It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been to the Living Local Harvest Festival, but it was on my calendar for this year for sure. And am I glad I went. The even started at 10 a.m. at the Ag Hall in West Tisbury.
We got there around 11 a.m. and what a scene already. It didn’t matter the the sky was grey and the threat of rain was possible. The place was packed!
There were so many things to see and do and smell (local food purveyors were there to tempt). As soon as you walked in, you ran into so many friends and neighbors.
It was as if the Island was off for the day, and everyone came to play. It was amazing.
There was live music in a tent for the kiddos, and the pumpkin carving area was a huge it. For $2 you could carve your very own pumpkin from Morning Glory Farm — an activity for all age groups.
Then you could make flower wreaths from flowers from the FARM Institute.
If you were felling lucky, perhaps you’d even play a little “cow chip bingo.” That involved picking the correct spot where the FARM Institute’s baby calf, Hercules, happened to poop. Too cute.
You could help make fresh apple cider at the cider press or you could create your own block print stationary at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum’s table.
You could spin yarn, play with the alpacas, draw what you love about the Vineyard for the Vineyard Conservation Society and more. So much to do.
There were all sorts of Island non-profits there for you to explore and learn more about the what’s happening here.
Slow Food Martha’s Vineyard was one of my favorites. It had beach plum cocktails to sample. Who knew that beach plums were so versatile.
Island Grown Schools was there, Cape Light Compact, MV Shellfish Group, and many more of the organizations that work hard to preserve the Island. There was a lot to take in.
Since there was so much to do, chances are you’d build up an appetite! Luckily there were a couple of my favorite Island food providers there, Loco Taco (Josh Aronie’s booth), The Kitchen Porch, and the Beach Plum Inn.
At Loco Taco, you could get some of the best tacos ever, which were made with meat from the Good Farm. At Jan Burhman’s there were turkey sausages and her famous pop-overs, and at the Beach Plum, there were local pulled pork sandwiches and lobster rolls on brioche. All looked scrumptious of course.
If savory wasn’t your craving, 7a was there with giant, fresh cookies, and Morning Glory Farm had lots of sweets to offer too.
I had filled up on other stuff, and I had to convince myself to say no to Morning Glory’s carrot cake (yummy frosting) because I wanted to wait until their Pumpkin Festival on October 18th. Oh how I love that carrot cake!
Not hungry? Slow Food Martha’s Vineyard had those beach plum cocktails, Chilmark Coffee was brewing up some deliciousness that had a kick, Todd Christy’s local coffee, and Offshore Ale was there with samples of locally made beer.
Offshore even had the Hopps Farm Road beer which is made with hops grown in West Tisbury, a favorite of mine.
I have to say that this year’s event was so much fun. Seeing so many Islanders, and catching up if even for only a moment, was really nice.
The food, the music, the activities, the venue — all fantastic and a great Vineyard Experience.
This Island has so much to give its community. Food, talent, kindness, it’s quite remarkable, and I felt the love at this event. I the left Living Local Harvest Festival feeling like I was a part of something special, and I was feeling pretty lucky.
My only regret is that I wasn’t able to go to the community supper being held that night from 5 to 10 p.m.
For $15, you could enjoy a pig roast by Scottish Bakehouse, greens, root veggies, bread, grains, lemonade and desert. That’s gotta be the best deal of the season. There was even going to be live music.
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