All Summer long I have been hearing about the amazing mango lassis and the farmstead feta cheese from the farm stand at Mermaid Farm in Chilmark. With things quieting down, I thought I would take a little up-Island adventure to see what the buzz is all about.
Off to Mermaid Farm
Mermaid Farm is on Middle Road in Chilmark, 9 Middle Road to be exact. The 35 acre farm is owned by Allen Healy and Caitlin Jones. They are known for their produce, lamb and beef, and raw milk (the Island’s only certified raw milk). The drive getting there is half the fun. It is beautiful trip from the city (Oak Bluffs), and the beauty of going up Island never gets old.
There’s great signage for the farm, so you can’t miss it. I pulled into the farm stand. It is a simple building, very rustic, and what you’ll find for sale there varies daily. So, if they don’t have what you want on that day, don’t fret, there’s always something delicious available, like the Hill Billy Salad Mix (arugula, pea shoots and mizuna).
A Vineyard Farm Stand
It really is a funny little building, different from other farm stands on the Vineyard. Step inside the small building and you’ll find an old white fridge with the fresh made goodies. There were lots of mango lassis and Mermaid Farm Yogurt (about as fresh as you can get), but no feta cheese.
A lassi is a yogurt based drink that originated in India. Traditional lassis have only a few ingredients, water, plain yougurt and sometimes spices or fruit, and since Mermaid Farm has some of the freshest yogurt around, it’s pretty awesome.
Mermaid Farm has a new mango lassi this season called “Alphonso,” a little different from the other lassi they used to make, the “Totapuri.”
They are pretty excited about this new lassi. Remember, if you’re a first time lassi drinker, it’s not a smoothie, so it’s not as sweet.
The Alphonso does not have any sugar. It’s simple goodness. For an extra kick, sprinkle a little cardamon on top. Could I make these at home? Sure, but it’s much more fun to drive to Mermaid Farm for the experience.
Something else fun and Vineyard about the farm stand is that it operates on the honor system. There’s a notebook for you to write down what you got, and a place for you to put your cash.
I love that it’s such a quirky little place. It’s these types of places, those that soley focus on the joy of the food and keep it so simple and natural that make Martha’s Vineyard so special.
A Perfect Recipe for Mermaid Farm Feta
Before I forget to mention it, I heard about the amazing feta cheese from Island foodie, Sarah Waldman. She writes the food blog Two Blue Lemons which is loaded with fresh, local ingredient based, wholesome, creative rockstar recipes. This mom of soon-to-be two boys, knows her food.
If you do get some of the feta from Mermaid Farm, Sarah has an amazing recipe for Spinach with Feta & Pine Nuts. I know she was inspired to make this recipe during the winter months, but it’s great in the summer along lamb burgers or fish. Don’t be surprised if you spend more than a couple of minutes exploring the recipes found on Two Blue Lemons.
Another great bit about Mermaid Farm is that it usually offers its fresh dairy products all year long in that little white fridge inside the farm stand which is an added bonus, since so many farms close for the season. Also, if you want some of their lamb or beef or want to know what’s at the stand, you can give them a call at (508) 645-3492.
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