My longtime friend Simon Athearn joins me to discuss one of my favorite places: Morning Glory Farm on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. This goes so much deeper than just the nuts and bolts of growing and harvesting, it’s actually a beautiful exchange of the spritual structures of life itself.
Simon Athearn is the CEO of Morning Glory Farm, working alongside his parents and his brother Daniel. He lives in West Tisbury in his great-grandparents’ farmhouse, with his wife Robyn and their children Rose, Ignatius and baby Alden—the 12th generation of Athearns on the Martha’s Vineyard.
Schooled first as a pastry chef and then as a businessman, Simon returned home to work on the family farm. He is an aspiring English tea rose gardener, a vegetable fanatic and a trumpet player, and enjoys spending time on the Tisbury Great Pond with his family.
Morning Glory Farm, started in 1975 by James and Deborah Athearn, grows about 65 acres of vegetables and small fruits on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.
Small successive plantings of a wide variety of crops supply the farmstand from May through December.
Crops include sweet corn, lettuce, carrots, beets, tomatoes, melons, potatoes, beans, squash, pumpkins, and more. Our herb garden supplies a full assortment of culinary herbs. We also raise two acres of cut flowers, and small plantings of strawberries, grapes, peaches, and beach plums.
We keep beef cows on pasture in Chilmark for which we harvest 45 acres of hay and we also produce eggs, pork and fresh, pasture-raised chickens to sell in the farm Jim and Debbie started the farm on family wooded land on Meshacket Road. In the first years they cleared a small vegetable plot and room for a barn and pasture for milking cows.
The yields of the small plot were sold at the farmhouse in a small shed, and at the Farmers Market in West Tisbury. Seven acres of our vegetable fields are farmed using only natural fertilizers and no synthetic pesticides, and we try to manage the rest of our land with a minimum of pesticides and with attention to the long-term health of the soil.
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