Middletown Nursery was the place to be this past Saturday — especially for the little ones. The West Tisbury nursery hosted its semiannual Family Fun Day with a variety of outdoor activities that kept kids busy with live animals, crafts, snacks, and — what was pretty much the hub of kid activity all day — the ever-popular bouncy house.
“Basically it’s a fun idea to give back to the community,” says Carlee Beck, marketing and social media manager for Middletown Nursery. “We had a wonderful season, and we wanted to thank everybody. The Vineyard itself is this small entity, but it’s a beautiful community. Owners Heather and John Hoff have four children. They thought it would be nice to have something that involves kids.”
Close to 100 children and parents stopped by throughout what turned out to be a perfect warm fall day. Scapegoats Goatscaping brought a small herd of young goats along for a mini petting zoo. Woodbe Farm provided a pony for rides. There was face painting and pumpkin decorating, popcorn, caramel apples, and cider. Colorful fall displays featured the hundreds of pumpkins in all varieties offered by the nursery, with prices ranging from $5 to $20. It was a fun time for all ages.
While the focus was on families this time around, on Saturday, Oct. 10, the nursery will host an all-ages harvest festival with not only kids’ activities but more adult-oriented attractions like a seasonal beer tasting, a pumpkin-carving demo, scarecrow making for adults (as well as an easier version for kids), and live music with the Pick Pocket Bluegrass Band. Of course, the bouncy castle will make another appearance.
In the spirit of community, Middletown hosts events throughout their season — from May until right before Christmas. Every Saturday, members of the nursery and landscaping crew offer classes with subjects ranging from creating a vegetable garden or planting in pots to pest control and easy-to-maintain alternatives to grass lawns.
“We try to figure out what people are interested in, judging by the questions we get from customers,” says Ms. Beck. This weekend’s class will focus on terrarium building. Participants can purchase glass containers and plants from among the nursery’s large selection and learn how to create a unique and easy-to-care-for indoor display.
Middletown’s focus is on organic gardening and landscaping. All of their soil and fertilizers are organic.
The Scapegoats weed-clearing goats and pigs have been a feature of many of the nursery’s events. “We try to share what they do with the community,” says Ms. Beck. “It’s an organic method of getting rid of poison ivy and weeds. I try to give out their cards to our customers who ask about poison ivy removal.”
Future events at Middletown also include a Halloween-day pumpkin-carving contest for adults, trick-or-treating for kids, and a Holiday Festival on Nov. 14.
Additionally, Middletown currently has a big sale going on, with 50 percent off perennials, most shrubs, fruit trees, and select trees, 20 percent off all irrigation products ,and 30 percent off birding supplies. All annuals are free. Take as many as you like. Further discounts will be added throughout the season.
Middletown Nursery, 680 State Road, West Tisbury. Terrarium Workshop, Saturday, Oct. 3, 1 pm; Fall Garlic Planting & Compost Management, Sunday, Oct. 10, 1 pm; Build Your Own Scarecrow and Paint Your Own Pumpkin all day. For additional information, visit middletownnursery.com, or call 508-696-7600.
Middletown Nursery may have kicked off the fall festival season, but a number of other organizations are celebrating the season and the harvest with upcoming fall-inspired events. Here are some upcoming festivities not to miss:
On Saturday, Oct. 3, the annual Living Local Harvest Festival will take over the Ag Hall in West Tisbury, with free activities for all ages, including workshops, farm animals, and food and beer tastings.
On Saturday, Oct. 10, the Oak Bluffs library will host a Fall Festival for kids, with a hay-bale obstacle course, bowling with squash, fall crafts and more.
Also on Oct. 10, the First Baptist Church in Vineyard Haven is holding an Oktoberfest, featuring an oompah band, kids’ crafts, a puppet show, a crafts and white elephant sale, German specialties, and other foods and baked goods.
On Thursday, Oct. 15, Martha’s Vineyard Community Services’ Daybreak Clubhouse (457B State Road Vineyard Haven) will host an Autumn Festival and Soup Sonata with a selection of seasonal soups, greens, and bread, music, art, and crafts by Daybreak members and staff.
Saturday, Oct. 17, is the date for Morning Glory Farm’s annual Pumpkin Festival. There will be a carving contest, face painting, pumpkin painting, squash bowling, hayrides, a hay maze, and the always popular pumpkin-flinging trebuchet.