Edible Vineyard 2022 Early Summer

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NO. 44






Chasing swordfish off Georges Bank

Tapping into the craft beer scene

Housing crisis hits restaurants, farms



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EDIBLE VINEYARD MAGAZINE is published by The Martha’s Vineyard Times, publishers of The Martha’s Vineyard Times weekly newspaper, Vineyard Visitor, Martha’s Vineyard Arts & Ideas Magazine, The Minute daily newsletter, and the websites MVTimes.com, VineyardVisitor.com, and MVArtsandIdeas.com. PUBLISHERS Peter and Barbara Oberfest EDITORS Tina Miller and Connie Berry tina@mvtimes.com • connie@mvtimes.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Kristófer Rabasca

You can see the digital version of this magazine at ediblevineyard.com. EV is available at newsstands and select retail locations, free of charge. Find Edible Vineyard on Instagram and Facebook @ediblevineyard SUBSCRIBE Please inquire at mvtsubscriptions@mvtimes.com about subscriptions by mail.


Contact EDIBLE VINEYARD THE MARTHA’S VINEYARD TIMES P.O. Box 518, 30 Beach Rd. Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 508-693-6100

AD SALES Jenna Lambert • jenna@mvtimes.com

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2 edible VINEYARD

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To our loyal Edible readers:


e’re kicking off 2022 with exciting news — we’ll be publishing four issues of Edible Vineyard this year, in May, July, October, and December! That means more stories, more food, more drink, and more people to meet. Putting together this first Edible Vineyard of the year has been a real labor of love. We met farmers and chefs, learned a bit about concocting local brews, and brought back the days of fish spotting off of Georges Bank. Stories that touch on what matters in our community really come to the forefront in Mollie Doyle’s piece on the housing shortage and what it means to our Island chefs, restaurant workers, and farmers. We learned a lot in this issue and we hope you do too. Most of all, we are grateful for the resilience of the Island community, reopening to what the new normal will be this year with challenges and successes ahead. And we are definitely ready! — Tina Miller and Connie Berry

cauliflower, cabbage Jeremy Driesen









cauliflower, leeks, onions, carrots, beets, peas, beans, pac choy tomatoes, b a s i l , spinach, peppers, broccolli, swiss chard, rhubarb eggplant, radicchio, pac choy, lemo ngrass, chinese cabbage, jilot celery, arugula, endive, escarole, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage broccoli, lettuce, spinach, leeks , onions, cabbage, arugula cauliflower, leeks, onions, carrots, beets, peas, beans, pac choy arrots, beets, ra pea, beans roccoli, onions, potatoes, kale peas, beans, escarole, onio squash, cucumber, zucchini onion, squash, peppers hotpeppers, endive, mustard greens rosemary, thyme, dill, corn, green beeans,u sk melon, radish cantalope, radish, muskmelon, radish, chives cucumber, dill, mint, rasberries, blueberries, peaches, muskmelon borage, fennel, butternut squash, oregano, muskmelon, sunflower broccolli, green beans, pumpkin, sweet pea, wax beans, caulifower blueberries, raspberries, peaches, cantalope, watermelon, grapes asparagus, potatoes, onions, butternut squash, nasturtiums, kale sungold tomatoes, loose leaf lettuce, sage,thyme, dill, h ot pepper [growmesculin it in mix, your own backyard] loose leaf lettuce, basil, lemongrass, shallots, leeks borage, fennel, butternut squash, oregano, muskmelon, sunflower cilantro, sage, thai basil, golden beets, sugar snap peas, tomatoes pumpkin, hot pepper, turnip, cucumber, pickling cucumber, turnip tomatoes, turnips, celebutternut squash, zuchnni, radish, celery borage, fennel, butternut squas , oregano, muskmelon, asparagus borage, fennel, butternut squas , oregano, m uskmelon, ascorn borage, fennel, butternut squas , oregano, m uskmelon, berries

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DISHING 7 Vineyard Finds What’s new this season on the Vineyard? By Gwyn McAllister

FEATURES 11 Home Sweet Home? Island chefs, farmers, and restaurant owners can’t find a place to call home. By Mollie Doyle

18 Going Organic Morning Glory Farm sows an organic future.

IN SEASON 22 Worth the Drive Checking out Island favorites that are just a drive away. By Tina Miller

38 Photo-worthy Dish Herbaceous grilled tuna made simple. By Tina MIller

46 Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler The magical relationship between a berry and a pink stalk. By Tina Miller


By Brittany Bowker

24 Georges Bank Airforce Island pilots spotting swordfish off the coast of Nova Scotia. By Geoff Currier

26 On Tap at Offshore Ale Oak Bluffs favorite serves up beer, food, and music year-round. By Lucas Thors

30 When the Kitchen Fits Chef Andrew Burkill finds his place at the Chilmark Tavern. By Catherine Walthers

35 Raising the Bar Bad Martha Brewing Co. has high hops for this season. By Lucas Thors

29 Serious Sipping Take your time with these tequila recommendations. By Jamie McNeely

ON THE FARM 16 Farm Map Make a stop at these Island farms. 42 Get Your Hands Dirty Thinking deeper about how your garden grows. By Kate Woods

DONE! 48 The Agricultural Society is so much more than the Fair. By Lauren Lynch Cover image Jeremy Driesen: Kelsey Donaldson serves up a cold one at Offshore.

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FINDS The Edible Vineyard team is always on the hunt for the Island’s latest and greatest, here are a few of our favorite finds.

Spring Sheldon

Heirloom cucumber salad from Spring Sheldon’s S&S Kitchenette.

WORDS Gwyn McAllister

S&S KITCHENETTE Spring Sheldon loves to cook for people. For the past few years she has been running a catering business called Sea & Spoon Kitchen, as well as the food truck El Gato Grande. Now Sheldon has taken the next step and opened a

retail space on Main Street, Vineyard Haven (in the former home of Moxie Cafe). S&S Kitchen will serve multiple purposes. From the storefront location folks can walk in and take home heat-and-eat meals prepared in the onsite kitchen, as well as pick up a range of other items like lasagne, enchiladas, moussaka, sauces, and more. Periodically, the

space will also feature events such as chef dinners, oyster tastings, private events, and other special offerings. That philosophy has proven to be the key to Sheldon’s evolution as an Island business owner. After completing the gastronomy program at Boston University, she worked at various restaurants in Boston before moving to the Island

in 2013. Sheldon launched her catering business four years ago, and when the pandemic hit she began offering a daily drop-off meal program in order to provide an at-home restaurant experience for clients during quarantine times. She created weekly menus for her loyal customers and the business took off. Now the seasoned chef has taken the next step, bringing that business model to the general public. Every day S&S will offer a different prepared dinner to grab and go. The shop will also provide meal kits featuring all of the ingredients necessary to whip up things like lasagna, tacos or pizza, along with house made pastas and sauces. A retail section will stock local canned and preserved products, along with a selection of fresh produce and flowers from Sheldon’s sister Elisabeth’s Land Ho! farm and some locally made kitchen and dining products like cutting boards and ceramics. Half of the space will be dedicated to the events side of the business. Sheldon plans to host guests at a long communal table for chef dinners, cooking classes, tastings, demos and more. The dining space will also be available as a rental, and Sheldon hopes to expand Continued on page 8

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Come experience the bounty We are now open year round Growing together with you, our community early summer 2022


VINEYARD FINDS Continued from page 7

You can find out more about S&S Kitchenette and the other services that Sheldon offers at sskitchenette.com. To arrange for catering or an onsite event, call 508-338-2392.

Courtesy The Swimming Pig

to fun events like a high tea in the off-season. Sea and Spoon will also continue to offer the drop-off dinner program and catering services. “It will be a multi-dynamic space,” said Sheldon prior to opening. “Given the state of the world right now, you need to be able to pivot in whatever direction necessary.” As if all of this isn’t enough for one person, Sheldon’s El Gato Grande food truck will be operating full time at the Mini Golf and also traveling around to events across the Island.

SWIMMING PIG Carnivores rejoice. Tyler Potter of Swimming Pig is now offering his Island-made

sausages and charcuterie items to the public at a new business on State Road, Vineyard Haven. The Larder, now owned by Rose Willet, has

been reimagined as a farm-toshelf provisions store offering local produce, a variety of cheeses from small farms, and products made from local

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VINEYARD FINDS a mobile meat processing business — bringing his grinder, sausage stuffer, and other equipment and ingredients to businesses around the Island under the business name Swimming Pig. He will continue to offer these services and more. Potter is looking forward to bringing his artisanal meat products to the general public and incorporating new additions along the way. “I just want to keep it exciting and have fun with it,” he says. Check out the Swimming Pig on Instagram @theswimmingpigmv, and find North Tisbury Farm there as well @northtisburyfarm.

