Ghost Island Farm

 

About Ghost Island Farm

Rusty putting up his new Ghost Island Farm Sign

   Moving to the island of Martha's Vineyard in 1989, Rusty Gordon started farming with Andrew Woodruff at Whippoorwill Farm. He spent 23 years at Whippoorwill running the farm operations and the large Community Supported Agriculture program. In 2011, determined to succeed and prove that a farming operation could work and support itself on the island, Rusty started Ghost Island Farm. He farmed a few small parcels of land on the side for the winter farmers market while still running the large Whippoorwill operation. In 2012, moving on and parting ways with Andrew, Rusty rented land and a farm stand at Fred Fisher's old Nip n Tuck dairy farm. Ghost Island Farm had a home and Rusty was able to put all of his energy into his new venture.

   Cultivating only two acres of land instead of thirty was a welcome change but also gone were the resources, tractors and equipment. Doing most of the work alone with shovels, wheel barrows and a hand tiller was labor intensive and time consuming but strangely rewarding. 2012 was a tough year because of the transition to the new farm, building the infrastructure like fencing in the big field behind the farm stand, putting up two one hundred foot greenhouses, and just getting the word out. 

spreading compost and fertilizer in rows
 

Ghost Island Farm Stand beginning of June 2012

   The new farm stand had a slow start, but managed to stay open until mid December. August brought in good business with summer residents and tourists but it wasn't until about October that business picked up with a lot of Rusty's longtime customers. Word was getting out and familiar faces were coming in for the first time. The farm was getting known for its fresh greens. Three kinds of kale, Rusty's salad greens mix, baby lettuces and arugula were getting picked every day. Never intending to stay open past the fall, Rusty didn't plant extra late crops for the farm stand and started running low on salad greens and kale. It seemed like closing down the store for the season was the right thing to do.

   Currently Rusty is looking to grow the farm to double its size to meet the needs of the co-op, farm stand and farmers market. Four more greenhouses are being put up on the farm to expand the tomato operation, house the seedlings and to grow more crops year round. Rusty has hired a full time field hand for the 2013 season. With the buzz and excitement growing around the stand, Ghost Island Farm has a lot of momentum going into the second year. The addition of the co-op is a perfect fit for the farm and its steady growing base of local customers.

lettuce field behind the farm stand

 

About our co-op

Growing Methods

Come like us on Facebook

List of crops planned for 2014

Great article in the MV Times about Ghost Island Farm

Great article in the Vineyard Gazette with Ghost Island Farm in it

Nice magazine article in Martha's Vineyard Magazine

 

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