Led Eventful Life: George A. Smith, Dead at 79, Visited Most of the States

Death came to George A. Smith of Oak Bluffs yesterday morning in the house in which he was born seventy-nine years ago. He was the son of Elisha and Elizabeth Wilbur Smith.

His travels took him to nearly every state in the union and thus entitled him, perhaps, to be called the greatest wanderer of the Vineyard since whaling days.

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Land Bank Deal Preserves Thimble Farm

The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank announced this week that it will preserve 43 acres of active agriculture at Thimble Farm, the familiar Vineyard farm whose pick-your-own berries and luscious hydroponic tomatoes are now considered staples of Island life. Owned by Bencion and Patricia Moskow since 1982, the farm spans the three towns of Tisbury, Oak Bluffs and West Tisbury.

“This particular farm has an appeal because it is so well known to Islanders — who hasn’t picked strawberries and raspberries at Thimble Farm?” said land bank executive director James Lengyel this week.

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Satisfied Thimble Farm Pickers Find Strawberry Fields Forever
Jennie Ganz

Even though it was raining, the fields at Thimble Farm on a recent morning were being picked by enthusiatic strawberry aficionados and contented workers.

Sandy Mocarski, a customer from Edgartown, was on her knees out in the field. She's been to Thimble Farm "many times over the years, but this is my first time in the rain. It's peaceful, like a treasure hunt." She planned to use her strawberries for a Father's Day cookout off-Island. "I'm bringing strawberry shortcake for everyone. Thimble Farm is wonderful. It's fabulous to have this place on the Island."

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While Winter Roars, Summer Soars Inside the Farm Hub Greenhouse
Heather Hamacek

This time of year a fresh strawberry usually travels thousands of miles to Island grocery stores. But at Island Grown Initiative’s Farm Hub, fresh fruit and greens thrive all year long.

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IGI Open House at Thimble Farm

Island Grown Initiative is inviting the public to come get a look at the food-related work going on at their Thimble Farm property on Monday, August 31 from 4 to 6 p.m.

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Neighbors Sound Note of Caution Over Thimble Farm Operation
Megan Cerullo

Expanding operations at Island Grown Initiative’s Thimble Farm were a topic of concern among neighbors during a hearing at the Tisbury selectmen’s meeting Tuesday, when IGI president Sarah McKay appeared before the board to secure permits for four existing propane tanks.

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Island Grown Initiative Brings in the Greens

Island Grown Initiative is one step closer to transforming Thimble Farm into a local food source for Island schools.

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Keith Wilda Plans Future of Island Grown Farm
Remy Tumin

His passion is soil, but his career has been inside greenhouses.

Now, as the new manager of the former Thimble Farm property in Oak Bluffs, Keith Wilda will get to do both.

“I have the best of both worlds,” he said in a brief interview following a tour for Island farmers of the property owned by Island Grown Initiative.

Mr. Wilda moved to the Island full time two weeks ago with his wife and twin two-year old daughters to run Island Grown Farms.

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Island Grown Farm Gets Mixed Reviews
Remy Tumin

A vocal gathering of Vineyard farmers heard about plans for a campus-style educational agricultural center during a tour of the former Thimble Farm property this week.

Sponsored by the Island Grown Initiative, which bought the 40-acre farm in the center of the Island last year, the tour sparked a lively discussion among some 30 growers about how best to encourage growth and also ensure survival for the burgeoning network of small farms on the Island that operate with little or no subsidy. Opinion was far from unanimous.

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Patriarch of Vineyard Farmers, Elisha Smith Leaves Long Legacy
Phyllis Meras

Elisha R. Smith, an Oak Bluffs farmer for more than three-quarters of a century and for more than two decades the president of the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society, died last Friday at his home in Vineyard Haven at the age of 90. It was thanks to his determination, hard bargaining and skill at dealing with people that, in 1992, the society acquired the land that is the site of today’s Agricultural Hall. The acquisition of that West Tisbury Panhandle property where the annual fair is held was one of the proudest moments of his life, Elisha Smith said.

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