of business. “Morning Glory Farm is planning to open the farm stand in late May, as usual, and the owners and workers there are preparing for a record season in this their 20th year of business,” Mr. Athearn said in his press statement.

“We will tuck things up and work a little harder with the land we’ve got,” Mr. Athearn added.

Last year the Athearns planted 50 acres of vegetables and harvested hay and corn from an additional 16 acres. They grew about seven acres of hay and six acres of corn and vegetables at the MacKenty and Bigelow land.

“Morning Glory Farm will open their greenhouses on April 23 and the vegetable stand, which usually opens Memorial Day weekend, may open a week earlier if the asparagus and lettuce are ready,” Mr. Athearn said in the statement.

Yesterday, Mr. Athearn said he and Debbie will make do this year with careful double cropping, but he said with the land shortage he is not sure how long into the fall the farm will have corn. Known for its quality, Morning Glory Farm corn has become something of a celebrity crop in the Vineyard community in recent years. Mr. Athearn said he is looking for more land to lease. “Definitely we are getting short,” he said. “If somebody has some good land that I can get to, I would love to lease it.”