Farm Fresh Feast and Summer Soiree a Resounding Success!

On July 24, 2010 over 300 island residents, visitors, and Sustainable Nantucket supporters gathered to join us for a benefit event, our Farm Fresh Feast and Summer Soiree held in the fields at Moors End Farm. The event featured a four-course dinner highlighting fresh produce donated by local growers, and our special guest Jody Adams, chef/owner of Rialto Restaurant in Cambridge, MA spoke to us about sustainable food practices. The festivities continued into the night with live music provided by Orange Crush.

All photos by Pixel Perfect Photography*

The evening was about more than just the food and festivities, though. There was a underlying theme to this event that has great importance to everyone who lives, vacations, and visits on Nantucket. The message is best delivered in the words of Executive Director Michelle Whelan, who said this to the crowd gathered at the event:

“Let me talk to you a little bit about Moors End Farm…because Moors End is very much a model for what we’re trying to do here.

Under the present owner’s father, Stan Slosek, this was originally a dairy farm. And the farm, as you see it today, providing corn, produce and perennials to many an island business and resident –really evolved into what it is during the 1970’s, under Steve and Sue Slosek’s guidance. Now their children, Sam and Abby also work on the farm. They have long-established relationships – with the land, their customers, and our community.

In the late 1990’s, when the Slosek family needed to sell the land in order to resolve their father’s estate developers were drawing up plans for this whole area, for this grass under our feet. But thanks to the family -who worked hard to come up with a different answer, and to those in our community –some of whom are here with us tonight– who banded together and gave money to help the Land Bank and the Conservation Foundation purchase the land and buy the conservation restrictions that have kept the farm from development, we can all continue to enjoy the wide open vistas of the farm and the delicious food provided by our friends and neighbors.

We’re looking at a success story. One that shows the kind of creative, collaborative solutions that people on this island can come up with. One that does all of these things: preserves open space, sustains a traditional industry, and helps a family, and our community as a whole retain an essential piece of our character.

  • In 1875, there were over 100 small farms on the island
  • In the 1930’ and 40’s, there were roughly 30 island farms and dairies in existence here.
  • Today we have three farms -Moors End, Bartlett’s Farm, Pumpkin Pond Farm, and a handful of smaller growers.

Sustainable Nantucket is working to increase sustainable food production on-island.

Why do we this?

First: There are 10,000 people here year-round and 40,000 in the summer. The more successful we are, the more access our residents will have to fresh, local food. When you know how your food is grown, and know your farmer, you can have confidence in your food.

Second: Children and young people – learning how to grow food and how to care for the land naturally grasp the concepts of interdependence and sustainability. These concepts are essential to the survival of our ecosystem as we know it.

Third: Expanding local food production creates more local jobs and keeps more dollars circulating in the local economy.

How are we doing this?

  1. We began our Nantucket Farmers and Artisans Market in 2007, the first-ever recorded weekly farmers market on the island. This gives our growers another venue to sell their produce in, and a place to connect with the community.
  2. Our Community Agriculture Program. We are teaching classes and workshops on organic backyard gardening, composting, growing for the market , restaurant/grower workshops – designed to help our restaurants and growers connect with each other, and value-added food production – like jams and jellies.
  3. We’re developing a Farm to School initiative, providing fresh, local food to our young people in the schools, and an additional market for the island’s growers.
  4. Our Youth Council is building gardens at the public schools. We built one at the Nantucket Elementary School and we’re working on one at the high school.
  5. We’re trying to get more land for existing growers by looking at creative solutions like the one which kept Moors End Farm here for us.
  6. We’re hoping to follow in the footsteps of the Island Grown Initiative on Martha’s Vineyard where, with the help of Commissioner Soares and the State and local health departments, they just acquired a mobile poultry processing unit for shared use by all their farms. They went from 300 chickens on the Vineyard to 5,000 in just a few months.
  7. We’ve started an agricultural intern program, to help our existing growers expand, and to give them the opportunity to pass on some of their knowledge and skill to young people here who want to learn how to grow.

I would like to leave you with this thought. When you think of Sustainable Nantucket, I’d like you to be thinking about how all of these things add up to one thing. What are we doing? What are we all about? We’re cultivating a healthy Nantucket. And that’s a good thing. For all of us.”

Through this event we realized our vision of an evening to celebrate local food and community, and a venue to raise awareness of the importance of a successful future for agriculture on Nantucket. We would like to thank everyone who came out in support of Sustainable Nantucket and our programs.