Randi Baird

ingredients (think canned and pickled veggies, sauces, and jams) sold exclusively on location under the Larder label. Willet (of North Tisbury Farm and Market and Whippoorwill Farmstand) has taken over the space across from Cronig’s Market that previously housed the Larder. The new owner has kept the name but has put her own spin on the business. Potter will supply all of the meat products. These include handmade sausages in an array of styles (including some Polish and German varieties), pates, liver mousses, confits, rillettes (braised potted meats), and more. He will also be using an in-house smoker to prepare grab-andgo dishes like ribs and pulled pork. Other entrees such as jerk chicken and cassoulet will be offered on a rotating basis. Potter plans to use locally raised meats as much as possible, as well as products sourced from small New England farms. His standards are high. He notes that everything will be antibiotic-free, pasture raised, and thoughtfully sourced using sustainable practices. The veteran chef will add offerings based on demand and drawing from his lengthy experience working in the restaurant and food preparation business. His extensive resume includes working with acclaimed chefs at Boston fine dining establishments and running New England Charcuterie, a facility that processes prime meats to make a variety of artisanal products. Eventually Potter hopes to make his own pastrami, salami, and other deli meats and will be offering a variety of fresh pork products as well as things like brined chicken, jerk chicken, and skirt steaks. For the past two years the chef/charcutier has provided

CHEF DEON’S KITCHEN You’ve got to like heat to appreciate the products sold under Chef Deon’s label. The Jamaican-born Deon Thomas makes his own hot sauce and jerk seasoning based on his mother’s recipes and both have a kick to them while remaining tantalizingly complex in flavors. Deon, who calls himself the “Three Island Chef” (a reference to his trio of Island homes — Jamaica, Martha’s Vineyard, and Anguilla, where he once owned a series of restaurants) has been serving up his signature Caribbean and American dishes at the VFW in Oak Bluffs for the past decade. From the casual function room

adjacent to the bar, Deon welcomes loyal regulars and newcomers with equal conviviality, while working his magic from an open kitchen at the front of the spartan dining space. Customers have been coming back again and again over the years to feast on Jamaican specialties like oxtail, curry goat, blackened cod, and his famed jerk chicken. To accommodate somewhat less adventurous palettes, Deon also offers things like prime rib, salmon, and barbecue ribs. His lobster mac and cheese is legendary, as are his conch fritters. Conch is a staple in Caribbean cooking and Deon has mastered a number of different preparations which he shares in his book, “Chef Deon’s Island Conch Cookery,” loaded with recipes and gorgeous photos by Randi Baird. To satisfy demand, a few years back Deon started selling the jerk sauce and the potent hot sauce he serves on request at the restaurant. The secret ingredient in both is scotch bonnet peppers, which have a reputation for their high heat level, but also benefit from a sweetness and distinctive flavor that sets them apart from their more common cousins — habanero peppers. The jerk seasoning combines an unlikely pairing of savory ingredients with spices normally associated with baking such as cinnamon and ginger and, of course, the heat of the peppers. The sauce is a perfect complement for chicken, pork, fish or even veggies. The Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce is not for the faint of heart but, used sparingly, it will tickle your palate while adding a unique taste of the islands to any dish. Chef Deon’s Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Sauce and Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce, as well as his cookbook, can all be purchased at Deon’s Kitchen at the VFW and online at chefdeon.com.

early summer 2022


Home sweet home FEATURE

W Photos clockwise from left: Talia Weingarten, Laura Silber, Jeremy Driesen, Nate Gould, Jefferson Munroe: Photo illustration by Kristófer Rabasca

hen I was a child, my ’70s Martha’s Vineyard food experience was essentially grilled Cracker Barrel Cheddar cheese sandwiches on Pepperidge Farm wheat bread, clingy clam chowder from any of the Island food shops, an occasional muffin from the Black Dog, and a boiled lobster at the Home Port for an adult’s birthday. I think we went to Le Grenier and the Kelley House for a meal once or twice, and maybe Helios too. Then restaurants began popping up. The Oyster Bar, Feasts, and the Roadhouse come to mind. With them came a new kind of food culture, where

Island-grown food and seafood began to be embraced and celebrated. Of course, this has since exploded. And in the past decade, it has been a boon for local food producers. The rise, and in some cases resurgence, of excellent farms such as Mermaid, Grey Barn, North Tabor, the Allen Farm, Blackwater Farm, Slough Farm, Morning Glory, and Beetlebung, along with oyster and kelp farming, and thoughtful propagation of scallops and clams, has attracted young, talented chefs and entrepreneurs. But early this year, Edible began to hear whispers that a wave of chefs and food producers were leaving. Jefferson Munroe and his incredible fried chicken, and the GOOD Farm, gone. Nate Gould, who championed local fare for the Harbor View Hotel and Beach Plum Inn — including doing things like buying 120,000 oysters a year from Nick Continued on page 12




Island chefs, farmers, and restaurant owners are finding out home isn’t always where the heart is. WORDS Mollie Doyle

Home sweet home? early summer 2022


FEATURE Home sweet home Continued from page 11

Turner for the Harbor View — gone. Danielle Pattavina and their beloved Seaweed’s, gone. Georgia Macon and her exceptional pastries, gone. What? No! We at Edible wanted to find out why. So we reached out to talk to these folks, and rather than talking about what they were dishing up food-wise, found ourselves having deep conversations about housing. Yes, you heard us right. Housing. Because a lack of housing and the ability to live and work in a sane way in a community that supports healthy food practices has become a near impossibility for many of the most talented food people we know. First, we checked in with Laura Silber, one of the key people behind the proposed housing bank, which Edible feels is a good place to start. She is also an incredibly talented and seasoned chef. She explained the situation this way: “Any locavore food scene is an ecosystem. The Vineyard is no different. There are the growers, producers, foragers, people fishing, the people who transport the food around the Island, the private chefs, restaurants, and customers. When you lose any piece of this vibrant ecosystem, it falls apart. It’s a network. And it can and will collapse, and we will lose our culinary identity if we do not support a robust

“I lived with two employees last year out of necessity, which, I can tell you, is not a recipe for a sustainable worklife balance.” –ELANA CARLSON

“We will lose our culinary identity if we do not support a robust array of talents.”


array otalents.” Of losing Jefferson Munroe, she says, “It is nothing short of a tragedy for me. He is a friend, but in the past 10 years what he made through the Larder shaped my cooking. The locally raised poultry and meat, the pickled and fermented things. His schmaltz was the magic ingredient in my food. I don’t have the time to make my own 12 quarts of bone broth a week. And his chicken on Friday nights was this amazing, romantic experience. Being able to buy such beautiful food made by someone I know, appreciate, and respect. Ugh. Losing him. It sucks.” Unfortunately, due in some part to COVID, and in other parts to poor infrastructure for Island businesses (talk to chefs about access to water, or how to deal with waste, in Vineyard Haven or Chilmark), we are now seeing an ebb tide in the food waters. As most know, COVID brought the most unanticipated and tremendous boon to the real estate market, which while good for those selling real estate makes for an incredibly difficult reality for those with businesses — particularly food businesses that need housing for their large staffs for the summer months. The cheap rentals that were once available have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions. One restaurant owner who wishes to remain anonymous shared that they spend $50,000

“It is not sustainable to have a year-round place here.”


“There was no way I could afford to buy enough land to farm on Martha’s Vineyard. Plus, I was working every day from April to October. I don’t want to live like that.” –JEFFERSON MUNROE

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“I still want to return to the Vineyard. If the right opportunity presented itself, I would do everything to make it work.” –NATE GOULD

Home sweet home FEATURE

Photo by Jeremy Driesen; Photo Illustration by Kristófer Rabasca

Island-raised turkeys from Munroe's Good Farm.

on housing for their three-month season. When we talked to Nate Gould (formerly of the Beach Plum Inn and Harbor View Hotel) about this, he said, “Yeah. I mean, nowhere else in the country are restaurants [not hotel restaurants] providing or finding housing for their employees. There are some folks I know who have three or four properties, and either give it to their staff as an incentive to come, or allocate a percentage of each staff person’s salary toward rent for these properties.” He laughs, “I mean, in a normal climate a restaurant’s profit margins are not great, but on the Island it’s terrible.” Nate puts it in the worker context as well: “I mean, you pay a dishwasher 18 or 19 bucks an hour, which is high to begin with, but then it’s not high enough for that person to afford to rent something during the summer months, so you end up hiring a kid who has a connection — an aunt, grandparents, friends of friends who have a house — and they stay until they have to go back to school in the middle of August.” “I lived with two employees last year out of necessity, which, I can tell you, is not a recipe for a sustainable work-life balance,” Elana Carlson of Fantze Bagels told us. “When I first moved to the Island 11 years ago, I was so excited. I mean, the shellfish, fishermen, wild food, dairy farms, and farms. It was just amazing to be in a community that cared this much about food, and where the food was from. Everything seemed possible,” Nate remembers. Elana had a similar experience. Her friend Kathryn Arffa connected her with Beetlebung Farm and the Beach Plum Inn, when Chris Fischer was at the helm. She was delighted to be working

with — and in such close proximity to — so many talented chefs and producers. Olivia Pattison of Seaweed’s and Cinnamon Starship bread was working there. And so was Danielle Pattavina of Seaweed’s. ”There was also a romance to the sourcing. Buying fish from the docks in Menemsha,” Elana laughs. But let’s get back to Jefferson Munroe for a moment. We, along with so many others, thought if anyone had a shot at successfully growing (and selling) their own food on the Island, it would be him. “I can’t believe the Island lost Jefferson,” Nate says. “I mean, his chickens and turkeys were beautiful.” We agree. But, as Jefferson told us, “It was time.” For the past 10 years, Jefferson has lived in and leased the old Craig Kingsbury property, across from the Scottish Bakehouse, from Kristen Henshaw and raised poultry as the GOOD Farm. He also co-owned the Larder with the Scottish Bakehouse’s Danielle Dominick. “But I needed a lot of help, and I couldn’t afford to pay them without my food prices becoming astronomical, like 20 percent more than I was already charging. And there was an instability of leasing rather than owning that just became untenable. And there was no way I could afford to buy enough land to farm on Martha’s Vineyard. Plus, I was working every day from April to October. I don’t want to live like that.” So Jefferson and his wife Erin bought a farm in Columbia, Conn., and moved this spring: “I never thought I’d be here. Back in my home state. But it works for us.” Erin is in nurse practitioner school, and Columbia is close to Willamantic and Hartford, where she can find work. Ironically, Nate Gould and his wife just bought a house in nearby Killingly, Conn. Nate says, “It’s about an hour from Boston, which is great.” He is Continued on page 14

