Aquinnah: Late-summer fruit picking

— Kyra Steck

The peaches have been good this year, firm with just the right give, and filled with juice. They ripen well at home, and have not been hard or dry. I have gotten good ones from both Stop & Shop and Cronig’s. It’s blackberry-picking time in town, although the birds seem to have gotten most of them on our road; hopefully your secret spot will be plentiful. The beach plums are also ready to pick in some areas. Jamie Vanderhoop gets her three boys to help her pick beach plums so she can make jam — she does have to bribe them with screen time, but at least they will be quietly on their screens while she makes the jam.

We have a ballot drop box in town for people who got a mail-in ballot. Aquinnah voters can drop off their filled-in ballots in the drop box located outside, to the left of the main entrance of Town Hall. If you have not registered to vote yet, you cannot vote in the state primary, but there is still time to register to vote in the general election. The state primary is Sept. 1. Early voting (in person) is happening now, and the schedule is today and tomorrow, Friday, August 28, from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. If you need to register to vote, go to the Town Hall from 10 am to 12 noon, 2 pm to 4 pm or 7 pm to 8 pm, and you can register. Please call Gabriella Camilleri, Aquinnah town clerk, if you have any voting-related questions at 508-645-2304, or go to

The mailbox in town has been moved to make it easier for the post person who picks up the mail. It is now near the entry point of Town Hall and Jeffers Way. Don’t panic, it has not been removed, just relocated.

I’m not sure if everyone knows this, but Aquinnah has a no-contact COVID-19 testing program for town employees and residents. You simply contact the Board of Health at 508-645-2309 or to arrange a pickup. These are at-home spit tests that come with a self-addressed, postage-paid box to mail it in. The test is free. It is easy to administer, and noninvasive.

The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival drive-in at the ice rink is still happening, and it’s a lot of fun. Go to for tickets.

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Why happy Tuesday? Because it’s Sept. 1! And while I think that we will have an extended summer due to people staying here rather than heading back to their primary residences, the Island already feels a little lighter. Go to Philbin or Lobsterville, and let the stress of the pandemic summer fall away. School has not started yet, and won’t for another couple of weeks, so enjoy the sun and being outside while we still can.

If you have any Aquinnah Town Column suggestions, email Molly Purves,