August 2, 2016
This year’s Farm Project Crew shares thoughtfulness, altruism, and eagerness to grow; their differences lie in their backgrounds, skill sets, and the roads that led them to The Farm Project. The crew is united by service-driven work and the common goal of supporting a resilient food system on Martha’s Vineyard. Meet the crew!
Devon Teves, a born and raised islander devoted to his community and school system. An active member of the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Minnesingers and garden club, Devon participates in programs that benefit the island. He brings to The Farm Project a wealth of knowledge about the Island and a firm belief that Martha’s Vineyard youth should be taught in school how to grow food.
Kaila Newton, a semi-nomad that has lived on the island at various points in her life. With two different schools to compare it to, Kaila believes that Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School is the best high school she has attended. Kaila is a quiet creator. She makes ceramic food art and assembles a bouquet of wild flowers almost every day. She will be off to college in the fall to continue to nurture her passion for art and agriculture.
Caroline Roddy, an up-island kid who is most comfortable in a garden with dirt under her fingernails or at the beach with sand in her toes. Caroline moved to the Island from Los Angeles when she was in middle school. When not working with The Farm Project, Caroline cares for her family’s home garden and chickens, camps at the beach, and sees films in Chilmark.
Sophie Richardson, a Los Angeles, CA resident who spends her summers on the Vineyard with her childhood friend, Caroline. Sophie has a deep appreciation for the solace the Vineyard’s natural beauty provides to so many of its visitors. The Farm Project gives Sophie the opportunity to soak up as much serotonin that the outdoors can give her before returning to the big city and to give back to the Island community that she has grown to love.
At The Farm Project, we never do the same thing two days in a row.
On Mondays, we tend to our farm plot at Thimble Farm. At the moment, we’re focused on growing beans.
Tuesdays are gleaning days. Alongside a team of volunteers, we hit the fields at Morning Glory Farm and harvest thousands of pounds of otherwise disposed of produce. All this happens in about an hour, so in the afternoons we bring a portion of what we’ve gleaned to a school cafeteria. Here, we are met by a Food Service Director who leads us in processing that vegetable. The processed vegetables are then stored to be used in meals during the school year.
On Wednesdays, we visit and volunteer at a local farm. Highlights so far: learning about compost tea at the Allen Farm and weeding the heck out of the asparagus at The Grey Barn.
On Thursday mornings, we give school gardens the love they’ve so desperately missed while their usual attendants are off for the summer. In the afternoons, we cool off at the West Tisbury Library while exploring food justice. In brief, we’ve learned that food is the problem and food is the solution for so many struggling communities.
On Fridays, we bring gleaned produce to Serving Hands, a food assistance program that offers free, fresh produce to Islanders in need. Distribution is from 12 – 1 at the Baptist Church on the corner of William Street in Vineyard Haven.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this crash course in the 2016 Farm Project! For more photos check out our Instagram islandgrownschools.