early summer 2022


Continued from page 13

now back at Boston’s O Ya, a famed contemporary Japanese-inspired restaurant, a few days and nights a week, “doing R&D.” But, Nate confesses, “I still want to return to the Vineyard. If the right opportunity presented itself, I would do everything to make it work.” Elana Carlson is doing everything she can to make it work here for Fantze Bagels. Elana has worked at the Beach Plum Inn, with Meave McCauliffe and with Molly Levine at Behind the Bookstore, and with Olivia Pattison and Danielle Pattavina at Seaweed’s, and then she had the thought, “I am a Jewish girl. I can make bagels.” Thus Fantze Bagels was born. But she says, “I wonder how and if I’ll be able to continue to keep doing it here.” The kitchen she uses is being sold. She rents, and has three roommates in the summer. “When I think about having a brick-and-morJefferson Munroe tar shop, I do the math, and it really is a question of how many bagels I can possibly bake and sell, and who would support this to make it possible to afford to run a year-round business. I don’t see a way to do that. I could see us burning out. The product wouldn’t be as inspired. So many of my friends are in the process of leaving.” Danielle Pattavina says, “I am so happy to be talking about housing!” Last summer, they had people applying from all over, reaching out to work at Seaweed’s. But finding housing for them was nothing short of a nightmare. “I had one person say, ‘I have a camper.’ But then it was like, ‘You can only park at the campground for one week.’ Then I found one room of housing in Menemsha — two twin beds — and that was the only thing I could offer my chef.” We mention the $50,000 price tag for rent for summer employees and Danielle says, “I would have spent money, but I just could not find anything. I was looking on Facebook, Craigslist, calling friends of friends, and when I finally got a lead, I was the 40th person to call.” For Danielle, the other challenge was sourcing local food, which was at the heart of Seaweed’s menu. “Since COVID, I was competing with private chefs who could pay retail for everything, and had unlimited budgets. It was not the Vineyard I’ve known.” Nate agrees, “The number of private chefs on the Island is crazy now. People took their annual restaurant budgets and put that money toward a cook to work for them. But half of them have little or no food experience. I cannot believe what they are charging and serving, and it is affecting the restaurants.” When asked what would help them come back to the Island, all the chefs concur: affordable housing and a community that supports at least a nine-month food season. “If I had a bazillion dollars, I’d come back,” Danielle laughs. “But I do not want to go the investor model route. The Seaweed’s motto was ‘No assholes, no bigots.’ And I meant it. I wanted it to be a safe space, and I didn’t want to risk having to bend for an investor’s friend’s attitude.” She pauses, “I could cry talking about this.

14 edible VINEYARD

I mean, the thing is that I am so proud of what we created. It was a safe space. I can’t tell you how many queer folks came and said, ‘This is the first time we’ve had a queer community space here on the Island.’ Or a queer teenager coming and celebrating their birthday with us. It was amazing.” “But it’s not just staff housing,” she adds, “it’s all of it. Because it is not sustainable to have a year-round place here; you have to shut down and then open back up. The water has to be turned on, and then the pipes must be blown. And this also means you have to basically hire an entirely new staff every year, which means it’s like opening a new restaurant every year. And just when you are finally finding a rhythm, people are trained, people have found your food and like it and are beginning to return for a second or third meal, you have to shut down. The end of the summer feels heartbreaking, like the last day at a great sleepaway camp. You don’t want to say goodbye.” But Danielle and their partner have decided to say goodbye to the Vineyard. They moved to Cambridge, and this summer will be opening Momma’s, which will sell natural wine and regionally grown produce. For those in Boston, you will be able to find Momma’s on Mass Ave., between Porter and Davis Squaress So what can we do to foster a dynamic food system? Vote for food by voting for affordable housing. Vote for laws and bylaws that will support farmers and chefs. Create laws and bylaws that incentivize landowners and restaurants to remain open for more than two or four months so that we have a year-round food community. Invest in our farmers and food producers. Invest in affordable housing. Eat out. In Nina Burleigh’s recent New York Times article on the exclusive Caribbean island of St. Barth’s, which is struggling with all the same issues our Island faces, she asked, “If arguably some of the world’s wealthiest and most sophisticated people can’t or won’t protect the air, water, coral reefs, and sea turtles around their own playground, how can anyone reasonably expect humanity to protect the planet?” We talk about the same thing here on Martha’s Vineyard — conservation of land and animals. But what about conservation of people and community? So we would expand on Burleigh’s idea, adding, “If arguably some of the world’s wealthiest and most sophisticated people can’t or won’t protect and ensure housing for the very people growing and serving them food, how can anyone reasonably expect that humanity will look out for others as a whole?” When will we start taking care of those who help us? This includes those who grow our food and cook, but also the doctors, nurses, shopkeepers, farmers, builders, town administrators, and schoolteachers. These are the people who define us, and it is time to make an affordable space for them so that we don’t lose our community. Because isn’t it as much the food and the community as the land that draws us here?

Photo by Jeremy Driesen; Photo Illustration by Kristófer Rabasca

FEATURE Home sweet home




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early summer 2022




fresh Take a farmstand tour, and discover the flavors of Martha’s Vineyard. WORDS Tina Miller

16 edible VINEYARD




t’s summer on Martha’s Vineyard, and the bounty is exploding from land and sea. Locally grown foods are found on menus around the Island, and in a few markets such as Cronig’s, North Tisbury Farm and Market, Vineyard Grocer, the Chilmark Store, Katama General Store, the Larder, and of course the fish markets. We recommend getting a real sense of our diversity by taking a ride around the Island and checking out the variety of farmstands. The farmstands here are open to the public without appointment, so if you are out cruising around, and just happen by one of these beautiful farmstands, you may find a bouquet of flowers, some chilled fruit, yogurt lassi, fresh greens, ground lamb, pork chops, or a wool throw blanket. Some are cash, Island checks, or Venmo, bring small bills to make change. Many stands collect your payment by the honor system: Just put the money in the can.

early summer 2022




ORGANIC By spring 2024, Morning Glory Farm will be one of three Island farms with the USDA organic label. WORDS Brittany Bowker

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IMAGES Sadie Dix

Morning Glory FEATURE


he Athearns have never been big into shortcuts. Owners of Morning Glory Farm, the family has managed about 130 acres of farmland on Martha’s Vineyard since 1975 — and they’ve always put the plant first. Customers carrying bags out of the Edgartown farmstand can feel confident in the quality of what they’re bringing home to feed their families. The farm has long been a trusted source for locally, sustainably grown food. So the decision to pursue organic certification was a natural one, said Simon

Athearn, who took over ownership with his wife Robyn, brother Daniel, and sisterin-law Meg, about two years ago. Morning Glory has been prioritizing organic systems since the day it was founded, but now it’s a matter of making it official.

“We always have maintained the land with a primary focus on soil health,” Simon said. “We’ve been composting and carbon-cropping in micronutrients since before it was a hit … My parents started things out this way, but we haven’t been formal.”

“My staff really enjoys being part of this organic transition. There’s a real enthusiasm. It makes us all feel good to be in service of a worthy goal.” –SIMON ATHEARN

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Morning Glory Farm is in the process of transitioning most of its fields into certified organic land. The process takes about three years, and is more or less a formality for farmers like the Athearns, who have always placed more emphasis on organic systems through soil quality, nutrient cycling, and plant health, and less emphasis on conventional practices that depend on synthetic chemical inputs. “It’s really a push over the finish line,” Simon said of the certification process, which the farm officially began in January 2021. By spring 2024, customers can expect to see the coveted USDA organic label on most products. Morning Glory will be the third Island farm to achieve federal certification, joining Grey Barn and Stannard farms in Chilmark and West Tisbury. So why now? And what does it mean to be certified organic? Since the early ’90s, there’s been a bit of a “gag order” around using the term. The Organic Food Production Act was implemented in 1990 in response to varying and confusing standards for labeling foods and products organic. OFPA aimed to level the playing field for organic producers, assure customers that organic products met a consistent standard, and require third-party certification to ensure compliance. The national standard created a rigid system around being able to call foods and products organic, and farms like Morning Glory had to stop using the word unless they went through

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Illustrations Elissa Turnbull

FEATURE Morning Glory

the dogmatic certification process. For years, it didn’t seem worth it to the Athearns. The paperwork, time, and labor that went into getting certified organic deterred them from doing so. Beyond that, Morning Glory had already established a trusted relationship with its clientele: The federal seal is often of greater urgency when the customer has “no chance” of talking to the farmer. “That wasn’t us,” Simon said. “Then, after several years of fielding questions regularly about our methodology, we realized we basically have

all the records and practices in place. Since we’re not allowed to use the word ‘organic,’ it puts us at a disadvantage to keep not using it even though we’re doing all the effort for it … Our family said, Let’s just go ahead and do it. Let’s make sure everything is formal and get it certified.” Customer interest also played a pivotal role in the decision. Consumers are increasingly prioritizing, and willing to pay a little extra, for products labeled organic. “For a long time, the prices wouldn’t allow you to do it, because the customer wasn’t ready to pay,” Simon said. “I’m overjoyed to think the customer really is telling us,‘Yes, please spend the extra money on organic products, and I will make you whole for it.’” Since Morning Glory has already adapted organic practices, they’ll just have to pay an annual USDA filing fee of $2,500 — the amount varies farm to farm, depending on size. Simon said he’s not frightened of costs, and wouldn’t encourage others to be, and that longstanding subsidies can offset many fees. The Athearns partnered with certifiers Bay State Organics, and are about a year into the process. Once they’ve fully transitioned their target fields, certifying agents will inspect the land and grant certification. The farm will be inspected at least once a year to maintain certification. So far, since most of the organic practices are already in place; it’s been a labor

Morning Glory FEATURE of “little refinements,” Simon said. Robust recordkeeping is among the biggest to-dos. In addition to documentation, the farm has had to switch certain suppliers (ie. onion, peat moss, mulch film) to be in compliance with federal organic standards. In the greenhouse, Morning Glory has had to replace its pressure-treated boards with a rigid plastic material, and rethink transplants. “Little adjustments like that,” Simon said, adding that while it’s he, his brother, and their spouses leading the effort, the entire team at Morning Glory Farm is fully onboard. Greenhouse manager Martin Opio is spearheading recordkeeping in the greenhouse, distribution manager Casey Mazar-Kelly handles wholesale and wash barn documentation, and field crew

chief Ryan Hassell manages day-to-day recordkeeping. “It is a volume of paperwork, but that’s what good businesspeople and good farmers are already doing,” Simon said. “They’re keeping track of where you planted things, what seeds you used, what fertilizers you used — it’s already what you’re doing … My staff really enjoys being part of this organic transition. There’s a real enthusiasm. It makes us all feel good to be in service of a worthy goal.” As mentioned before, Morning Glory is not certifying all 130 acres that they farm. They can’t quite figure out how to get their sweet corn fully organic, so they’re not certifying that field. “We’re OK with that,” Simon said. “Me and a lot of the farmers we’ve worked

The intention, Simon said, is to “get the ball rolling,” certifying as much as they can, and adding acreage as they innovate and advance.

with have not figured out a way to grow sweet corn organically and well enough for the demand of our customers. For us, it’s worth using a herbicide to combat trading off hydraulic and diesel labor or hand labor … these are the decisions farmers have to make, which simplistic conversations don’t get into.” The intention, Simon said, is to “get the ball rolling,” certifying as much as they can, and adding acreage as they innovate and advance. As far as encouraging other farms to seek organic certification, Simon said it’s the practices that matter — not necessarily the dogma. “I would encourage farms to take on all the systems of it and to think more biologically in their behavior, but the need for certification is not that potent to me if you’re a farmer serving the customer directly,” Simon said. “We produce a lot of food, and I think that pushes us to an edge that we don’t get to communicate with every customer. It’s more important to us to make sure there’s a clear indicator of our growing practices. I think to be certified is a statement to the world.”

