Pulling weeds and business

To the Editor:

Morning Glory Farm is a farm. I worked there in the field for two summers, not as a young back-to-the-lander but as a 40-year-old astute observer of our current climate and impending food, economic and energy crises. The fact that the Athearns have developed the business in a way that supports the farm should be honored. Gosh, having more space in the farm stand for more yummy Island made goods couldn’t be anything but healthy for the Island economy.

Just so you know, pulling weeds and planting parsley while smelling wafts of fragrant fresh baked bread is dreamy. I am so sorry that you have never been a part of it. For your information, MGF provides jobs for more than 70 people at the height of the season, including many Island-grown daughters and sons who come home for the summer. Instead of criticizing composting, please put some peer pressure on the lawnowners to insist on organic lawn care and to re-seed with native grasses.

For your information, overgrown produce is typically plowed under in order to ensure soil fertility for future crops. The gleaning work by Island Grown Initiative has also taken produce from the fields in order to be donated. IGI’s farm to school program brings farm produce to our school children.

I thank the Athearns for helping me remember the art of farming that I began as a teenager and for inspiring me to go for it and start my own agricultural project. I am now the proud owner of a brand-new wheel hoe and several seed packet orders.

Having observed the sagging shoulders of Jim Athearn in the heat of the summer sun, I can attest to his work ethic and to that of Debbie and their sons. I am under no illusion. My small agricultural venture will be many sweaty hours per week perhaps for no money. The reason that I hope many little agricultural ventures grow to complement our present Vineyard farms is that if we don’t, many Islanders’ health may suffer dramatically in the years to come.

Not to put too fine a point on it, our entire economy must be reinvented in order for us to survive in any kind of sane manner. One need only do a little research on planetary issues surrounding drought and flooding in prime food growing areas and the need to completely switch our energy sources to clean and green to figure out why Martha’s Vineyard needs to support Island farmers. Thank God farmers can benefit from the availability of conserved farmland. How else would we do it?

I should be shocked at your lack of knowledge about farming issues but sadly I am not. Please sir, before your next letter, do some homework? And yes, a bike path would be nice.

Monica (Skye) Miller
Oak Bluffs