Chilmark: Grant for farms, spring wellness, Augusta Savage, salsa dancing, and Lorna Andrade

—MV Times

The birds are singing, blue myrtle blossoms are open near my front doorstep, and Albert Fischer noted, “The daffies have started blooming in Chilmark.”

And yet as I write, the weather folks are predicting “damaging winds will blow down trees and power lines. Risk for power outages. Travel will be difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles … Peak of the winds expected Tuesday late afternoon through the night.” By the time this goes to press, we’ll see what Nature has wrought.

It is nice to know we are prepared — we have food and other necessary supplies, at least one vehicle parked by North Road, the woodpile covered, propane for the generator filled, and the chainsaw sharp and running, with plenty of fuel, chain oil, and replacement chains. Important phone numbers to call are taped to the door, and cell phones are charged.

Like us, our neighbors up the road, Rebecca Miller, Matthew Dix, and their daughter, Ruby, at North Tabor Farm need a generator when the power goes out. “While most of our farm operation is powered by solar energy, it is tied to the grid. So our rural location and increasing extreme weather leave us vulnerable to power outages. In 2021 we lost our entire frozen and refrigerated stock, and were forced to close during a four-day outage. Luckily our baby chickens were saved by a generous neighbor who agreed to house them using his generator to keep them alive.

“Since then, we’ve sought and been approved for a matching grant from the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corp. for a farm generator, propane tank, and new freezer. Here’s the match part — for every $1 you give, we receive $3 from the grant. With your help, our farm stand can remain open, even in the darkest times. If you have questions or inquiries, don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing” This grant program sounds like something many of our neighbors would qualify for.

I’m looking forward to these events offered by the Chilmark library:

“Ayurvedic Self-Care Practices for the Spring,” Saturday, March 18, at 4 pm. Join this workshop where they will explore balancing diet, lifestyle, and delicious recipes for self-care practices for Spring. Sonja Josephson is a Kripalu-certified Ayurvedic health counselor. She is the founder of Seasons of Life Ayurveda. In her work, she incorporates her knowledge of Western herbalism with the framework of Ayurveda. Josephson specializes in offering individual Ayurvedic consultations and group workshops. Her offerings aim to uncover the innate wisdom and intuition of her clients. Jaqueline Foster is an Ayurvedic chef and founder of Food That Resonates. In person. Email for more information.

“Art Talk by Janet Mandel on Augusta Savage,” Wednesday, March 22, 6 pm. Augusta Savage overcame poverty, racism, and gender discrimination to become a luminary of the Harlem Renaissance. Her sculptures celebrated African American culture, and her work as an arts educator and political activist catalyzed social change. This talk will explore Savage’s lasting legacy by examining her remarkable life and affecting works, as well as those of the younger artists she inspired. Mandel presents illustrated talks on a variety of art history topics at adult schools, libraries, museums, senior centers, community centers, and similar venues. Email: or to sign up and receive the Zoom invite.

“We Dance!” at Pathways. This week includes a free “Salsa Suelta” class with Christina Montoya, Friday, March 17, at 7 pm. Then at 8, dancing to DJ DC Rose.

My dear friend, Dr. Lorna Andrade, the first Black president of the Martha’s Vineyard Woman’s Club, who served from 2018–20, will be a speaker at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum’s event celebrating the club’s 125th year. This is the second oldest club on Martha’s Vineyard. Let’s show our support and join them for a lively look at the history of the Martha’s Vineyard Woman’s Club, and find out what has made it an important part of Island life — and how to keep this club a vibrant part of our community. Preregistration recommended. M.V. Museum members: $10; nonmembers: $15. March 25, 3 – 4 pm.

If you have any Chilmark Town Column suggestions, email Claire Ganz,