Meg, Dan, Robyn, and Simon Athearn are making the move to certified organic.

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t is always surprising to me how small the Island can feel. There are six towns, and people can get pretty embedded there, especially if they live in one of the down-Island towns where you can get almost everything you need from grocery stores, restaurants, movie theaters, retail and liquor stores. Living up-Island, I drive without much thought since it is about seven to nine miles to everywhere. Though admittedly in the height of summer, I try to organize my routes so I am not driving through the traffic at the infamous Five Corners when a ferry has arrived, or by the airport when three planes land within an hour of each other... remember last summer around 1 pm?

Regardless of the perception of what is a long drive, I am advocating for exploring and checking out some of the businesses that may be off the beaten path, even for a small island. First, I am going to send you to the Martha’s Vineyard airport, yes the airport. When entering, take the first right and you will find three businesses housed in the old Hot Tin Roof area. MV Wine & Spirits is a liquor store, and Black Sheep is an excellent choice for fine groceries, cured meats, cheeses, and a huge variety of takeout specialties — delicious salads and famous homemade dips and spreads, along with crackle bread pizzas. Black Sheep also has an excellent catering service for dinner parties, luncheons, and brunches.

But the reason I am making this airport pitstop is the fish sandwich at the Fish House, which I consider to be one of the best on the Island. I believe a good sandwich has to do with the design as much as the ingredients, and bigger is not always better. I find flavors can get lost with a sandwich spilling over. This fish sandwich has the perfect balance of ingredients, yielding delicious flavor and texture. Made with fresh haddock, technically related to cod and perfect for frying, the sandwich is served on a butter-grilled bun with tartar sauce, cheese, lettuce, and tomato. Sounds pretty normal, but there is nothing normal about this fish sandwich. It’s definitely my favorite. The Fish House opened in 2018 and

Worth the drive Make a trip up-Island to grab a standout breakfast or lunch.

Cheese, Island Grown, and Deep Dish pepperoni and sausage pizza at the Chilmark General Store.

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MV Times

WORDS Tina Miller

Worth the drive IN SEASON is owned by locals, chef Everett Whiting and fisherman Tyler Gibson and his wife Shane Laderoute, who holds down the front of the market and is always a cheerful, knowledgeable presence. They offer highly selective fresh local seafood, also quality steaks and meats. This team of creative, hardworking Islanders has turned this off- the-beaten path location into a seasonal must with a full and diverse takeout menu that includes classic fried seafood specialties, as well as fresh poke bowls, pork carnitas and shrimp tacos, salads, really good onion rings, lobster rolls, and more, all homemade. For our next option, we will head up-Island into West Tisbury’s town center, just under four miles from the airport. The old center of West Tisbury features Alley’s General store, the First Congregational Church, a library, town hall, and 7a — a takeout restaurant in the old laundromat location next to Alley’s. A year-round staple for breakfast and lunch, 7a is going into its 12th year. A couple of their signature items include an egg sandwich on a homemade cheddar jalape-

no biscuit with all the fixings, or for lunch, the Liz Lemon — a memorable sandwich with housemade pastrami, smoked turkey, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing on rye topped off with crunchy potato chips. (I know people who travel up-Island just for the Liz Lemon.) They also have soups and always a seasonal veggie sandwich, as well as really great cookies, muffins, scones, and tea cakes. You can sit outside on the benches at 7a and watch the bustle of Al-

locals and seasonal residents meet on the porch for conversation and good, old-fashioned people watching. Current owners, husband and wife Joel Glickman and Jennifer LoRusso, have been running the iconic store since 2011. The well-stocked market, deli, and pizzeria keep the up-Island crowd satisfied with on-point grocery items and creative homemade sandwiches and salads. The deli and pizza kitchen often

Photos: Tina Miller

The Chilmark General Store is a must-stop, where locals and seasonal residents meet on the porch for conversation and good, old-fashioned people watching. leys’ store and downtown West Tisbury. Continuing up-Island, it’s hard to not make a stop at the Chilmark General Store for the pizza slice of the day. The store has been around since the early 1900s, and became famous for its amazing hand-tossed pizza first made by Primo Lombardi and family after they moved his pizza business from Oak Bluffs to Chilmark. The Chilmark General Store is a must-stop, where

7a’s Liz Lemon.

feature local ingredients on special pizzas, sandwiches, and salads. The slice of the day usually features a very hearty deep-dish slice like housemade sausage and pepperoni; there are also classic cheese or pepperoni slices. My favorite is the veggie slice with Island-grown veggies added to it. Whatever slice you choose, you will be happy you made the scenic drive.

Fried fish sandwich from the Fish House.

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ne night Butchie Lawry called me and asked me to go over to the Trade Wind airport in Oak Bluffs and change the lightbulb in the phone booth,” said Dick Carlson, a fish spotter from back in the 60s. “The pilots used the phone booth as an aiming point to find the runway,” Carlson said, which I thought seems to give new meaning to the phrase, “flying by the seat of your pants.” Fish spotters flew in conjunction with fishing boats, spotting swordfish from the air and directing the boats to the fish so they could harpoon them. It was a band of pilots from the Cape and Islands, Plymouth, and parts of Rhode Island who were collectively known as the “Georges Bank Airforce” because they spotted for boats on Georges Bank, a prolific fishing ground off the coast of Nova Scotia — at times there might be 20 or 30 planes hovering over the fleet. And if you think this sounds like a dangerous occupation, you’re right. Edward (Spider) Andresen, who spent five years as a wheelman on a swordfishing boat back in the 70s, said, “It was a crazy thing to do, flying out 200 miles in a light plane over that kind of water is totally insane, and if you do it long enough eventual-

ly you’re going to die, no question about it.” Louie Larsen, who grew up fishing on his father’s boat, the Mary Elizebeth, told me that one relatively calm and smooth afternoon, he watched as a fish spotting plane took a tight turn and stalled out and ditched not that far from his boat. “The plane sank to the bottom and the only sign of the plane was a pack of cigarettes that floated to the surface,” Larsen said. Jack Mayhew, who fish spotted for many years in the 70s and 80s, said that one day he heard a distress call on the radio coming from Jonathan Mayhew, a fisherman and pilot from Menemsha who was fish spotting for his boat the Quitsa Strider when he developed engine problems and ditched his plane in shark-infested waters. Fortunately there was a boat nearby and he was able to swim — very quickly –– to safety. The risks were high but so were the rewards. Fish spotters could work in various arrangements with the fishing boats. Some fish spotter’s planes were owned by the fishing boats, others were owned by the individual pilots or owners who rented their planes to the pilots and were paid by the fishing boats according to the amount of fish they landed. Jack Mayhew said that he would generally Continued on page 44



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Photos Courtesy Jack Mayhew

Magnificent men and their flying machines, spotting swordfish off the coast of Nova Scotia.


The Georges Bank Airforce FEATURE

1. Jack Mayhew, foreground, and Bob O'Hare, who flew out of Plymouth airport. 2. On a good day, there might be 20 fish spotters out at Georges Bank. 3. Jack Mayhew and his wife Betsey at the Santa Paula airport in California, where Mayhew would do fish spotting in the off-season.


early summer 2022



On tap at Offshore Ale


own on the corner of Kennebeck heading toward Ocean Park, laughter and song can be heard pouring out of an open-door eatery and brewpub as the sun slowly sinks toward the horizon. It may have been proposed as an affordable and lively place to go on a Friday night for a dinner and delicious beer, or felicitously described, pre-COVID, as “the place with all the peanuts.” Without a doubt, Offshore Ale Co. satisfies all those descriptors, but it’s much more than just a solid stop for food and drink — it’s an Island establishment. The restaurant changed hands this past December, and current Offshore owner Bill Honeycutt said he and his wife and co-owner, Sue Honeycutt, have been Offshore customers for over a decade. They fancied the restaurant/brewery for its family-friendly atmosphere, its consistently good food, and the variety of Island-brewed beers that are offered on tap around the clock. “We have two restaurants in the Boston area, and we have a home on the Vineyard, so we were coming to spend time at our

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Oak Bluffs brewery brings quality beer, food, and music all year long. WORDS Lucas Thors IMAGES Jeremy Driesen home,” Honeycutt said. Honeycutt has been in the restaurant industry since he was 17, so he knows what makes a good and successful food business. He knew the value of Offshore’s location, and the unique qualities of the restaurant’s interior that make it so homey and desirable for folks of all ages. Honeycutt said his first job at a restaurant was at a place called the Hampshire House on Beacon Street in Boston. The Hampshire House eventually transitioned over the decades into the Cheers Bar, a world-famous Boston landmark, where Offshore Ale brews are now being sold on draught.

