Island Grown Initiative Plots Next Chapter for Thimble Farm
Remy Tumin
Island Grown Initiative announced preliminary plans this week for a campus-style farm center at the former Thimble Farm Property, including a refurbished greenhouse, parcels of land for tenant farmers and a slaughterhouse facility. At the farm network’s annual farmers’ dinner on Monday night, executive director Sarah McKay laid out the organization’s initial plans for the historic agricultural property.
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Year Four Brings Growing Pains at Thimble Farm
Max Hart

Perhaps the best indication of the kind of summer Andrew Woodruff has endured these past months can be found inside his covered vegetable stand at Benson's Thimble Farm.

Against the back wall, five enlarged photographs of crops ravaged by animals tell part of the story. Three show watermelons with neatly carved circles bored out of the rind by crows, their insides siphoned dry. The others depict the carnage that took place in Mr. Woodruff's cornfield: ears of corn, still on the stalk, devoured by raccoons. Only bare cobs remain.

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Correction

Correction

A Nov. 16 story in the Gazette about the sale of Thimble Farm reported inaccurately on the farm’s status in 2000 after former owners Bencion and Patricia Moskow sold the development rights to the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank. The farm remained in continuous operation until it was sold to Lawrence Benson in 2002. The Gazette regrets the error.

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Thimble Farm Will Be Saved
Julia Rappaport

Following a summer of uncertainty and dashed hopes, the future of the Island Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program was secured last week when a farming-friendly New Jersey resident announced that he will buy Thimble Farm — and keep it in active agriculture.

Eric Grubman, an executive vice president with the National Football League, will buy the 43-acre farm from Lawrence Benson for $2.45 million. The closing is expected before the end of the year.

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As Sale Nears, Thimble Farm Could Be Lost
Julia Rappaport

Andrew Woodruff, the owner of Whippoorwill Farm who is best known for bringing community supported agriculture to the Vineyard, is scrambling to put together a group to buy Thimble Farm to block a sale of the farm to a private buyer.

The deadline is August 28 and the outcome is at best uncertain.

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Thimble Farm Sale Sees a Reprieve
Julia Rappaport

A deal to sell Thimble Farm to a private buyer is no longer on the table, allowing more time for Whippoorwill Farm owner Andrew Woodruff to put together his own bid to buy the farm.

Thimble Farm owner Lawrence Benson confirmed yesterday that a private buyer who had offered to pay $2.3 million for the 43-acre farm has backed out. Two weeks ago Mr. Woodruff, who leases Thimble Farm for his community supported agriculture program, was facing an August 28 deadline to match the private offer. Mr. Woodruff has a right of first refusal on any sale at the farm.

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Community Supported Agriculture Runs Out of Money Before Fall Harvest Is In
Julia Rappaport

Community Supported Agriculture, the popular organic Island vegetable cooperative at Whippoorwill Farm, is on the rocks again, this time because of a business plan that has failed.

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Thimble Farm Tour Begins Guided Farmland Walks

The Vineyard Conservation Society Winter Walks Program will feature a guided walk at Thimble Farm in Tisbury on Sunday, Jan. 13 at 1:30 pm. Andrew Woodruff, an Island farmer with 25 years’ experience, will lead the walk.

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Thimble Farm Owner Remains Committed, Wants Concrete Plans For Property Sale
Remy Tumin

After seven months of efforts to create a stable future for the Thimble Farm property, the fate of the prime farmland is still in flux, leaving the owner disappointed but not discouraged.

Reached by telephone this week, property owner Eric Grubman said he has not given up on an Island coalition of farmers and conservation agencies formed to explore alternatives for the property, but he’s seen little progress to reassure him there is enough interest from the community to take the farm out of private ownership.

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Coalition Plans to Buy Whippoorwill Farm, Turn It Nonprofit, Build Worker Housing
Remy Tumin

A newly-formed Island coalition is working on a possible deal to buy the former Thimble Farm property, take it out of private ownership and make it a nonprofit working farm with housing for farm workers.

Called the Martha’s Vineyard Farm Project, the group hopes to raise $2.5 million to buy the land and buildings at the farm in the Iron Hill area off the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road that is home to Whippoorwill Farm, a large community-supported agriculture operation.

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