Chilmark: Mermaid Farm

Mermaid Farm continues to glow. —Valerie Sonnenthal

I really looked forward to heading out to the Chilmark Potluck Jam, which I apologize for not mentioning in last week’s column. I made a delicious vegetarian pasta dish, but got busy trying to recover my voice memo files, which visually appeared on my new phone, but wouldn’t play. After the hour-plus reading online articles and trying to fix the issue myself, I called Apple, and thankfully all the files had transferred to my computer but were no longer available on my phone. By the time I was finished, a bit worn out and savoring my son’s last night home, the cold and wet weather was the last straw, and I stayed home. I hope everyone had a great night. This week should be a lot easier to figure out what day it is as the holidays are now officially over.

I love driving down Middle Road at twilight and seeing the Mermaid Farm stand lit up like a beacon of peace and serenity on my way home. I went one evening to get a photo and ran into Allen Healy and Caitlin Jones emerging simultaneously from two different paths from the farm, then their son Everett appeared, followed by Mitchell Posin and his wife Clarissa Allen, showing up to get some fresh milk. The light was not perfect, so I returned to get my shot another evening.

It’s great to read about the continuing adventures of Thomas Bena’s “One Big Home” film. The website follows both where the film is playing, so you can check and tell your friends, plus it follows the movement in different U.S. towns and Canada. Check out and sign up for their mailing list to stay informed.

If you’ve ever considered running for a town position, from board of selectmen to tree warden, papers are now available from our town clerk, Jennifer Christy. The deadline for nomination papers is Wednesday, March 6, at 5 pm. If you want to see what’s up, all the positions and terms are posted on the bulletin board when you enter town hall, or ask a librarian to help you find it online (this librarian couldn’t find it).

I love that master gardener Roxanne Capitan (landscape manager for Oakland Landscape and organic grower for Middletown Nursery) is offering free Regenerative Backyard Gardening workshops on Saturdays, Jan. 19 at the O.B. library, Feb. 16 at West Tisbury library, and March 23 at the Vineyard Haven library; programs run from 10:30 am to noon. (And it’s coming to Chilmark in the spring.) No experience necessary; learn how to use regenerative practices to grow edible plants, conserve water, eliminate fossil fuels, and make compost. Thank you, IGI, for helping bring this to our community.

The Chilmark Community Church’s Community Suppers are on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 pm, all ages welcome. 9 Menemsha Crossroads, Chilmark. For further information call 508-645-3100. On Wednesdays you can head to the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury community supper at 5:30 pm, through the end of April.

Pathways Arts at the Chilmark Tavern hosts We Dance on Friday, Jan. 11, an evening of dance performance by the men’s improv group What’s Written Within and Tessa Permar, videos of Amirah Sackett, plus international dance, Wayne Elliott’s NYC’s Free Dance Phenom “The Loft” Then and Now, plus public dancing with DJ Dern Campbell. Tuesday, Jan. 15, will be an Open Readings Night. Every Saturday at 3 pm, join Alison Cameron Parry for a weekly all-ages Qi Gong; for more info write or call 508-397-1743; $15 suggested donation (livestream also available). Doors open at 6:30 pm and events begin at 7 pm, free for all evening programs.

If you’ve ever thought about being a foster parent, want to learn more about it, or know someone you think might, please head to Massachusetts Department of Children and Families Open House on Saturday, Jan. 12, from noon to 3 pm at 3 Poplar Lane in O.B. You can own or rent your home, be single, married, partnered, divorced, or widowed — providing a stable and secure environment gives a child a chance to heal. Hear from current foster parents and social workers about their experiences. RSVP appreciated at 508-760-0275, and walk-ins welcome. See

The Yard’s winter series begins with amazing B-girl, hip-hop dancer, choreographer, and teacher Amirah Sackett at the M.V. PAC on Saturday, Jan. 12, for two shows: 2 pm and 7 pm, where the audience sits on the stage, so seating is limited. See for info and tickets.

The Chilmark library on Wednesday, Jan. 16, features poet Jill Jupen at 4 pm for “The Poet Dobby Gibson and the Fortune Cookie Poem” workshop. The next Movie Matinee is 1 pm on Saturday, Jan. 12. Coffee Klatsch Knitting (bring your own supplies and projects) and a Chess Meet-Up on Thursdays from noon to 3 pm. Come enjoy free coffee — just be sure to bring your own mug — for a cozy, laid-back, and communal hang out up-Island. Afterschool crafts with Irene continue on Wednesdays at 3 pm. Stories with Rizwan continue Tuesday and Saturday at 10:30 am. Learn more at or 508-645-3360.

Have a great week.