Owners Bill and Susan Honeycutt.

On tap at Offshore Ale FEATURE

“We consider this place a jewel, and we are just trying to shine it as bright as possible for everyone to see.” –BILL HONEYCUTT

A Thursday night crowd of all ages fills the restaurant.

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FEATURE On tap at Offshore Ale The bar at Offshore fills up pretty quickly, even in the middle of the week.

“If you pair the right beer with the right food, it actually works better than wine. The carbonation cleans the palate a bit, so you get a new experience every time you taste another bite.” – NEIL ATKINS

Freddy McDougal working the pizza oven.

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With Neil Atkins at the helm of the brewing operation, and Adam Lanoie leading the kitchen team, Offshore is experimenting with some professionally paired beer and food combinations. They also use their beer in some of their most popular recipes, like the fish and chips doused with crispy Amber Ale batter, or the warm twisted pretzel with a side of Lazy Frog IPA brown mustard. Their baby back ribs are a must-try — rubbed with house spices and finished with Offshore Stout barbecue sauce. Honeycutt said the menu at his restaurant most closely resembles a gastropub, with a little twist here and there. The Offshore kitchen has recently been outfitted with brand-new equipment that will

allow kitchen staff to expand offerings and continue bringing new items to the menu on a regular basis. Arguably the most popular food item (besides the juicy burgers) is the brick oven pizzas — potato pizza with bacon, cheddar cheese, and scallions, or chicken pizza with fresh basil pesto, sliced tomatoes, and mozzarella, just to name a few. “The menu is approachable, it’s not too expensive, and all our food is fresh. It’s really a business that has two seasons — we try to take care of the local people that support us year-round, just to make sure Islanders know how much we appreciate them carrying us through the long Continued on page 39


Serious sipping WORDS Jamie McNeely


t seems like the past 15-plus years have brought an explosion in the sipping tequila market. The quality houses for these delicious libations, which have been around for many years, are now getting their due for the variety of styles, aromas, and flavor they impart. Here are a few of my favorites.

Plata, also known as Blanco Usually bottled immediately, or can be kept in steel tanks for up to 59 days before bottling. Tequila artisans consider Plata the purest expression of agave. Try Clase Azul Plata: A delicious example of pure Blue Weber agave, orange, mint, touch of vanilla on the nose and palate, no heat — just a clean expression of agave.

Reposado Reposado tequilas are aged a minimum of 60 days in wood and can be aged up to 364 days. Try Fortaleza Reposado: The traditional stonecrush methods really bring out the flavor of the agave. Touches of apple, cinnamon, earthy with a long, rich, spicy finish.

Anejos Anejos are aged a minimum of one year — and up to three years — in barrels. American, French oak, and used bourbon barrels are commonly used to impart different flavors and house styles. Try Don Julio Anejo: Aged 18 months in American oak. Richly textured, beautifully balanced with just the right amount of spice, agave, and vanillin oak.

Extra Anejos Aged a minimum of five years in various types of oak, depending on the house recipe, and usually in very limited quantities. Try G4 Extra Anejo: Very smooth flavors of oak, vanilla, dark berries, and agave. Beautiful on the palate, long, complex and very satisfying.

Jovens A blend of Joven (young) Blanco, unaged tequila, and Reposado, Anejo, or Extra Anejo. Try Clase Azul Gold: A beautiful blend of Clase Azul Plata, Reposado, matured in French oak, and blended with 8-year-old Extra Anejo. Layered flavors of agave, oak, vanilla, and orange spice on the palate, sensational! Jamie McNeely is president and general manager of Our Market in Oak Bluffs, and of Vineyard Wine Shop, which is located at Our Market, and Your Market in Edgartown. Jamie is also a serious wine connoisseur, and is responsible for some of the finest wine cellars on the Island.

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FEATURE When the kitchen fits

Chef Burkill at Beetlebung Farm selecting fresh local produce.

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From Brisbane to Vancouver to Pittsburgh, Chef Andrew Burkill has found a home at the Chilmark Tavern. WORDS Catherine Walthers



n a seasonal Island known for revolving chefs, Andrew Burkill returns this year for his fifth season as head chef of the Chilmark Tavern, armed with a notebook full of ideas from his travels over the off-season. Owner and manager Jenna Petersiel says customers love his cooking, so she couldn’t be happier. “Every year at the beginning, they say, ‘I hope you have the same chef back’ — and that’s all I need to hear,” she explains. Their success as a neighborhood restaurant in the heart of Chilmark, serving locally sourced and seasonal food simply, is also good news for the town of Chilmark. Both the Home Port and Beach Plum restaurants — stalwarts in the town for decades — shut down during the pandemic. It looks like the Beach Plum will reopen this season, but the Home Port remains shuttered. A thriving restaurant seems a simple enough equation, but the work behind the scenes — for both the chef and the owner — to get to this moment takes years. The Chilmark Tavern was opened in 2009 by Petersiel’s parents, North Shore restaurateurs whose good friends own the building. Built about 100 years ago to be a tavern, it never became one in “dry” Chilmark, where no alcohol is sold or served. Instead,

it’s been a grange, dance hall, post office, and after renovations, offices and a restaurant. It’s been a French cheese shop and restaurant, the Feast of Chilmark, and the Cornerway before becoming the Chilmark Tavern, with a nod to the building’s history. Petersiel took over running the 99-seat restaurant in 2011, and by the time she had an opening for a new executive chef in 2018 and hired Burkill, she had worked with three chefs and knew the qualifications she needed: someone who could create good food, be a good leader in the kitchen, understand labor and food costs, and be willing to work with a hands-on owner. Recalling that initial interview process, Australian-born Burkill said he and Petersiel had multiple phone calls stretching over a month, each conversation lasting 60 to 90 minutes, followed by a test dinner, before Petersiel’s offer came. Burkill, now 43, was offered two chef positions on Nantucket, but chose the Tavern with an owner who shared a similar food philosophy to his. He had been to plenty of other places — cooking at top restaurants in Canada, elsewhere in the U.S., and Australia, serving French, Japanese, Alsatian, and Spanish dishes — but never to Martha’s Vineyard. Burkill grew up in Brisbane, studying information technology in high school. He and his four siblings each took turns cooking dinners with their mom or grandmother, both good cooks. At the urging of a few friends, he tested out restaurant work at age 18, and remembers his sense of pride and satisfaction seeing diners enjoy the first meal he cooked — even if he had to wash dishes for eight months first. It spurred him to enter the chef’s training program at the governOwner and manager ment-funded Australian Institute of Jenna Petersiel and Business and Industry Training. The Chef Andrew Burkill. five-year culinary education included four one-year restaurant internships, and six weeks of culinary training between each internship. After graduation, he set out to work where “all the chefs wanted to work” — for Chef George Diamond at Siggi’s, a French restaurant that had won Best of Queensland for five years running. Hoping to head to Spain next, he instead ended up in Vancouver at a restaurant called Circa. There, he worked with Michelin-trained Chef Andy Budgen, and then at a seafood restaurant called NU on the Water with another Michelin chef, Joseph Sartor. NU had just built a state-of-the-art pastry kitchen, and even though Burkill was working as chef de partie, or station chef, he angled for the pastry job and got it. “I’d always loved pastry,” he says. Compared with being a chef, “everyone leaves you alone, and no one knows what you’re doing.” When Sartor opened an Alsatian French-German restaurant in Vancouver called La Brasserie, he invited Burkill to go with him as pastry chef. Burkill said he’d never seen so much talent in one kitchen. Of eight people, seven had Michelin experience, he said. (Michelin Stars set the standard for ranking the

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FEATURE When the kitchen fits

“Every year at the beginning, they say, ‘I hope you have the same chef back’ — and that’s all I need to hear.” - JENNA PETERSIEL finest restaurants in the industry.) Burkill tired of the dreary Vancouver weather, however, and headed home to Australia. While home and working as head chef at Alegria, serving Spanish tapas, he met and married an American woman who was about to take a job in Pittsburgh. And that’s where he found himself next. He became sous-chef at Cure in Pittsburgh, with chef/owner Justin Severino, nationally recognized for his charcuterie, something Burkill wanted to learn. But when Burkill’s marriage ended, he decided to try somewhere not “landlocked,” and that’s how he ended up on the East Coast in conversation with Petersiel. It was the right move for both, apparently — Petersiel guiding him into the Bruleed chicken Vineyard restaurant life, and Burkill usliver pate made ing his hard-earned skills turning the food from the Good he found here into dinner each night. Farm chicken livers, “The Island has the best oysters I’ve house sourdough ever had in my life, and the best scallops toasts, and onion I’ve ever had,” says Burkill. The number marmalade.

of farms here surprised him, and he relies on many of them. Dishes like this result: hand-rolled cavatelli with house-smoked and -braised Grey Barn pork cheeks, garlic scapes, cavolo nero (Italian kale) and pecorino. Or the panseared Atlantic halibut, MV Mycological shiitakes, shishitos, and soy dashi broth. Petersiel says she appreciates how Burkill expertly cooks a piece of fish and pairs it simply. Aside from seafood and homemade pasta always on the menu, some customer favorites stay there too, like Burkill’s Poulet Frites (a half-chicken brined in brown ale and roasted, fries, greens, and a sauce) or the Tavern Steak, with frites or mashed potatoes, fried onion rings, and a Bordelaise sauce. Specials augment this balancing act, as well as plat du jour nights such as Meatless Mondays, Paella Tuesdays, Poke Bowl Fridays, or Sunday specials with fried chicken buckets. Petersiel’s craft cocktail program — adding liquor that customers bring in — and Burkill’s desserts round it all out. Just before the mid-May opening this year, Burkill was savoring the last of his time off before the summer season began at the restaurant, where he cooked a record 298 covers on an August night. Aside from travel, he spends any spare time playing tennis, golfing, fishing, working on his herb garden, or visiting farms. Asked how long he thinks he’ll be staying on the Island, Burkill laughs: “Until Petersiel kicks me out.” “As for Andrew, I feel the same,” she responds. “The only reason I would ever want to see him go would be for an opportunity better than the one I could provide him.”

