Chilmark selectmen submitted a bid to buy Beetlebung Farm on Friday following an executive session Thursday night, selectman Jim Malkin confirmed. Mr. Malkin declined to specify the amount of the offer.

“This is a wonderful property in the center of town. There are multiple uses possible for the property should the town acquire it,” he said in a statement.

Another executive session has been scheduled for Tuesday at 5 p.m. to continue the discussion about the possible acquisition.

The late Ozzie Fischer farmed the land for decades. — Mark Alan Lovewell

The small iconic farm in the heart of the Chilmark town center that has been held by the Fischer family for generations, went on the market this week with an asking price of $2.5 million.

The sellers are the four children of the late Albert O. (Ozzie) Fischer Jr.

Potential buyers had already emerged early this week. Chilmark selectmen went into executive session Tuesday night to discuss a possible town acquisition of the 5.7-acre farm that abuts the Keith Farm and hugs the corner of Middle and South Roads, then scheduled a second executive session for Thursday.

It is understood that the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, headed by Chilmark resident Thomas Bena, is also an interested buyer. Mr. Bena did not immediately return phone calls from the Gazette seeking comment on Thursday.

Julie Flanders, who owns Flanders Real Estate in Chilmark, has an exclusive listing for the property. Ms. Flanders confirmed that there are potential buyers but said she could not disclose the names.

Albert O. Fischer 3rd, a West Tisbury resident whose father Ozzie Fischer farmed the property for decades until his death in 2011, said the decision by the family to sell has been wrenching but was necessary following years of care for their mother Regina, who lived at home on the farm until her death last month at the age of 103.

“My mother has been under 24/7 care for five or more years . . . we have had expenses and we can’t afford to keep it. We need to put it on the market,” Mr. Fischer said. “My siblings and I try to always think about what our father would do, and for him family always came first.”

He continued: “The town has always been interested, and it’s possible that something will happen with that.”

The property, whose address is 521 South Road, is zoned agricultural-residential with no restrictions, Ms. Flanders said. It was assessed at $948,200 in 2018, according to town records. It includes a main house, an old pool, a barn that has been converted to residential living and a small cottage that formerly housed Regina Fischer’s hairdessing salon.

Granddaughter Lydia Fischer ran the farm this summer. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Old stone walls line the rolling fields and cut granite steps lead to the main house and cottage.

Over the years Ozzie Fischer built up the soil on the farm and grew prolific vegetable gardens and fruit trees, including espalier pear, peach and apricot trees. He inspired generations of young farmers, including his daughter Marie Scott, who farmed Beetlebung for many years, and his grandson Chris Fischer, a chef who took over the farm a few years ago and wrote the Beetlebung Farm Cookbook, which won a James Beard award. This summer granddaughter Lydia Fischer took over the farm, growing and selling vegetables to restaurants and running a booth at the West Tisbury Farmers’ Market.

“Ideally we would like to see the property remain as a farm . . . in our heart that’s what the family would like to see,” Albert Fischer said.

Ms. Flanders, a lifelong Islander whose mother used to babysit for the Fischer children, acknowledged the weight of the decision. “This is very difficult for the family,” she said, noting also that the sellers are considering placing limits on the use of the property.

News that the farm was about to go on the market first surfaced at the Chilmark selectmen’s meeting Tuesday night. The board announced it had received a letter from Jim Feiner, chairman of the town housing committee, requesting discussion about some kind of possible town purchase of the farm. “The housing committee requests that the board of selectmen consider at their next meeting discussing the purchase of Beetlebung Farm should it become available,” Mr. Feiner wrote.

Selectman Bill Rossi, who is also a member of the housing committee, said he had heard that there was a possibility the land would be sold. He said he then spoke with the principals involved and confirmed that the property would be put on the market this week.

Mr. Rossi and Mr. Feiner are both Island real estate brokers who are not involved with the sale.

Mr. Rossi said a purchase could include some affordable housing. “In general, there’s a desire from different people in town to pursue the property that’s in the center of town for whatever use, including housing,” he said. “If there is interest we need to act quickly.”

Selectman and board chairman Jim Malkin concurred. “I certainly support the acquisition of that land for use the town sees appropriate,” he said.

Selectmen went into executive session and scheduled a second closed-door session for Thursday night at 7 p.m. to continue talks. A third session will be held Tuesday.

Landry Harlan contributed reporting.