Farm Group Floats Plan for Huge Katama Concert
Ian Fein

The FARM Institute angered many of its new neighbors this week with a plan to hold a two-night summer fundraising concert for as many as 10,000 people and 2,200 cars parked on Katama Farm.

The institute officially moves into the historic town-owned farm tomorrow.

The Edgartown conservation commission, which controls Katama Farm and signed a 10-year lease with the institute for the land only two months ago, will hold a special meeting on Wednesday at 6 p.m. to vote on the request.

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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.

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Goldfarbs Grow a Place to Care For Everyone and His Brother
Julia Rappaport

They are their own Jewish farm parable of sorts — one cast in the role of Moses, the youngest brother and prophet, the other cast as Aaron, the elder brother who speaks for them both. Rob Goldfarb, development director for the Farm Institute in Edgartown, is the older brother. Matthew Goldfarb, executive director, is the younger one. The Goldfarb brothers came to the Vineyard in 2005 sight unseen and took the reins at the fledgling Farm Institute, an educational, working farm in the rich Great Plains of Edgartown.

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From Behind Bars to the Cow Barn
Lauren Martin

Behind the white clapboard house in prime Edgartown real estate, around the back fence — high steel fencing, covered in turf and topped with razor wire — a patch of grass has been turned over to a garden. Like other gardens in the neighborhood it is dormant and frozen over now, but soon it will be carefully tended by a crew who will pull its weeds, plant and harvest its vegetables, more than willingly and for no pay. Indeed, each man must earn his time there.

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Board Stops Jail’s Work Release Service Program at Katama Farm
Remy Tumin

Citing concerns about allowing prisoners out on work release in a summer camp setting, the Edgartown conservation commission decided this week to end a work release program between the Dukes County jail and the Farm Institute in Katama.

“Because it’s open to the public and there’s a summer camp there, it’s probably not a good idea for the Farm Institute to have a work release program,” conservation agent Jane Varkonda said at a meeting of the commission on Wednesday.

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Does My Pig Look Too Big In This Barn?
Remy Tumin

Driving down the dirt path leading to the Farm Institute in Katama, a sign urges you to slow down: “Caution, children exploring.” There are the belted Galloway cows grazing in the distance, bales of wrapped hay in the far field, and now there is a fully restored barn to complete the picturesque vista.

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

“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.

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Farm Institute Grows Community
Remy Tumin

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.

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Brothers Leave Farm Insititute in Hands of Community That Built It
Mark Alan Lovewell

This year, the Farm Institute will lose two of its key leaders: brothers Rob and Matthew Goldfarb. Rob, development director, leaves today. Matthew, executive director, will depart at the end of this summer, after being at the reins for five years.

This week, the two sat down to talk about the Katama-based farm, its past and its future. For them, the Farm Institute is a classic community success story, with a beginning, a hardworking present and a future they feel will remain strong, well after their departure.

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Farm Institute Names Executive Director
Remy Tumin

The Farm Institute in Katama has named Jonathan Previant as its new executive director. He brings to the institute a strong business background combined with a lifelong interest in agriculture.

Mr. Previant, 63, spoke to the Gazette over the weekend as he was driving north from Miami, Vineyard-bound for a fresh start on the farm. “I’m pretty excited about the opportunity and anxious to get to the Vineyard and get started,” he said.

He begins work on July 1.

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