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Photos: Jenna Petersiel

House-made squid ink pasta, Menemsha littleneck clams, Guanciale, white wine, and herbs.

Join thought leaders, writers, innovators, and industry experts in Denver as we celebrate 20 years of telling the story of local food and explore the ideas, challenges and changes that will shape our food communities in the next

OCTOBER 1–2, 2022 | DENVER, CO

decade and beyond. For more information, visit edibleinstitute.com

Edible is pleased to announce Dr. Temple Grandin as our keynote speaker for this year’s Institute. Dr. Grandin is a scientist whose ground-breaking work in animal behavior has helped shape standards of excellence for the humane treatment of animals around the world.

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Raising the bar FEATURE

Photos: Jeremy Driesen

Bad Martha brewer Cal Scarfone is elbow deep into the process.

Bad Martha Brewing Company has high hops for this season.

RAISING THE BAR Bad Martha takes pride in its mermish origin story.


fter last call, after the chairs are stacked, the floors are swept, and the big barn door is shut and locked, Bad Martha Brewing Company brewer Cal Scarfone starts his shift with a smile. It’s quiet around that time — 1 am, when the fun begins. Scarfone walks over to the mill, pulls some fresh malt from the large pyramidal grinder, and heads to the mash tun. The whole brewing area is filled with steam as the milled grains are slowly turned to wort, which is then transferred to the brewing kettle to be boiled. All this, and following a bit of canning, you have a distinctly Martha’s Vineyard

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FEATURE Raising the bar product that any practiced beer drinker would give two thumbs up. Now, Bad Martha is looking forward to the busy season, with a number of classic beer offerings and some delicious food to complement your brews. Scarfone is in his fourth year brewing with Bad Martha, a job he stumbled upon by happenstance, but has since taken on the role with great enthusiasm (he’s becoming somewhat of an adept). “I joke around with people about this, but pretty much every job I’ve ever had has just been someone saying ‘Hey, can you do this?’ and me saying ‘I’ll give it a shot,’” Scarfone said. “I really do enjoy it, especially now that I have a few years under my belt — I can experiment more and have more fun with it.” Instead of working with a more automated brewing system that often requires more button-pushing than mixing or mashing, Scarfone said he is happy to work with a manual method that allows him to feel close to his product. “I have to go around and open valves and turn levers and press buttons. It’s not a big fancy computer or anything,” Scarfone said. “I have to actively monitor temperatures for fermenting and transporting between tanks.” The other aspect of the process (the brewing itself) involves tossing various ingredients into a big still, almost like cooking a big batch of soup. Scarfone has a whole list of base recipes that he has narrowed down over the years, and will occasionally mix in some variations that give the brew a unique kick. Even making the herbal stuff like seltzers is a simple

Bad Martha makes fresh-baked pizzas to accompany your beer.

Courtesy Bad Martha Brewery

and fun job for Scarfone, who picks and chooses different fruits and herbs to combine for the perfect, refreshing seltzer. On a given night, Bad Martha has about six or seven beers on tap that are

MV Times

The Martha’s Vineyard Ale, the 508 IPA, and Blonde Ambition Ale.

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brewed at the Martha’s Vineyard location, while three or four selections at the Edgartown brewery are concocted at Bad Martha in Falmouth — both try to keep around 10 different beers on tap. The 508 IPA, the Mischievous Mermaid, and the Martha’s Vineyard Ale are all beers that come from Falmouth, because that is where the large batches are made that get distributed to retailers. After several iterations of the brewery/restaurant, Scarfone said, the entire experience has shifted from a small facility with a tasting bar and some light bites, to a full-fledged artisanal eatery with beautifully made charcuterie boards and thin crust pizzas. Plus, Bad Martha has an outdoor seating area that’s perfect for a hot day and a cold beer, or a cool evening and some tasty pizza. “Through the years, we figured out that people are hungry and are staying longer and longer,” Scarfone said. “When COVID came and the regulations required people to have food with their drinks at restaurants, we knew we were one step ahead.”

Raising the bar FEATURE

Bad Martha beer offers growlers so you can take home your favorite brew. Tina Miller

One of the most desirable things about Bad Martha beer is their specialty seasonal brews. When Island farms reap their seasonal bounty, Bad Martha gets a little bit of that goodness to put in their

hoppy Beach Plum Dubbel (a Belgian-style brown beer). Even if an ingredient is out of season, Scarfone has some on deck to make sure he always has fresh brews. “Almost half of our beer menu is from local ingredients,” Scarfone said. “I worked with the guys over at Cottage City Oysters to do an Oyster Stout. I get like half a bag of oysters and they go right into the pot. The beer gets a little smoky, a little briney. People seem to love it.” Mia Benedetto, general manager of Bad Martha, said now is the time she is going through the sales and distribution list and talking to all past vendors to see what they want for the season. “It’s really all about forming those relationships, dropping off samples for any new or potential vendors, and getting the word out,” Benedetto said. It’s Benedetto’s third season at Bad Martha, and she is having a great time acclimating to her place at the head of the establishment, and transitioning the whole operation back into a less-restricted experience. “This year, it’s all about getting back to normal,” Benedetto said, adding that there will again be yard games, a standing bar, and a large outdoor seating area for anyone looking to soak up some sun. Ever since Bad Martha threw a pizza oven into the mix, they’ve been trying out different recipes to see what sticks. Benedetto said the pizzas are a seriously popular menu item, with six staple pizzas and a specialty pizza available every two weeks or so. The restaurant arm of the brewery is always implementing new and fun items, like a lobster roll in the middle of summer, along with different varieties of charcuterie and snack mix. The charcuterie plate consists of hard salami, prosciutto, tasso pork, and locally caught and smoked bluefish by MV Smokehouse. The meats are served alongside fresh-baked ciabatta, an array of crackers, and a specially made spicy beer mustard from Scottish Bakehouse, as well as spreadable hot pepper relish, dried

“I worked with the guys over at Cottage City Oysters to do an Oyster Stout. I get like half a bag of oysters and they go right into the pot.” – CAL SCARFONE beers and seltzers. Each year, when the strawberries are brilliantly red and plump at Morning Glory Farm, the Bad Martha Strawberry Blonde is born. Scarfone even gets beach plums on occasion from the Farm Institute (where his fiance works) and other farms to whip up the tart and

apricots, and kalamata olives. Cheese plates at Bad Martha are made up of four varieties of cheese: a mountain gouda, cave-aged cheddar, goat cheese, and locally produced Eidolon from the Grey Barn and Farm in Chilmark. As for pizzas, there’s traditional cheese, mellow mushroom, a pesto and veggie pizza with fontina cheese, sauteed white onion, and zucchini alongside spring mix drizzled in local honey, and a favorite of many — the beer bacon pizza with crispy bacon marinated in Bad Martha beer. Cauliflower pizzas are also available

“It’s really all about forming those relationships, dropping off samples for any new or potential vendors, and getting the word out.” – MIA BENEDETTO for those who need a gluten-free option and anyone looking for a lighter base. And, of course, Bad Martha is the place to go for live music and other events like trivia, bingo, and other community offerings that are meant to bring people into the brewery for beer and good times. “We have done a good job integrating families, people our age, older people — we really have all those bases covered. There’s something for everyone,” Benedetto said. One of the things Benedetto said she loves most about Bad Martha is being able to meet new people every time she walks through the door, and make people happy with great beer, great food, and great service. She noted that many of the staff have returned year after year, and have grown into a tight-knit team that takes pride in their work. “We always have fun together, and everyone that is returning is very hard working, which is good because it’s hard work,” Benedetto said. “It’s all totally worth it once we open up those doors.” The Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery and tasting room is located at 270 Upper Main Street in Edgartown. Bad Martha is still working out their vendor list, but brews are available in most liquor stores on the Island, and are on draught in many bars and restaurants.

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Grilled Yellowfin Tuna (SERVES 4) 2 lbs Yellowfin tuna, cut into 4 steaks 2 Tbsp. olive oil 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice 1 Tbsp. tamarir Combine liquid ingredients and coat tuna steaks, let rest at room temp for about 30 minutes. Heat the grill on high. Coat the grill with oil. Grill for several minutes, then move for grill marks. Turn over and repeat the process. Depending on your preferred doneness, remove tuna steaks and let them rest.

Lemony Asparagus 1 big bunch asparagus, woody ends removed Zest and juice of one lemon 2 Tbsp. olive oil ¼ cup fresh dill, stems removed 1 cup basil leaves 1 cup EVOO Salt and black pepper Heat olive oil on medium-high heat, add asparagus, and gently sauté, moving asparagus around the pan. Add 2 tablespoons of water, cover for 30 seconds then raise the heat. Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice and zest. Combine and serve.

Grilled Yellowfin Tuna, with Sautéed Lemony Asparagus and Herbaceous Pesto

Herbaceous Pesto 3 cloves fresh peeled garlic ¼ cup flat parsley leaves, be sure it is washed and dried ½ cup Cilantro leaves ¼ cup fresh dill, stems removed





picture is worth a thousand words — or hundreds of likes on Instagram, especially this time of year with fresh, flavorful ingredients. This simple recipe can be swapped out for any grilled fish, chicken, and meat, so can the asparagus, but this delicious, bright fresh herb pesto will add to any summer grilling.

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1 cup basil leaves 1 cup EVOO ¼ cup fresh lemon juice Salt and black pepper Use a food processor, add garlic first and puree. Add parsley leaves and puree. Add basil, cilantro, dill, and puree. Add salt and pepper, puree, slowly add some of the olive oil, then lemon juice, and finish with olive oil until all ingredients are smooth. Set aside at room temperature.

On tap at Offshore Ale FEATURE

The brewing equipment at Offshore, responsible for all those tasty craft beers.

