The day was all balmy breeze and blue-sky perfect, and Flat Point Farm and Tisbury Great Pond looked like a canvas painted by Ray Ellis. Island native Ryan Begley, son of Kevin and Patty and brother of Keegan, was about to marry longtime seasonal resident Adriana Stimola, daughter of Michael and Rosemary and sister of Aubrey Stimola Ryan. And as natural as wedding rings and heartfelt declarations, the Vineyard spirit infiltrated the ceremony.
Officiate Dr. Bette Kerr (a longtime friend and associate of the Stimolas from New York) welcomed everyone.
The pastoral sheep pastures and hayfields at Flat Point Farm will be placed into conservation after the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank announced plans to purchase a large piece of the West Tisbury farm.
The land bank is set to purchase 12.9 acres of land and an agricultural preservation restriction on an additional 25 acres of abutting pastures for $3.45 million from the Fischer family, who has owned the property since 1939, land bank director James Lengyel said this week.
It is now public knowledge that our family has received an offer for a 12.9-acre parcel of land at the end of Flat Point Farm on Tisbury Great Pond. The land is currently in open pasture and grazed by the farm’s cattle and sheep — a view that we, other pond residents, boaters, painters and walkers enjoy.
As subdivisions go, the plan for Flat Point Farm in West Tisbury could hardly be more carefully balanced between the need to plan for family succession and the desire to maintain the farming tradition, so threatened on Martha’s Vineyard.
Yet it has served to raise a whole raft of questions that go to the very heart of the Island farming methods, which contribute disproportionately to the Vineyard’s most pressing environmental problem, pollution of the great ponds by excessive nitrogen.