Martha’s Vineyard Farmer’s Market
On Saturday mornings in June, and Wednesday AND Saturday mornings in the months of July and August, The West Tisbury Farmer’s Market comes into full bloom. From the hours of 9am-12pm, local companies gather around Grange Hall in West Tisbury to bring fresh produce and agricultural products to summer goers and year-round residents. This market originally started in 1974 by a small group of twelve friends. Now, the market is bustling with businesses, as it currently has 39 vendors – operating in the exact same place where it first began 42 years ago.
From alpaca wool scarfs from Island Alpaca to baked-that-morning pies to refreshing Limeade coolers to BBQ flavored mussels from MV Smokehouse, it’s impossible to go wrong at the farmer’s market, as there’s something for everyone. Well, unless you don’t go. Then that would be a mistake. In the wintertime, the market is quieter but still has several vendors, operating nearly every Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm, in the months of October, November and December. The Winter Market takes place in the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Hall.
Today, I decided to go to the Farmer’s Market for the first time since I was a little girl selling veggies from the Farm Institute as a part of my farm camp curriculum. Driving through West Tisbury always reminds me of my first summers on Martha’s Vineyard, as the town never changes. Pulling into Grange Hall, people and cars are everywhere, but there is ample space for parking, which is very fortunate considering I happen to drive a monster car. Kind of.
People from all areas of the island come together for this specific event, which is definitely convenient because it’s basically smack-dab in the middle of Martha’s Vineyard. When I walked into the fray, tents of all different colors lit up the morning, helped along by their vibrant produce and products. And dogs. Lots and lots of puppies everywhere. The only word I can think of to describe the scent is fresh. The first thing to catch my eye is Enchanted Chocolates. Why? Because chocolate. Their assortment contains confections that are only made with 70% cacao.
Flowers pour out of almost every crevice at the market. Beautifully cultivated arrangements capturing basically the entire color spectrum were sold in tin vases from a few different vendors. An impressive feat, considering all the flowers sold at the market must be grown on the island. Tea Lane Farm is run by a friend of the Harbor View, and has the most spectacular flowers I’ve ever seen. Dahlias, columbines and lilies ae displayed in bursting color.
Island Bee Company also has a stand there, showcasing their different honeys and assorted bee-goods. From candles, to soap, to traditional honey it’s amazing that this business is run purely by a local family, relying solely on their queen bees to make their goods. Fun fact: the honey color changes depending on the season. Spring honey being a completely different color than summer.
Last but certainly not least is the “Egg Roll Lady.” You may have heard of her. You also may be able to guess what she sells. Thi Khen Tran is a Vietnamese immigrant who started by selling lettuce at the farmer’s market until she decided to begin selling her egg-rolls, her kid’s favorite meal. The line for her rolls was especially long compared to other stands, and I waited. I ended up eating one of her vegetarian egg rolls for lunch and it certainly did not disappoint.
I only mentioned a few of the stands I visited, but there are so many more to experience and take a look at. It would be impossible for me to be able to talk about all the wonderful stands there, without losing your attention. I highly recommend you go. 10/10.
– Isabel Getz