Photos: Jeremy Driesen

Continued from page 28 winter,” Honeycutt said. Ever since Honecutt took ownership of Offshore, he has been feeling the love from the local community. “A lot of people refer to us as the Island’s living room. A lot of people feel like it’s their home away from home,” Honeycutt said. “They hang out with their friends, watch a game, and have conversations about the good and the bad. It’s a great environment with a really warm feel to it.” After almost three years of persistent struggle with the COVID pandemic for those in the restaurant industry, Honeycutt said he is excited to bring people out to have a nice meal with family and friends this season. The restaurant will continue to tweak the ambiance with different furniture, artwork, and music in order to prepare for the busy summer, and the entire building will be painted. “We consider this place a jewel, and we are just trying to shine it as bright as possible for everyone to see,” Honeycutt said. Neil Atkins started brewing beer a long time ago in another life, when he took a quality control microbiology position at Anderson Valley Brewing in Northern California. He went from brewer to head brewer, to production manager during his tenure there, and then moved to the Island around 2009, after taking a job at Offshore as head brewer. “And that’s the story. I really liked Offshore because it was a small operation. Anderson Valley does 40,000 to 50,000 barrels of beer a year, and I worked with some other places that are even bigger than that,” Atkins said. “Offshore is really mine to do with what I want, to explore and experiment.” Nothing on the beer board has stayed

Maeve Rice pours a draught from the tap.

the same over the years — all the recipes are finely tuned, and new beers are added to the menu every so often. The Lazy Frog IPA has become one of the flagship beers at Offshore. Named after the Lazy Frog in Oak Bluffs, an indoor and outdoor recreation store that is the go-to for disc golf, the beer is West Coast–influenced with heavy hoppiness and a rich malted texture (it’s 7 percent ABV, so take it slow). The intense yet drinkable beer represents the epitome of community collaboration, as a portion of all sales go toward the Riverhead Disc Golf Course off Barnes Road. Offshore even fundraises for the disc golf course by holding a collaborative New Year’s Day disc golf tournament in partnership with the Lazy Frog store. According to Atkins, the Amber Ale is also very popular, but his favorite is the classic Offshore pilsner, Das Pils. Atkins has been enjoying concocting some beer and food pairings, and looks forward to messing around more with the combinations. “If you pair the right beer with the right food, it actually works better than wine,” Atkins explained. “The carbonation cleans the palate a bit, so you get a new ex-

perience every time you taste another bite.” For the third year, Offshore will be hosting its beer and cheese pairing in another cooperative initiative with Grey Barn and Farm head cheesemaker Joe Alstat. Alstat washes the Grey Barn cheese in Offshore beer for the perfect combination of Island-made products. The cheese will then be paired with appropriate Offshore beer selections for an unforgettable culinary experience. Atkins voiced his excitement that the Cheers Bar and some other notable beer scenes in Boston have adopted some Offshore brews. He’s looking forward to creating new selections in the future, and putting smiles on the faces of local and visiting beer drinkers. “It’s a huge team effort. I basically just make the beer and go away,” Atkins laughed. “But people appreciate the quality — they appreciate all the passion and good stuff that goes into each bottle.” Offshore Ale is located at 30 Kennebec Ave. in Oak Bluffs. Visit offshoreale.com for menus, beer offerings, music event dates, hours of operation, and more.

early summer 2022


Photos: Tina Miller

Sponsored by Cronig’s

N.Y. strip steak, grilled to perfection.

It’s all about the grill Grilled Brandt Beef New York Strip Steaks

2 New York strip steaks, about 2 inches thick. 1 Tbsp. fresh flat leaf parsley,

Serves 4 It is grilling season and for many, there is nothing better than a great grilled steak, simply prepared and seared over high heat. For this recipe, we are using New York strip steak, a favorite for grilling. They may not be as tender as a tenderloin steak, but they are consistent in shape, which makes them easy to grill, and they have excellent flavor. Cronig’s Markets feature quality Brandt Beef. Brandt is a family-owned business founded in 1945, and uses sustainable methods on their farm utilizing the best animal husbandry practices. They believe a good life for the animal results in consistent high-quality beef that is never fed hormones or antibiotics. For this recipe, we are creating a simple marinade that is more of a paste than a liquid marinade. The fresh herbs will enhance the great Brandt Beef New York strip steak flavor. Season with salt and pepper after you remove the meat from the grill to rest.

Fire it up, add a high-quality steak — and don’t forget the grill marks

chopped 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped 2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped 1

large clove of garlic, minced

1 tsp. mustard, brown or Dijon 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 2 Tbsp. olive oil Salt and pepper Grilling season is here!

In a flat baking dish combine the marinade ingredients. Add the steaks, coating all sides, and let sit at room temperature for an hour. Whether using gas, charcoal, or wood, get your grill nice and hot. Add steaks and let sear for about 3-4 minutes. Carefully move steaks to create cross grill marks. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, depending on thickness. Turn steaks, repeating the process until steaks are at desired doneness. Temperature should be around 130 degrees for a medium-rare steak. Remove steaks from the grill and let rest for about five minutes. They will continue to cook a bit. Slice on a diagonal and serve on a bed of Fresh arugula.

This story and recipe was brought to you by:

early summer 2022




deeper ESSAY AND IMAGES Kate Woods

Early spring fields at Beetlebung Farm.


pring is an undeniably hopeful season on the farm, especially in the Northeast, it seems. It feels like a triumph, an instinctual moment of celebration for our survival through winter. And while we’re fortunate enough that the fear of the human species not surviving a Vineyard winter is no longer quite so relevant, the triumph that the first balmy March day brings still feels celebratory. And with all of the darkness that does still exist throughout our world, if we can concentrate on the light that spring brings, even just for a second, life is bound to look a whole lot brighter. For farmers, that very brightness — that subtle yet obvious shift in light and warmth — is the great signifier that our work is also about to majorly shift. There’s an overwhelming sense of freedom of confinement from our spreadsheets, our countless Word documents, and lists of goals and strategies for an upcoming year. Instead, it’s time to tap into the muscle memories of seasons past — the creaky knees, the tight back, and the hands made weak by months of tapping on a sterile keyboard, rather than pulling the weeds that stain your fingers with soil. But soon enough, the movement brings that same spring sense of life back into our bodies, just as it does the daffodils, the tree buds, and the network of life beneath the surface of our fields. At Beetlebung Farm, where my boyfriend Nick and I manage the beautiful two acres of growing space, that life beneath us is what we hold highest in our effort to grow as diverse and nutritious a field of vegetables as we can. However, much like our vast and massively diverse oceans, the soil’s ability to hide the majority of its life where we can’t easily see it

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Think deeper ON THE FARM regretfully often leads most to overlook its importance. Fortunately, some brilliant farmers and scientists before us have beautifully and convincingly advocated for this life beneath the surface, and the soil microbiome that it holds. Two of them, David Montgomery and Anne Biklé, wrote the book, “The Hidden Half of Nature,” the very writing that convinced me to choose farming as a Colorful radishes career in the first place. The fresh from the farm. book takes the couple through the discovery that our physical bodies, the soil, and the world are, more than anything, driven and dominated by networks of microorganisms. They do so through the seemingly simple task of tending to a backyard garden, all the while drawing parallels to their personal health journeys. “In medicine, as in agriculture, what we feed our soils — inner and outer — offers a prescription for health forged on the anvil of geologic time,” they write. Essentially, the world can be seen as a massive cycle of feeding to be fed, and primarily through the act of decomposition. We feed the bacteria and fungi in our soils things that they in turn decompose, then release as useful forms of nutrients for our plants to absorb. Our plants grow, we harvest, and we eat. That food makes its way into our bodies, where it is, again, then processed by microbial life. Within the gut this time, which works to digest, decompose, and provide essential nutrients to the human body. If the right microbial life thrives, so too do our bodies, so too do our plants. And then finally, we feed each other. We open our farmstand, we share what we can with our community, and we cook for each other. Just as our physical bodies must be fed, so too must our souls. This intersection, the one between our own bodies, the soil, food, and the feeding of one another is what convinced me that farming was worth devoting a life to. So when Nick, Seth, Theo and I (the team of farmers that make up Beetlebung Farm) begin to prepare for another growing season Seedlings ready ahead, we ask ourselves first, What does the soil need, and how to go into the do we feed it so that it can feed us? Only after that question do healthy soil at thoughts of seed orders, harvest tools, and packaging come into Bettlebung Farm. play. Because without our precious soil, its fungal networks, and its seemingly endless life forms, to us, a farm is nothing. Here, we choose compost over synthetic fertilizers, we choose beneficial bugs over pesticides, and we choose a system of low- to no-till bed prep over the constant pulverizing of soil structure. We do our best to protect and support the systems within the soil, so intricately established long before we even existed. The words of my favorite book ring loudly and often: “Put bluntly,” Biklé writes, “many practices at the heart of modern agriculture and medicine — two arenas of applied science critical to human health and well-being — are simply on the wrong path. We need to learn how to work with rather than against the microbial communities that underpin the health of plants and people.” The light that spring brings can leave us feeling more optimistic than ever. There is suddenly obvious life emerging everywhere. But what is obvious only begins to crack the surface of what is important, and as a farmer whose priority it is to protect the unseen, I urge you to think deeper.

early summer 2022





Continued from page 24

make between $400 and $800 a day, which went a long way in 1980 dollars. Fish spotting seemed to attract certain larger-than-life, swashbuckling types and after listening to some of the stories Dick Carlson told me, I said, “You guys were a bunch of cowboys out there, weren’t you.” Carlson told me about coming up behind a pilot who was sitting out on the wheel of the plane to cool off, with no one else in the plane. “This kind of stuff happened all the time,” Carlson said. ”One time I saw a plane come up behind another and touch his wheels on the roof of the other plane.” And closer to home, many of the spotters would often use their planes to touch down in the most improbable places. A group of pilots might fly up-Island and land in a field for a cookout. The Malley brothers, Ted and Tim, two legendary fish spotters, would land out at Nomans Land, an island off the coast of Gay Head which occassionally was used by the Navy as a bomb site. Carlson tells the story of one night when

