Island Grown Initiative works to encourage and support a resilient local food system on Martha’s Vineyard.
We deliver food and agricultural education to both children and adults, develop infrastructure to make a year-round food system viable, and promote healthy food access to all members of the community.
IGI strives to increase both the supply and demand of locally grown food for the health of the environment and our community through our four core programs:
- Island Grown Schools, our farm-to-school program: We bring garden-based learning, healthy, locally grown food, and hands-on farm experiences to almost every school-aged child in our community. We work with all seven K-12 schools on the island and with six preschools, a total of 2,370 students from 2-18 years old. We have installed and support 14 school gardens and 3 school greenhouses, run 3 after school garden programs, donated over 15,000 pounds of local food to our schools, and led over 2,000 classroom lessons and more than 200 farm field trips.
- Island Grown Poultry: IGI’s Poultry Program began in 2007 as a precursor to a USDA inspected meat program. The program has had a dramatic impact on local poultry production, allowing farmers a safe and healthy product for retail sales and giving backyard growers access to infrastructure and education.
- Island Grown Gleaning: At various points during the growing season, farms can have produce in fields that they aren’t able to harvest. Our volunteers harvest and distribute produce from these farms to school cafeterias, senior centers, families in need, housing developments for the elderly and disabled and programs providing groceries and meals to those in need. In 2014 over 24,000 pounds of produce was rescued by staff and volunteers.
- Island Grown Farm: Includes the operation of a 30,000 sq ft hydroponic and aquaponic greenhouse to enhance the local food system, professional training, tours and workshops. With a ½ acre community garden, pilot composting project and 30 acres of tillable farm land to be leased for island food production. Also under development is a low density multi-use orchard, for fruit, nuts, berries and animal grazing. Within Island Grown Farms there is also a Young farmers Apprentice Program which connects young farmers with island farms. Our Bee Program, enhancing the knowledge of bee keeping and preserving the native pollinators. Island Grown Farm is also studying the development of a Island Food Hub consisting of a humane slaughterhouse, distribution center, value added kitchen and farmer housing all powered by green energy.
We hope that you will join us as we work to support and celebrate local agriculture. For more information or to become involved in any of our projects, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.