A collaboration between local farmers and chefs, “Farm. Field. Sea. An Island Culinary Adventure” is entering its second season of interactive farm-to-table tours and meals.
“Partnering with local farmers and the Island’s top chefs, Farm. Field. Sea. invites their guests behind the scenes for hands-on experience of the Island’s unique, authentic food community,” said organizer Nevette Previd in a press release announcing the 2014 season. “The events aim to supercharge Martha’s Vineyard’s culinary tour business and expand the offerings of the Island’s sea and land farmers. A Farm. Field. Sea. experience connects friends to the simple pleasures of gathering and cooking food as close to the source as possible. Guests are immersed in all aspects of growing, fishing, harvesting, and foraging for food, and the journey of bringing a fresh, local meal to the table.”
The Farm. Field. Sea. events will take place on June 14, August 2, October 25-26, or a day that can be customized for a group, including two dinner-only events to benefit Island Grown Schools and the Noepe Center. Prices range from a $25 three-course meal at a benefit dinner to a $1,200, limited-attendance and immersive weekend experience with accommodations.
“Farm. Field. Sea. brings intimate, experiential, soil to table experiences to food and adventure travelers on Martha’s Vineyard,” said Ms. Previd, saying that the collaboration will focus on four aspects of agriculture and cuisine on Martha’s Vineyard. “Experiential learning directly with Martha’s Vineyard’s food producers; a behind-the-scenes look into how to farm the perfect oyster, grow an ideal crop of carrots, or produce succulent grass for pasture-raised animals; hands-on cooking with the Island’s top chefs of the foods you have helped gather and source; and unparalleled access to an authentic food community like no other.”
The gem of the Farm. Field. Sea. season is the conclusion, a full-weekend experience on October 25 and 26 involving three farms, the Menemsha docks, foraging on the shores, and several interactive meals. However, a taster of Farm. Field. Sea. can be found months earlier during the season’s full-day opener on June 14.
The excursion begins with Rebecca Miller and Matthew Dix at North Tabor Farm, with Beach Plum Inn chef Chris Fischer. “The participants will come here for breakfast, eggs and spinach that you’ve gathered, and mushrooms, whatever Chris is inspired by,” said Ms. Miller in a conversation with The Times. “Then we’ll be doing an interactive tour and participants will harvest food for their lunch, and we’ll gather in the barn to talk about where food comes from on the Island and how important it is. They’ll be here for three hours before going to the docks, and we’ll be involved with dinner.”
North Tabor Farm, which is involved with other Farm. Field. Sea. events, including the full-weekend adventure, joined the collaboration last summer when Farm. Field. Sea. began.
“We started this with them last year and really liked it,” said Ms. Miller. “I’m doing it because it’s important to educate people about where their food is coming from.”
Participants will go from North Tabor Farm to the Menemsha docks. “We’re going to meet Nevette and the group in Menemsha,” said Rick Karney, shellfish biologist and director of the M.V. Shellfish Group, in a conversation with The Times. “We’ll speak with some of the fishermen, tour the dock stores there, and talk specifically about shellfish and sustainability and its importance.”
This is also Mr. Karney’s second season with Farm. Field. Sea. “We did a project with Nevette last year and we’re repeating that, because any opportunity to educate about the food traditions here — from my standpoint, seafood — is an important story considering the history and the culture of the Island,” he said.
The day will end with a dinner feast at the Beach Plum Inn, but the season will continue. “Enjoy an evening ‘feast’ that has been gathered and created by you on the grounds of the romantic Beach Plum Inn,” reads the day’s schedule on Farm. Field. Sea.’s website, ffsmv.com. “Share a communal meal with your new friends and the farmers you have met during your journey. The multi-course dinner will be accompanied by wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages.”
For the June 14 event, the full day costs $300, including the dinner. Dinner-only participants can pay between $25 for three courses and $75 for seven courses. All proceeds will benefit Island Grown Schools. Other collaborators include Nicholas Turner of Honeysuckle Oyster Farm, Menemsha Fish House, the Athearn family of Morning Glory Farm, and Beetlebung Farm.
“It’s all about education,” said Ms. Previd. “Education, and having a good time exploring sea and soil to table experiences on the Island.”