Chris Fischer knows Martha’s Vineyard well. The family homestead, Beetlebung Farm, is the primary subject of Mr. Fischer’s new book, The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook. The cookbook, which in between recipes is filled with essays about family and farming, demonstrates Beetlebung's profound impact on him.
It’s out with the white linen table cloths and in with the repurposed wood as the farm-to-table movement anchors itself in Chilmark this summer.
Farmer and chef Chris Fischer will take the helm of the restaurant at the Beach Plum Inn in Menemsha, the inn announced this week. Mr. Fischer will source directly from his family’s farm, Beetlebung Farm, just over a mile down the road.
Mushrooms are the richest and meatiest food I know of outside the animal kingdom. In the past few weeks, following a number of torrential rainstorms, mushrooms have begun popping up everywhere on the Island. On a visit to a friend’s house off of Middle Road two weeks ago, friends and I stumbled upon a yard filled with chanterelle mushrooms and the black trumpet variety. We harvested the chanterelles first that day from underneath a maple tree, leaving the black trumpets to grow larger.
My dad grows the best tomatoes. He drops them off for me in fruit boxes with padding in the bottom, treating them like soft-bottomed aristocrats riding into the farm on a horse-drawn chariot. The tomatoes do not touch one another and sit with their shoulders proud. The round ridge on the top of the tomato surrounding the base of its stem is known as the shoulder and is Mario Batali’s favorite part (they look like shoulders when examined closely; after having that image planted in your head, try it). Not all the tomatoes he brings me look perfect.
My Aunt Marie turned 70 this past August. She is still slender, young in most every way and very strong. To celebrate we roasted a whole pig her son Josh had raised on a spit and had a celebration on the farm. The pig was the centerpiece, with all guests and family members contributing to an epic potluck meal eaten at picnic tables placed where my grandfather’s butterfly weed had bloomed only weeks before. My father documented the whole thing and took a picture of a young, blonde cousin inspecting the head of the hog.