Chilmark: Native Earth Teaching Farm, local farmstands, author talks, and Children’s Fair

—MV Times

Summer has begun. People are coming. Friends are gathering. I welcome the upcoming season of vacation, connection, and conversations.

Every June, I revisit the following quotes, pasted years ago in a notebook.

“Conflict is the gadfly of thought. [Annoying and necessary,] It stirs us with observation and memory. It instigates invention. It shocks us out of sheeplike passivity, and sets us at noting and contriving.”  –John Dewey, “Morals Are Human,” “Human Nature and Conduct: An Introduction to Social Psychology”

And, “Our ethical obligations to live among those who are invariably different from ourselves, to demand recognition for our histories and our struggles at the same time that we lend that to others, to live our passions without causing harm to others, and to know the difference between raw prejudice and distortion, and sound critical judgment.”  –Judith Butler, May 2013, McGill University, Montreal

Standing firmly in my values and gently, authentically curious in my interactions while appreciating that reliance upon my merely human suppositions doesn’t solve every problem, since none of us is divine, our fallibility must be allowed for at almost every moment.

My father said, We are not gobs of meat, like those wrapped in plastic at Cronig’s, having a shelf life of a couple of weeks, but members of a visionary company, whether we realize it or not.

Native Earth Teaching Farm will start its summer schedule soon; meanwhile, feel free to call for a tour. Rebecca is watching the pregnant goats carefully — those little does get almost wider than they are tall! The kids are expected within the next week or two, and will hopefully be ready to participate in goat yoga by July 1. This practice will gently and enjoyably socialize them to make them comfortable with strangers (not a natural trait for herd animals), and makes them suitable for pets and very friendly.

Rebecca has also begun to eat the tender young weeds sprouting in the garden — especially lamb’s quarters, pigweed, and purslane. Her weekly weed walks will also be starting up again soon.

I saw the first firefly of the season on Tuesday evening!

North Tabor Farm’s strawberries were in the stand last week. Yum! Rebecca reported, “We are excited to have our commercial kitchen open, and have begun making prepared foods from our fields and meat … this week we will have soba noodle bowls, seasoned pork, and fresh salads available. We also have baby summer squash available. Peony bouquets and bustling piglets. Fresh chicken is available this week too.”

Crossroads Farmstand, on Menemsha Road, opened with a few mini bouquets from Fire Cat Farm. Unfortunately, they won’t have strawberries this year. I look forward to many more goodies down the road. You can also find them Wednesdays and Saturdays at the West Tisbury Farmers Market, starting June 10 at 9 am.

The season of authors and their books continues. Chilmark library is hosting, on Saturday, June 10, at 4 pm, poet Garri Saganenko. “180 Pounds of Poet Meat” is Saganenko’s debut work. Divided into two sections, “Light Meat” and “Dark Meat,” the work contains poems that are at once rhythmic, sardonic, and philosophic. Topics include how to buy a home, self-harm, Kermit the frog, and nectarines.

Garri Saganenko is a writer who has lived year-round on Martha’s Vineyard since 2017. He has a degree in philosophy from St. John’s College. He works in housing, and as an ice hockey official. He will soon relocate to Berlin, Germany. Email for more information. Free, sponsored by the Friends of the Chilmark Library. Call 508-645-3360 for more information.

Also at our library, on Wednesday, June 14, at 5 pm, an author talk with Liz Shick. “The Golden Land” is a debut novel that digs deep into the complexities of family history and relationships. When Etta’s grandmother dies, she is compelled to travel to Myanmar to explore complicated adolescent memories of her grandmother’s family and the violence she witnessed there. Full of rich detail and complex relationships, “The Golden Land” explores those personal narratives that might lie beneath the surface of historical accounts. “The Golden Land” was the winner of the 2021 Association of Writers and Writing Programs Prize for the Novel.

Shick, a longtime American expatriate and international development consultant, has lived and worked in Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Tanzania, the Gambia, and Italy. She currently resides in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and West Tisbury. Email for more information on the talk. Free.  

The League of Women Voters of Martha’s Vineyard recycles used inkjet cartridges. It keeps them out of the landfills, and postpones their decomposition, which can take over 1,000 years. There are drop boxes at the town halls in Chilmark and Aquinnah, the YMCA, and the libraries in West Tisbury, Tisbury, Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown. Questions?  Contact Irene Ziebarth at 202-680-8076 or

I am gathering art supplies for the annual Chilmark Church Children’s Fair, on Saturday, June 17, from 10 to noon. Join us for fun activities and games for all. There will be arts and crafts projects, face painting, a bouncy house, pony rides, and more! Free.

Let the games begin.

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