Neighbors Head to Court to Stop New Programs at Town's Katama Farm

Neighbors Head to Court to Stop New Programs at Town's Katama Farm

By MANDY LOCKE

Complaining that Edgartown officials turned a deaf ear to their appeals to limit operations at Katama Farm, a group of four Katama residents will go to court Tuesday - pleading with a superior court judge to evict the FARM Institute, newest tenant of the town-owned farm.

Farm Institute Leases Fragile Katama Land

After a period of lying fallow, Katama Farm will be traditionally farmed again. The Edgartown Conservation Commission on Wednesday night agreed to lease the historic property to FARM Institute.

Their decision brings the 180-acre farm back into the Island farming community. It also allows FARM Institute the opportunity to expand its role of helping young people learn the ways of agriculture.

Farm Institute Welcomes Visitors’ Help on Chores

The Farm Institute invites Island residents and visitors for family and community chores on Saturday, July 26, at 9 a.m. with author Norman Bridwell reading two of his beloved Clifford The Big Red Dog stories at noon.

Lend a hand big or small in collecting eggs, milking the goat, feeding and caring for the cows, sheep, pigs and baby chicks, and there are garden chores to enjoy as well. Dress for the weather — and to get dirty.

This is a free community event and no registration or experience is necessary. Donations are welcome.

Farm Institute’s Community Supported Agriculture Program Gets a Little Meatier

“We let pigs live like pigs,” says Matthew Goldfarb, executive director of the Farm Institute, the nonprofit that runs the Edgartown-owned Katama Farm.

It’s an allowance that benefits animals and farmers alike: by the time the pigs leave the paddock later in the spring, the soil will be ready for reseeding. Meat-eaters benefit as well. Pigs free to trot and root, pigs fed corn grown in an adjacent field, provide guilt-free bacon.

Farm Institute Grows Community

Hay bales in the distance, belted Galloways grazing in the fields, the sun setting softly over Katama Farm — it was a picturesque Vineyard evening for the Farm Institute’s Meals in the Meadow event Saturday night that was full of local food, drink, fun, and most importantly, education. The annual fundraiser was held to raise money for the institute’s education programs that teach children and adults sustainability through farming practices.

Farm Institute Assents to Cell Tower

A conflict about a wireless cell phone equipment in abandoned silos in Katama came to a swift resolution this week, with members of the Farm Institute, which leases the land, saying they are now in favor of hosting the cell tower. The Edgartown selectmen Tuesday voted in favor of AT& T’s proposal to install the equipment.

Farm Institute Pilot Parcels Available

Time is running out to apply for the Farm Institute’s Pilot Parcels Project. Interested farmers from all backgrounds and experience levels are invited to submit an application for the chance to experiment with innovative crops or processes using Farm Institute land and resources.

Farm Institute Plots Innovative Future

A new grant landed by the Farm Institute in Edgartown will make it possible for Island farmers to experiment with innovative crops. The Pilot Parcels Project will make five one-acre plots available to both beginning and experienced farmers this summer.

Farm Institute executive director Jon Previant said this week it doesn’t matter how much experience the farmer has — only that they have a good idea.

“This project is aimed at increasing the amount of knowledge of alternative methods and alternative crops on the Island,” he said.

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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