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Butchie Lawry was at the Ritz bar in Oak Bluffs and decided to give his drinking companion a ride home — in his plane — landing on Lobsterville Road in Chilmark, and taxiing up to his friend’s house. Back in the 40s and 50s the swordfish were plentiful off the coast of Nomans Land and fishermen would just climb the mast of their boat to spot the fish, sunning on the surface. But it was just a matter of time before they began spotting with planes and the area became overfished. That’s what prompted the sword

fishermen to head up to Georges Bank. The fishing was good up there, but flying out 200 miles and back presented a new set of challenges. Jack Mayhew said that not all pilots liked flying over water; “But as fish spotters, we were more nervous flying over land because we had 5 30-gallon fuel tanks on the tips of our wings, and a 90-gallon belly tank under our seat, so if we ever ditched in the woods it would literally be like sitting on a powder keg. We felt safer over the water.” In a personal journal Jack Mayhew shared with me, it became apparent that flying close to the water could also have its drawbacks. “Once when I was flying back about 50 feet off the surface of the water,” Mayhew wrote, “I noticed some small whales that were surfacing and spouting sizable spouts, which, before I could react, I flew right through. This resulted in a very messy windshield, which required me to

”One time I saw a plane come up behind another and touch his wheels on the roof of the other plane.” –DICK CARLSON

Photos Courtesy of: Louie Larsen, 1; Jack Mayhew, 2, 3, 4; Spider Andresen, 5


1. Louis Larsen senior, "Lucky Larsen," harpooning a swordfish. 2. Jack Mayhew heading home from Georges Bank. 3. Although this one is a little worse for wear, the fish spotters even had T shirts made up. 4. Heading home, which is when the planes tended to fly together. 5. Peter Buckley (left) and Spider Andresen take a sword aboard Jaguar around the “Corner Buoy” fiftyish miles SE of Noman’s Land. Circa 1967.

The Georges Bank Airforce FEATURE

Courtesy Louie Larsen

“It was a crazy thing to do, flying out 200 miles in a light plane over that kind of water is totally insane, and if you do it long enough eventually you’re going to die, no question about it.” –SPIDER ANDRESEN Spider Andresen said that there pull up a bit, and boy, did it smell bad! weren’t just planes and trawlers out at I had always heard that a whale spout Georges Banks, there could be up to 15 or smelled of rotten fish, and I can personal20 Russian factory ships out there as well, ly attest that it is true! “ using a technique called long-lining that Mayhew said that planes on the Vinehung thousands of hooks off of a long line yard flew out of both the main airport and dragged behind the boat. out off a little grass runway at Trade Wind Andresen added that he would often airport In Oak BLuffs. socialize with the Russians. “We’d go up “On a typical day,” he said, “we’d take off at 6 in the morning, get out to Georges around 9 am, fish until 5, and get home around 9 or 9:30 pm. There was camaraderie among the pilots, and sometimes we put on a little airshow for the boats before heading home. “Out at Georges, the drill was I’d fly over the boat in a racetrack pattern,” he said, “and when we’d spot a fish, sometimes we’d mark it with a green dye marker and then we would guide the boat to the fish over the radio, making sure the harpooner would be ‘down sun,’ or not looking into the sun.” “The boat and the plane,” Larsen said, “would try to find an edge where water from two different temperatures Bringing in a would come together and swordfish aboard it would attract fish. The the Larsen’s boat, water gets agitated and the Mary Elizabeth on a calm day, you can litsomewhere on erally see it shake.” Georges Bank.

alongside and I introduced them to Budweiser,” he said, “and it was right about the time they introduced pop-tops, which the Russians had never seen before, and they thought that the pop-top cans were grenades, perhaps because Andresen shook a can up so it exploded on the deck. But even then, in the midst of the Cold War, they all had a good laugh.” The 70s and 80s were heady times out at Georges Bank, but you won’t see the Georges Bank Airforce out there today. “Flying with fish spotters just became too expensive,” Louie Larsen said. Between the increasing cost of gear and fuel and maintaining a plane, it just became too expensive for boats to make money using spotters. “There are still swordfish out there, but today all the fishing is done by long-liners and gill-netters.” Spotter planes are still used for tuna boats, which fish closer to shore, and the Japanese sushi market has made fishing for tuna extremely lucrative. But the days of those magnificent men and their flying machines heading out to Georges Bank to do battle with swordfish are pretty much a thing of the past. And what a past that was.

IN SEASON Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler means spring has sprung.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler WORDS Tina Miller

IMAGE Alison Shaw


arly spring in New England begins with an unusual vegetable and ends in early summer with a swweet, juicy fruit — and the two make for a perfect marriage. I am referring to that magical combination: a strawberry rhubarb pie. Rhubarb poking out of the cool earth with bright stalks is one of the first signs of spring. It’s similar in looks to celery, but bigger and bright pink. Like ruby chard, but with a taste that is quite tart. Rhubarb plants are topped with an inedible flower, which makes me wonder how a vegetable that could have been dismissed is instead introduced to the perfect mate, the strawberry, and together they are the consummate example of opposites attracting. This recipe is from my cookbook “Vineyard Harvest,” with photos by Alison Shaw, which came out 17 years ago. This recipe — like many cobblers, crisps, and crumbles — is timeless, made with a few ingredients, but always with fresh in-season fruit.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler 4 cups rhubarb stalks, washed, cut into two-inch pieces 1 cup sugar 2 Tbsp. cornstarch 4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved 1½ cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp. baking powder ½ tsp. salt 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) cold butter, cut into pieces ½ cup light cream Preheat oven to 350° In a medium bowl, combine rhubarb with ¾ cup sugar and cornstarch, and set aside for about 25 minutes. Gently mix in strawberries, and let sit 5 more minutes. For the cobbler topping, using a stand-up mixer with the paddle attachment, combine dry ingredients with remaining sugar. Add cold butter pieces and mix until crumbly. Add cream and mix until mixture comes together. Do not overmix. Pour strawberry-rhubarb mixture into a ceramic or glass 9- by 11inch baking dish. Top with cobbler topping mixture, covering as much as possible. Bake for about 35 minutes, until it is golden on top. Serve warm with vanilla whipped cream or ice cream.

early summer 2022



DONE! WORDS Lauren Lynch

EV: The Ag Fair is one of the most iconic and anticipated events on Martha’s Vineyard, and this year marks the 160th fair. But the fair is not the only event that defines the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society. What exactly is the Ag Society, and what does it do? Lauren Lynch: The Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society was started in 1858 by Henry L. Whiting and the Hon. Leavitt Thaxter. They were concerned about the Island’s isolation from the agricultural and industrial developments that were occurring on the mainland. Their solution was to organize a society where the community could learn from one another, sharing their own innovations, successes, and failures. The first fair, held in October 1858, was “a grand display of the cattle, fruit, vegetables, flowers, pictures, and fancy articles,” according to a November 1858 Vineyard Gazette article. I first attended the fair in the summer of 2000, and will never forget my amazement. The carnival side was fun, but I found the most joy on the other side of the fairgrounds — the Exhibit Hall, Fiber Tent, Horse Rings, and the Animal Barns. I felt like I was stepping back in time (perhaps to 1858), but it didn’t take long to realize that these traditions, crafts, and trades were very much alive and celebrated on the Island. I’ve come to realize that one of the best things about the fair is that it is the greatest advertisement for the bounty of Martha’s Vineyard and everything that the Ag Society represents! Twenty-two years later, I find myself

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IMAGE Dena Porter

leading the organization. Until about five years ago, the Ag Society was run solely by volunteers. Hiring staff, in addition to our beloved volunteers, has given us increased capacity to provide more services to farmers and education to our community. Just as the farming landscape on Martha’s Vineyard has changed, the agricultural world is evolving, and the effects of climate change are becoming more pressing. We once again find it necessary to collaborate and embrace new innovations. In 2019, with the help of the Cape Cod Community Extension, we were able to bring the 4-H program back to the Island for the first time in 40 years. The genesis of 4-H was more than 100 years ago, when researchers realized that adults in farming were not open to learning new agricultural practices. However, young people were interested, and by establishing rural youth programs, they were able to introduce new technologies and developments into established farming communities. The hands-on and practical experience of 4-H provides our youth with the foundation for experimentation, problem-solving, and lifelong learning. While COVID has slowed its growth, we are excited to reinvigorate the program this fall. If you are interested in leading a group, please reach out to us! We are grateful to be the recipient of a private grant, which is allowing us to provide soil health analysis for interested farmers. We are working with a local soil scientist who is meeting with farmers on their properties to talk about their individual goals. Once the ground has thawed, she will

test multiple soil samples from each farm, and provide tailored recommendations for improving the overall condition of the land. Another service we are excited to offer to our commercial and backyard farmers is that of the mobile poultry processing unit (MPPU). The unit is brought to a different farm each week, starting in late spring, to process chickens and turkeys through late fall, thus minimizing the cost and stress on the birds. One of the collaborations we have been most excited about is our reunion with the West Tisbury Farmers Market. Begun in 1934 by Island farmers in response to the Great Depression, it was revived in 1974 at our old home at the Grange. The importance of locally grown food has only been amplified by lockdowns, supply chain shortages, and the past two years living with this virus. We are so thankful that we were able to provide the 40-plus farmers with a pandemic-safe location in which they could hold their market. We are constantly holding classes and lectures to educate and inspire, not just farmers but our community. We have access to a wealth of knowledge, and are working to be the go-to resource regarding agricultural issues. So the next time you are at the fair, maybe walk a little slower through the Hall, stop and feel the wool being spun in the Fiber Tent, say hello to the tall man with the two beautiful Clydesdales, or the woman in the baseball hat effortlessly overseeing a barn full of animals. This is our community and our livelihood. And we couldn’t be prouder.

Vineyard Haven 508-693-4457 • West Tisbur y 508-693-2234

Vineyard Haven 508-693-7097

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