Big, Buff and Ready to Rough It, Draft Horses Get the Job Done

Nothing so gentle as real strength, nothing so strong as true gentleness.

“That’s what we say about draft horses,” Bruce Marshard said, standing next to one of his Percheron horses, Sonny. His pasture mate and fellow Percheron Max was grazing nearby.

Plants Be Buggin' On the Farm, It's Like a Jungle Sometimes

At Stannard Farms in West Tisbury, Lisa Fisher is using good bugs to combat the bad ones. Peering into her green beans, she pulled aside heart-shaped leaves. She was looking for a mahogany-colored beetle a little larger than a ladybug, called the bean beetle.

Midway Through Wild Weather Season, Farmers See Mixed Results

As temperatures peaked at 90 degrees on the Vineyard last week, Blackwater Farm owner Debbie Farber worried about her chickens.

“Have you ever seen a chicken pant?” she said. “Chickens are not happy in this weather. I’m just trying to keep them cool and give them plenty of water. That’s all you can do.”

Patience, Sunlight Keys to Blueberry Bounty

The secret to growing sweet blueberries on the Vineyard is patience and sun.

“I say this every single chance I get,” blueberry farmer Susan Murphy said while standing next to one of her bushes this week. “High bush blueberries turn blue 10 days before they’re ready to pick. What makes them sweet is the action of the sun on the fruit ­— it increases the sugar content.”

Planting for the Future, Norton Greenhouse in Welcome Addition

Jamie Norton is looking forward to having his house back next winter. For years now his roommates — starter trays of peppers, eggplants, melons, cucumbers, gilo and other vegetables — have taken over his home each winter and spring, covering nearly all available space.

Sun Up to Sun Down, Covering Agriculture on Martha's Vineyard for 37 Years Running

The Farm and Field column began in 1976 recording weather events and hay bale counts, new livestock additions and crop woes. Reporter Mary Breslauer wrote a brief description on the first day, June 22, 1976, of the column’s mission.

“Home gardeners cooking spinach and serving fresh lettuce on the table, Vineyard farm life — we hope the column will become a reflection of all aspects of Vineyard agriculture activities.”

Vineyard Farming, Family Style

Nicolas Andre handed over a bag of fresh chicken livers to a customer at the West Tisbury Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning. After ringing up the sale, Nicolas, age 12, sent the customer on her way with a “Have a nice day” so sincere it could have only come from a child.

“It’s fun,” he said of growing up on his family’s Cleveland Farm in West Tisbury. “Local food is always around and we always have fresh meat.”

Meat is his favorite food group, he said.

Open Season on Tuesdays

Open Season on Tuesdays

Early summer on the farm and the fields are plowed and top-dressed with fresh compost (aka black gold); new lettuce is just coming in; it’s a banner year for asparagus (which loves the moist coastal climate); and the cool weather spring crops are soon to be prime time: sugar snap peas, beets, carrots, spinach, broccoli and cabbage.