Party Over Here

corn maze
Maps of the corn maze help you find your way. Photos by Danielle Zerbonne

By Anna Marie D'Addarie - August 23, 2007

A big party is growing at the FARM Institute in Edgartown and you're all invited. Saturday, August 25, from noon to 8 pm, Cornapalooza will explode at Katama Farm. "This is a party for everybody," said Rob Goldfarb, summer program and event director, in his own inimitable style. Mr. Goldfarb gives new meaning to the term energy. Beware: his enthusiasm is highly contagious.

Cornapalooza is a fund-raiser for the FARM. Mr. Goldfarb realizes that many people would like to help the FARM, but only a few can afford the price of a ticket to the annual Meals in the Meadow fund-raiser. Mr. Goldfarb said, "This event is for everybody who wants to contribute to support the farm."

"Summer ain't over yet, folks," said Mr. Goldfarb with a big laugh. "That was the theme of last year's Cornapalooza. People just wanted to come out and have fun." And they did, judging from the success of last year's party. This year the party has grown higher than the corn in the corn maze. "This is a party for those of us who work so hard keeping things moving through the summer. It's also for the visitors, to give them a Martha's Vineyard experience."

Eleni Collins follows Anna Marie D'Addarie
Times staffers took a field trip to the corn maze earlier this summer. Eleni Collins follows Anna Marie D'Addarie through the stalks.

The FARM Institute is all about community, according to Mr. Goldfarb. "This farm is your farm, for the entire Island, to come, and visit, and explore. This farm belongs to the community. We want you to explore the magic of what a farm can be." The farm's mission is to educate and relate the importance of local and sustainable agriculture. At the FARM they want you to get to know the hands that feed you, here on the Island or in your hometown off Island.

What makes us special

The Island's cultural diversity mirrors the diversity at the FARM Institute. In order to succeed, farms need diversity in the crops, the methods, the animals, and rotations. Cornapalooza will celebrate diversity by offering a wide range of music and food. Al Shackman helped shape the music with an eye toward getting everyone to dance. Musician Bobby Dorough of "Schoolhouse Rock" fame, the educational children's TV program from the 70s, will join Mr. Shackman on the hay wagon stage this Saturday. Sol y Canto, a Latin musical ensemble, will perform both a children's show and an adult salsa/jazz show. The Edilson Lima Band, a Brazilian Forro band will play Latin and Reggae sounds that Mr. Goldfarb is sure will bring everyone to their feet. "There isn't enough dancing on the Island," he said. The bluegrass group Ballyhoo will entertain along with musicians, Mike Olcott, and Rob Myers. Kevin Keady, soon to be famous for his "Cornapalooza" song, and the Cattle Drivers will perform too. Visit www.farminstitute.org to hear the song.

piglets
Here piggy, piggy. These cute piglets with brown spots know just where to find the food.

Food and beverages will be on sale from the Scottish Bakehouse, the ArtCliff Diner, PJ's Café, and Offshore Ale. Morning Glory Farm's corn on the cob and burgers right from the FARM will also be for sale.

Learn more about yourself by checking out the Human Race Machine. If you missed this fascinating "machine" at the Ag Fair last weekend, you have another chance on Saturday.

Fun and games

Did you know that floating beans hold the key to your future? Get your fortune told by Lynn Ditchfield who learned the art from a curandera (a healer) in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Get lost, a little or a lot, in the seven-acre corn maze, a must-try adventure for the entire family. Save some energy for the watermelon spitting contest, the tug of war, the plow-pull, electric fence limbo (will the fence be turned on?) and the wheelbarrow races. Another fun activity will be making your own scarecrow for the corn maze. Even the farm tours will be extra-ordinary because they will be lead by a troupe of actors.

Say good-bye to summer of 2007 with a party down on the FARM.

Cornapalooza, Saturday, August 25, 12 noon to 8 pm, FARM Institute, Katama Farm, 14 Aero Avenue, Edgartown. Sponsored by WMVY, MVOL, Winnetu Oceanside Resort, Tisbury Printer, and Offshore Ale. Tickets: $20, $10 for under 21 years old; children under 3 are free. Parking fee: $5 (for re-seeding the parking field). For more information, visit www.farminstitute.org or call 508-627-7007.