Everyday heroes: Matt Dix

An ongoing series of portraits of Islanders serving our community in crisis.


While many are hunkered down at home, avoiding the public for each other’s benefit, there are a few who bravely risk exposure every day to serve our community. From the hospital employees providing care to the sick, the delivery drivers hauling supplies to the Island, the grocery store employees stocking the shelves, the school cafeteria workers and pantry volunteers providing meals for our vulnerable families — these are among the hundreds of people serving as critical lifelines for our community. Their efforts speak volumes for their character and dedication, and their acts of compassion and generosity serve as a silver lining amid a crisis we will never forget. I am compelled to capture them in their selfless moments of service, to share their stories and highlight their efforts, and to give a voice to these ‘Faces from the Front Line.’

Matt Dix, Island Grown Initiative Farm Director

Matt Dix, Island Grown Initiative (IGI) farm director, has long been committed to building a regenerative, equitable food system on Martha’s Vineyard, and never before have his efforts mattered more. As our global food chains become weakened this everyday hero is hard at work growing more food for our Island community as we are forced to become more reliant on our local resources. ⠀

Island Grown Initiative is implementing several new processes including utilizing a new tunnel to begin seedlings, taking a regenerative approach to what they’re growing inside the greenhouse, and ramping up food production earlier in the season than they have in previous years. Plus, they’re growing more cold-tolerant crops and will add more egg-laying hens this spring, and have plans for a summer and winter CSA. ⠀

According to Matt, the silver lining in all this is that “It’s giving the Island growers incentive to ramp up food production to see if we can feed our community,” a challenge we should all be supporting and monitoring closely, for the sake of today’s challenges and our future.


Randi Baird has been working as a professional photographer for three decades, and before moving to Martha’s Vineyard in 1995, worked as a photojournalist for Greenpeace. She is a visual storyteller, and her photographs serve as a means of communication, educating, and enacting social change. She is a regular contributor to magazines and journals on and off island, has produced photography for three cookbooks and is a founding member of Island Grown Initiative, a non profit organization dedicated to building a regenerative, equitable food system on Martha’s Vineyard.

508.505.5909; Randibaird.com;  studio@randibaird.com