One of my favorite places to visit, year round on Martha’s Vineyard, is The FARM Institute. The FARM Institute is a working farm that teaches this community a lot about food and farming.
From planting to harvesting to humane treatment of farm animals, it can all be found here. It’s farm-to-table.
Me, my children, and many of our friends, have the opportunity to watch the animals grow from sweet little babies to serious farm animals. Each stage offering new insight into farming.
We’ve fed fresh grass to the pigs and cows. We’ve been able to experience farm life.
In addition to the experience, The FARM Institute gives you a sense of where food comes from, and how it should be harvested (in a perfect world).
It allows us “city folk” to see into the world of farming and teaches us about our food and how we eat.
For nine years now, Meals in the Meadow has been a big fundraiser for The FARM Institute. A fun evening, under the stars of the expansive Katama sky.
It was a perfect night to celebrate The FARM Institute and meet with friends and co-workers and party until the cows come home. Sorry, I had to have at least one farm joke.
However, the cows were already home when we got there, which made for wonderful additions to the pastoral backdrop.
A lot was different from the one I attended in the past. There was a silent auction with lots of great Vineyard inspired things, no live auction — which was quite the surprise.
The night was more of an event to give thanks for all the support people have shown The FARM Institute.
A fun new addition was the photo “booth” with farm props. Island photographer David Welch was there to capture the fun of the event. People had stuffed pigs, farm tools, and hats.
It was so cute to watch people laugh at it all, and each other, and just enjoy the moment.
Another wonderful surprise was that most of the food at the event was from the farm or the Island. The deviled eggs that were passed around in the egg shell were from the farm but were prepared by Water Street Restaurant.
The Island Bass ceviche (amazing) was from 7a, and the veggie crudites couldn’t have been any fresher and or more yummy — since it was from the farm.
All the meat was from the farm. You could tell that this wasn’t your everyday meat. It was so tender and melt-in-your mouth.
The colors of the food were so vibrant and everything was so delicious. Buckley’s Gourmet Catering worked some serious magic with the food for this event.
The night really showed you the glory of food fresh from the land, and the beauty of being on the farm.
I also have to mention that Johnny Hoy & the Bluefish were the musical guests and once Mustang Sally came along, the dance floor was flooded, and the rest is history.
So, I was happy to learn the The FARM Institute is up to something new for the year. I had no idea that they are planning to build a teaching kitchen. This will close the link from farm-to-table.
For years, The FARM Institute has been helping answer the question of where does food come from, how does it grow.
They’ve learned that children love to be involved in the planting and harvesting of food, but hold on — they also enjoy cooking.
The next step for The FARM Institute had been in front of them all along, a teaching kitchen. Help continue the enthusiasm of farm-to-table by offering the opportunity to create delicious food right there, right after harvesting.
Teach healthy, fun ways to prepare the food people have been involved with since it was a seed.
Think about the cycle, planting, harvesting then cooking. That’s were the community has the chance to grow even more, no matter what the age.
When you host a party, everyone ends up in the kitchen. There is something that draws us there.
This teaching farm will have a teaching kitchen, one that will benefit not only the children but adults too. How great to have a kitchen with five stations available on the Island with seating in the room for up to 70 people.
I can imagine the great, interactive classes with such ample space, and of course I bet there might be some visits from Island chefs and other foodies.
How exciting! It doesn’t get much more local than this, with this new addition, truly farm-to-table, no frills just fresh food, a little learning, and a lot of fun.
South Mountain has developed the plans for the new space which will be were the current kitchen is now at The FARM.
The cost is estimated at $1.5 million dollars. The design is simple and perfect for the space, and of course there’s solar panels included.
The project is so new to The FARM Institute that according to Jon Previant (Executive Director), there is no completion date yet. They have a lot of money to raise to build the teaching kitchen, and it began that night at Meals in the Meadow.
Upon hearing of the new addition for the farm, people pledged their support right on the spot which was wonderful to see.
Let’s hope that The FARM Institute is able to raise the funds quickly so this project can get underway. If you’d like to contribute, you can by clicking here.
The FARM Institute is an amazing place on this amazing Island. A teaching farm with a soon-to-be teaching kitchen. Think about how that might just change people’s lives, for the better. How lucky are we to have such opportunities.
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