Our Sincere Thanks

We would like to extend special thanks to our gracious hosts at Moors End Farm, and to our special guest and speaker Jody Adams, chef/owner of Rialto Restaurant in Cambridge. We would like to thank Scott Soares, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture for his support and for joining us for the festivities.

Thanks also to our sponsors: Jane King, Real Estate Broker, Lee Real Estate; Cisco Brewers; Triple Eight Vodka; Lance & Marty Kelly, Image Design Studio; Nantucket Island Resorts; Stonyfield Farms; Cape Cod Savings Bank.

Thanks also to:

Our Event Committee: Marsha Greenman, Chair; Mary-Randolph Ballinger; Trish Bridier; Lisa Feshbach; Michael S. Karlson; Laura Wasserman
Soiree Committee: Tamara Britt Greenman, Chair; R. C. Atlee Hodgson; Arianne E. Berger; Jesse Biggers; John J. Churchill; Andrew G. Cody; Sean C. Dew; Hailey Feldman; Robert J. Friedhoff III; Jared M. Greenman; Charlotte C. Lockhart; Jamie H. Lynch; David McDonough; Samantha S. Pebley; Abigail W. Slotnick; Whitney Springborn; Zander Tasch
Farm Fresh Feast contributors: Bartlett’s Farm; Moors End Farm; Pumpkin Pond Farm;
Nantucket Native; Nantucket Mushrooms
In-Kind Contributors: Nantucket Land Bank; The Slosek Family; Don Allen Ford; Nantucket Native; Nantucket Blooms; Heather Leisher Coffin; Perennial Gardens; Rosewood Gardens; Nantucket Wildflowers; The Flower Farm; Diana Southard; Taylor Cullen; David Murray, Jr.; Matt Oates; Laurie Richards; Pixel Perfect Photography; Ambrosia Chocolates; Badger
“Midnight Market” Growers & Artisans: Monica Flegg Designs; Nantucket Pasta Goddess -Liliana Dougan; Megan Anderson; Miki Lovett -Textile and Print Artist; David Lazarus; Keep It Native – Debra McManis; Small Town Girl – Taylor Cullen; Bien Ecrite – Mary Musat-Crandall; mBerylceramics – Morgan Beryl; Island Weaves – Karin Sheppard; Spiro Designs – Amy Cabre; Flounder – Sue Riddle
Silent Auction Donors: Belongings; Best of the Beach; Cape Air; Ceri; Charles Hotel; Christine Mallia; Cliffside Beach Club; Darya Salon; David Lazarus; Downy Flake; Eye of the Needle; Gail’s Tours; Galley Restaurant; Gavin McLaughlin; Great Harbor Yacht Club; Henley & Sloane; Interior Restoration; Island Air; Janis Aldridge, Inc.; Jared Greenman; Joanne Lawrence Gray; Joy Cowan; Laurie Richards; Lion’s Paw; Little Miss Drama; Marcia Rubin; Marsha Greenman; Mary-Randolph Ballinger; Miacomet Golf Club; Michael Karlson; Mike Demakos; Mitchell’s Book Corner; Murray’s Toggery; Nanny Tucket; Nantucket Airlines; Nantucket Ballroom; Nantucket Bookworks; Nantucket Community Pool; Nantucket Golf Club; Nantucket Looms; Nantucket Vineyards; NISDA; Nobby Shop; Peter Beaton Hat Shop; Peter & Dylan Wallace; Randy Hudson; Rialto Restaurant; RJ Miller; Sconset Casino; Sconset Market; Stonyfield Farms; Straight Wharf; Surfing Hydrangea; Westmoor Club; Yoga Room & Nantucket; Community Pool; Young’s Bicycle Shop; Vis-à-vis
Volunteers: Bess Clarke, Helen Weeks; Kelsey Davis; Ellie Monahan; Sam Gargilulli; Jill Mooradian; Kate Bayer; Jen Karberg; Noah Karberg; Kate Glidden; Marylou Hailey; Stanley Greenman; Sean Mearns; Nathan Killeen; Chad Hudnut; Mitch Blake; Patricia Juul-Nielsen; Carl Juul-Nielsen; LeeAnne Richard; Michelle Soverino
Special thanks to our event coordinator, Marisa Drew, and to caterer Kendra Lockley and her staff at Simply with Style Catering for serving up some truly fantastic food. Thanks to the Sustainable Nantucket staff who helped to make this event possible.

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