Island Grown Initiative dinner a smokin’ success

Everett Whiting of Local Smoke cooks a few chickens. — Photo by Susan Safford

The early bird catches the worm, and those who arrived late to Island Grown Initiative’s (IGI) Local Meat Is Good to Eat – But There’s More to Life Than Chicken fundraiser last Saturday had to settle for chicken and salads. The local food event, held at the Ag Hall, featured pork, chicken, and sides, and drew such a crowd that by 7 pm, there was no pork left. The event raised more than $12,000 through ticket, tee-shirt, and raffle sales, according to IGI board president Sarah McKay, and fed more than 400 people.

According to Jefferson Munroe of The Good Farm in Vineyard Haven, 75 chickens and 125 lbs. of pork were cooked and consumed.

“We thought that if anything, there would be a lot of food left over,” Mr. Munroe said. “It was kind of a huge success.” He, along with Richard Andre, organized the event with the Martha’s Vineyard Ag Society. Bea Whiting of the Ag Society, and brother Everett Whiting also helped with the coordination. Mr. Whiting’s company, Local Smoke, cooked the meat.

The event raised money for the Island to acquire a processing facility for beef, lamb, pork, and other meat. Looking to the future, Mr. Munroe alluded to more fundraisers: “We’ll definitely do something comparable,” possibly in the spring of 2011.